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Old 03.01.2020, 12:51
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Italian VAT refund

Dear all,

Who has experience claiming back VAT directly from Italian shops, i.e. not via an intermediary like global blue?

My wife and I recently went shopping in Italy, asked for tax free forms at the shop, and declared our goods at the Italian-Swiss border train station. We paid the import taxes to the Swiss border control.

The only thing left is to get a refund of the Italian VAT, preferably without global blue as they take a large cut of the refund.

One of the Italian merchants said I should contact the Italian ministry of finance, but elsewhere (https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-...obal-blue.html) I read that contacting the merchant's HQ should suffice.

All input very welcome, especially if you can tell me if you got your VAT back from the company or from the Italian government.

Many thanks,

Paul
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Old 03.01.2020, 13:27
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Re: Italian VAT refund

When I've bought tax free overseas, the merchant has refunded the VAT to my credit card, when they received the stamped export form.

It is usually the merchants who repay the money, as they are the ones who have made an export sale.

Italy is of course a law unto itself...
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Old 03.01.2020, 14:03
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Re: Italian VAT refund

Normally, you take the forms back to the shop where you bought the stuff and they give you the VAT, though sometimes they trust you to mail the forms back and don't charge the VAT in the first place.

I've also had it that they kept the VAT (in cash) in an envelope (the rest was paid by CC), and handed me the envelope when I returned the documents.

Lastly, VAT refund is not a right, and they can refuse to do it for any reason.

Also, there is a minimum purchase of EUR 150 (without VAT) or so.

Tom
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Old 04.01.2020, 17:19
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Re: Italian VAT refund

Thanks both - one shop has come back to me and they are happy to reimburse as long as I send them the required documents. I will push my luck again with the shop that initially referred me to the Italian ministry of finance - don't want to get lost in that labyrinth...
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Old 04.01.2020, 21:15
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Re: Italian VAT refund

Most of the shops where I make my purchases, automatically fill in the Global Blue Tax Refund form. By using this company, for a VAT of 24% (Greece), you get back just 10%, which means they pocket more than half the refund. On top of that,you have to pay 3 Euros per form to get the money in cash, otherwise you risk not being reimbursed.
The advantage is that you do not need to go back to the shop you made the purchase. But if going back to the shop is not an issue, is there a way to get a simple form to fill in and get the stamp and then go back to the shop and claim back the full 24%?
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Old 04.01.2020, 22:18
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Re: Italian VAT refund

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But if going back to the shop is not an issue, is there a way to get a simple form to fill in and get the stamp and then go back to the shop and claim back the full 24%?
You have to ask the shop if they are o.k. with that method, if not you are out of options.
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Old 05.01.2020, 11:49
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Re: Italian VAT refund

@DarkOrion - Global Blue's significant cut of the total VAT return is exactly why I went straight to the merchant's HQ instead. For a nice "walk-through" of how to do this, see https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-...obal-blue.html.

I am in the process of claiming back VAT using these instructions, so cannot say much about its effectiveness yet, but if it works with the largest invoices, it already brought home more money than having all receipts handled by Global Blue.
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Old 05.01.2020, 11:53
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Re: Italian VAT refund

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is there a way to get a simple form to fill in and get the stamp and then go back to the shop and claim back the full 24%?
You can't get 24% back, you would get 19.4% back (1/1.24)

Tom
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