If you plan to travel to France, it’s essential to understand the value-added tax (VAT) refund system. This system enables tourists to claim back a portion of the VAT paid on purchases. By understanding the process, you can save a significant amount of money, particularly if you’re making large purchases during your trip.
In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to the VAT refund system in France. We’ll cover the eligibility criteria, refundable VAT rates, and the application process. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to make the most of your shopping in France.
Eligibility for VAT Refund in France
To claim a VAT refund in France, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Non-European Union (EU) resident: Only non-EU residents can claim VAT refunds in France.
- Minimum purchase amount: The minimum purchase amount per store, per day, including VAT, must be €175.01.
- Exporting goods: The goods purchased must be exported outside the EU within three months of purchase.
- Custom clearance: The goods must be presented to French Customs for clearance before leaving the EU.
Refundable VAT Rates in France
The standard VAT rate in France is 20%, but different rates apply to different goods and services. The refundable VAT rates depend on the type of product or service you purchase. Here are the different VAT rates in France:
- Standard rate: The standard VAT rate in France is 20%, and it applies to most goods and services.
- Reduced rate: The reduced VAT rate in France is 5.5%, and it applies to certain goods and services, such as food, books, and public transport.
- Super reduced rate: The super reduced VAT rate in France is 2.1%, and it applies to specific goods and services, such as medical products and newspapers.
VAT Refund Process in France
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you claim your VAT refund:
- Shop at a participating store: Look for stores that display the “Tax-Free Shopping” logo and make your purchases.
- Ask for your Tax-Free form: Ask the store staff for a Tax-Free form and ensure that it’s fully completed and signed by the store staff.
- Get your form stamped: Before leaving France, you must get your Tax-Free form stamped by French Customs. You can do this at the airport, train station, or border crossing.
Claim your VAT refund: Once you have your stamped Tax-Free form, you can claim your VAT refund at the Tax-Free refund counter at the airport, train station, or border crossing. You’ll need to show your passport and Tax-Free form, and you can choose to receive your refund in cash or via credit card.
By understanding the eligibility criteria and VAT refund process, you can take advantage of the VAT refund system in France and save money on your purchases. Remember, you can only claim a VAT refund on purchases made in participating stores that display the “Tax-Free Shopping” logo, and the minimum purchase amount per store, per day, including VAT, must be €175.01.