Are you visiting London in the near future?
London is indeed one of the world’s most fashionable cities and its endless stores are a perfect delight for all shoppers.
What if I tell you that you could save up to 20% on purchases over £30?
Sounds awesome, right?
Well, this is true.
If you’re a non-EU resident and are travelling to the UK for business or leisure, you could be eligible for a VAT refund. In fact, if you are an EU expat living outside the EU for 12 months or more, you’re also eligible for the tax refund.
But before I tell you more about tax-free shopping in the UK, let’s take a look at what exactly VAT is?
What Do You Mean by VAT?
VAT (Value-Added Tax) is a 20% tax payable on most goods and services in London and the rest of the United Kingdom. This means that if you plan to shop a lot during your visit to London or the rest of the UK, you’re going to pay £20 more on every £100 purchase.
Sounds like a lot of money?
While you can’t avoid paying tax when purchasing goods in the UK, the good part is that you can claim a VAT refund at the airport and get your tax back.
How Can You Claim a VAT Refund on Your Shopping Purchases in the UK?
If you want to get your tax back, you should collect a tax refund form (VAT 407 form) from the retailers. They might ask for a proof that shows that you’re eligible for the VAT refund such as your passport or national identity card.
However, not every shop provides you with a tax refund form and you need to spend a minimum amount of £30 to get the VAT form. Plus, the manual process of filling in the form seems tedious and daunting to many shoppers.
BEWARE: Some in-store tax refund agents charge up to 50% of your refund amount in the name of commissions, fees, and exchange rates.
Once you’ve filled in the form, you need to show the packaged goods, the completed form, and the receipts to the customs department at the airport. Customs will approve your VAT refund form is everything is in order.
You can then take the stamped form to get a tax refund on your shopping bills when leaving the UK. For this, you’ll have to visit a VAT refund desk.
If there are no customs officials available, you can also leave your form in a customs mailbox. Customs will check it and contact your retailer to help you get the refund.
Some agents at the airport may offer cash VAT refund to you after customs authorise your tax-free shopping form. But, you shouldn’t fall for them. They might charge an extra fee and the poor airport currency conversion rates can lead to a 10-20% more deduction from your total refund amount.
So, how can you make the most out of tax-free shopping in the UK?
What Do You Need to Enjoy Cheaper and Easier Tax-Free Shopping in the UK?
Don’t want to pay high fees to retailers?
Want to save more with a hassle-free VAT refund on your shopping in the UK?
You can easily complete the tax refund process electronically via downloading the smart AIRVAT mobile phone app.
AIRVAT is an easy-to-use tax refund app that has been designed for people who are visiting London or the rest of the UK and are willing to save tax on their purchases.
The app charges you much less than others so that your tax-free shopping gets cheaper. And the best part is that you can use AIRVAT in any shop in the UK. This means that you can enjoy the same tax-free shopping experience whether you’re in a luxury shop or in small museum gift shops and souvenir shops.
Claiming a VAT refund comes handy. The app also handles the boring paperwork for you. You no more need to fill in multiple tax-free shopping forms in different stores. All you need to do is to upload your shopping receipts and AIRVAT will have you covered.
You’ll get a single tax-free shopping form in hand and once you get it stamped by the customs, you can receive your VAT refund in your preferred payment method.
Be a Smart Shopper
If you plan on doing a lot of shopping in the UK, not claiming VAT refund means that you’re letting go of a lot of money.
It’s time to be a smart shopper during your visit to London, UK and get more tax back with the smart AIRVAT VAT refund app.
Happy shopping travellers 😉