"VAT" What's that?

Apr 13th, 2003, 04:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 15
"VAT" What's that?

I should have started my research sooner. I leave tomorrow and don't exactly understand this... is it just high priced items that can qualify for some sort of tax return? Does hotel bill qualify? do you save up receipts and apply at the end of your stay? Feeling very foolish
rnb607 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2003, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,479
It means Value Added Tax and can be refunded only once you have spent more than a certain amount on items that are taken out of the country. Hotels bills do not qualify.
Michael is offline  
Apr 13th, 2003, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,714
VAT stands for value added tax. It is the equivalent of sales tax. It is refundable on goods you are bringing out of the country so hotel bill would not qualify. Generally, because paperwork is required, stores tend to discourage it unless you're buying over a certain amount (it varies by store). For expensive purchases, it is well worth the trouble as it can be 20%. In dept stores if you're making multiple purchases, you collect all the receipts & go to a special desk before leaving the store & they will provide forms to be filled out. Then, when you get to the airport to leave, you must go to a special customs area to hand in the forms. Legally, they can ask to see the merchandise (but don't always do so) to be sure you are taking it out so if it's in your checked luggage, you may have a problem. If you have payed by credit card, they often put the refund on the card (so you have to watch for it once you get home.) If you've paid by cash, they generally send a check to your home.
mclaurie is offline  
Apr 13th, 2003, 05:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 15
thank you...you folks are simply the best! I have learned so much in the few days I've visited here. Hope I can help someone when I return
rnb607 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2003, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,113
Hi rnb,
In general, you will have to spend about 175 - 200 Euro in one store to qualify for a refund of the VAT.

You turn in your resquest for refund at the last airport before you leave the UK.

Don't be surprised if your refund never shows up.
ira is offline  
Apr 13th, 2003, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 120
The rate of VAT is pretty much uniform at 17.5%.
Jacqui is offline  

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