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TAX FREE – returning VAT to foreigners

photo:  (sxc.hu)

VAT is an indirect tax applicable to the sale of goods and services. This tax is paid by the customer. The Czech Republic joined the worldwide TAX FREE programme of refunding value added tax to foreigners on 1 April 2000.

Foreign tourists in the Czech Republic are entitled to a VAT refund on purchases that they take out of the country. In order to take advantage of this service, all you need to do is just go shopping in shops that have the TAX FREE SHOPPING logo and meet the following terms and conditions:
  • This right is claimed by a natural person who does not have a permanent residence in the Czech Republic or EU countries.
  • The minimum purchase amount of CZK 2,000 must be made in one day at one vendor and must exceed the amount of CZK 2,000.
  • The purchased goods must be stated on special Tax Free forms, which can be acquired either directly in the shop or at all revenue offices, border customs offices, at airports, and at the branches of companies that return VAT.
  • The goods must leave the country within 3 months from the end of the month when they were purchased.
  • When leaving the country, the filled out Tax Free form must be confirmed with an official stamp of the Czech customs office or another customs office of an EU member country. VAT cannot be refunded without an EU customs office stamp.
  • The money will be paid the moment a duly filled out and stamped Tax Free form and sales slip satisfying all the requirements are presented at a refund location of a company that returns VAT. The money will be paid out in cash or it is possible to arrange a transfer of the amount to a credit card or to have a bank cheque sent to a selected address. The maximum payment period is 5 months from the date of purchase of the goods.
Tax is not refunded on food, cigarettes, alcohol, and petrol. One company that returns VAT in the Czech Republic is Global Blue.
Author: Ivana Jenerálová
Added: 21.02.2011

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