The Rules of Tax Free Shopping

To obtain VAT exemption, it is necessary that:

  • The tourist is a "private" individual resident in a non-EU country and classified as a visitor.

  • Verify your eligibility as a visitor: A "visitor" is a person who permanently or habitually resides in a country outside the EU. Your residence, as indicated in your passport or other identification documents, will determine if you are a visitor. For example, if you live in Brazil but spend three months every summer in Italy, you are still considered a "visitor" while in Italy. EU citizens who permanently reside outside the EU are also eligible for VAT refunds.

  • The purchase for which VAT exemption is requested must be for an amount exceeding €154.94 (including VAT).

  • The purchased goods must be intended for personal or family use.

  • The purchased goods must be transported outside the European Union within the 3rd month following the purchase.

  • The purchase can only be made in authorized stores. When you go to the cashier, you will need to show your passport or other identification document proving your residence outside the EU. You will be asked to fill out a form with the necessary information to proceed with the refund.

  • Full payment: In the store, you will need to pay the full price, including VAT. You will receive the VAT refund once you have completed the formalities explained to you before the purchase and you must show proof of exportation. Typically, it can take up to 15 days after leaving the EU to receive the refund from the intermediary company.

  • Refund procedure: The refund is processed through a third-party intermediary with the customs office, which charges the buyer an administrative fee for providing this service. The total refund you will receive amounts to 12.5% of the invoice amount. For example, if you make purchases totaling €1000.00 including VAT, you will receive a refund of €125.00. Remember that to obtain this refund, you must perform exactly the operations indicated to you in the store.

  • Refund form: When you make a purchase in an authorized store, you will be asked to fill out a form to proceed with the refund. This form will contain the necessary details to process the refund. Make sure to correctly fill out all the required sections.

  • Proof of export: To obtain the refund, you will need to demonstrate that you are leaving the EU within the required 3 months. Usually, this is done by showing your airline ticket or another document proving your departure. Make sure to keep these documents until the refund is processed.

  • Keep the original purchase invoice as proof of purchase. This document is essential for the VAT refund. Remember to follow the specific instructions provided to you in the store and have all the necessary documents with you when making purchases.