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Old 23.01.2017, 10:22
ChrisNeedsToKnow ChrisNeedsToKnow is offline
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Re: Grocery Tax free shopping near Basel

In France the 175 minimum is a legal requirement.

In Germany there is no legal minimum.

>>Here's<< an article covering the German VAT-refund, but it's in German.

VAT-refund in Germany is a voluntary service provided by shops. "Voluntary" as-in: There's no legal requirement to refund VAT, but any shop near the CH/D border not offering this service can practically shut down.

As it is a voluntary service, some shops unilaterally decide to only offer a refund from specific minimum amounts. They're free to do so.

In practice they do so to limit their administrative work: A refund requires issuing a VAT-refund-slip, and filing the same for ~10 yrs after it's returned. Hardly worth filing an A4 paper for a few cents.

When shopping in Germany, I advise to avoid all shops which don't just do a "direct refund". GlobalBlue (and the like) are either horribly expensive in fees, or complicated as they require you to carry extra cards, yielding the process pretty cumbersome. Culprits I know of: Aldi, C&A, ZARA. Im avoiding these 3 like the plague!
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