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19 May. 2024

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Buying goods under the tax free system: how to get a refund?

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Buying goods under the tax free system: how to get a refund?

When shopping in Europe, Ukrainians can take advantage of a nice bonus and get up to 25% of their money back. Learn more about how the Tax Free system works and who can use the service

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside Ukraine
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The Tax Free system allows tourists to receive a portion of the VAT (value-added tax) paid for purchases in other countries. The savings depend on the VAT rate, which usually ranges from 4% to 25%.

For example, if you purchase goods worth €1,000 in Germany, you can get a refund of up to 19% of this amount, which will be up to €190. VAT rates can be checked on the website of global Tax Free operators.

According to the European tax law, VAT is applied domestically, but does not apply when exporting goods outside the country. Therefore, in order to receive a tax refund, it is necessary that the goods cross the border within a certain period after their purchase.


Tax free applies only to non-residents of countries. The following groups of people are not eligible to use the service:

1. Refugees; 

2. Employed abroad; 

3. People with a permanent residence permit. 


Earlier, we wrote that Ukrainian citizens have recently been able to buy insurance periods for their future pensions or increase their pension amount.


What goods are eligible for refund under the Tax Free system?


The Tax Free system applies to personal use goods that can be imported in your luggage (clothing, decor, cosmetics, appliances, etc.), with the exception of fuel. 

However, you should avoid abusing this service, as frequent purchases may result in a refusal to issue tax refund documents. 

The minimum amount of a receipt to receive Tax Free is set by the stores and usually ranges from 50 euros in Germany to 100 euros in France. Such limits allow shoppers to use this service effectively, ensuring that they have enough purchases to get a tax refund, but avoiding excessive transactions that could result in a refusal to issue documents.


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How to use the Tax Free service?

The Tax Free system is suitable for the following cases:

1. Buying goods. Shops that support the Tax Free system usually have the appropriate stickers on the window. If there is no logo, it is better to check with the sellers. At the checkout, be sure to issue a receipt for a VAT refund;

2. Filling out the form. The special form requires your address and passport data;

3. Keeping receipts. You cannot use the purchased goods before crossing the border, as the customs service must check their condition. Also, do not forget to keep all receipts;

4. Validation. Before leaving the country, show your purchases, passport, and tax free form at the customs office to get a stamp confirming the export of goods abroad. 

Important! A tax refund document is issued in the name of one specific person. Therefore, if you plan to combine purchases with someone else, you should also think about the distribution of funds.


How do I get a refund under the Tax Free system?


There are 2 possible ways to get a refund through the Tax Free system:

1. Receipt in the same store. This method ensures a 100% VAT refund, as the store prepares the Tax Free document independently, without involving third parties. The customer can receive the money directly in the store at the next visit. To use this method, you first need to cross the border, and then return to the country of purchase and present a confirmed Tax Free document in the store. It is important to observe a certain period of time.

2. Receiving funds through special service points. Such points are located at the border and at airports. They serve well-known operators: Global Blue, Global Refund, Premier Tax Free. Intermediaries charge a commission for their services. However, this method is convenient because you can choose how to receive money: in cash or on a card. All this can be done on the spot at a time convenient for you.


Remember that one of the prerequisites for staying abroad is to have health insurance. Thanks to insurance, you will be able to receive high-quality medical care without having to pay for it.

You can buy insurance online in a few clicks here. A ready-made insurance policy will be sent to your email in a few minutes.


We remind you! Currently, individual entrepreneurs can easily pay their taxes through the Diia app with just a few clicks. Read more about which groups of sole proprietors are eligible for this method, what is required, and how to do it.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.






Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit Ukraine


With our health insurance package, you get access to high-quality medical care anytime, anywhere. Our policy covers a wide range of medical services, including medical consultations, hospitalization, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. Protect yourself from unexpected events now. Choose a policy on our website and receive an insurance document to your email in just a few minutes.




Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 


Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.




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