Shop In Germany Tax-Free (For Tourists)
Every country has its VAT (value-added tax) rate. In Germany, the amount paid for a purchase includes 19% VAT. Suppose you traveled to Germany and purchased personal goods. In that case, you can get the VAT reimbursement if you are eligible for tax-free shopping. Here are the qualifications you need to meet before you can get your tax back:
- If you have a permanent residency of a non-EU country
- If you have a valid visa that lasts no longer than three months
- If you carry out the goods in your personal luggage within three months
- If you are older than 18
Where to Shop
If you want to buy tax-free, you should see if the store has a Tax-Free sticker; if they do, ask the store staff for a Tax-Free form.
You should fill out the form with the information requested and sign it, then staple it with your sales receipt.
How to Validate
At the airport, the Customs must confirm every export of goods. Go to the Customs desk and present your goods and documents, including your passport, Tax-Free form, and receipts, to get a stamp on your form.
Remember that all the goods must be unused and in their original packaging; they should be kept available for inspection.
Getting a Refund
You may claim your reimbursement at one of the Tax-Free Germany cashier locations at the airport. You can also send your stamped form and the original invoice using a pre-paid envelope to the Tax-Free Germany headquarters. For this, you need to provide your bank account information for the money transfer, and it must be filled in the voucher. The refund to a German bank account, a credit card account, or PayPal is carried out according to the inbox after about three working days.
If you’re a non-EU citizen, the next time you visit Germany, know that you can get your tax back by following the instructions mentioned above. Just keep in mind that you must present the proof of purchase before the third month of the purchase date, and the Customs must confirm the exportation so you can get the value-added tax reimbursed.