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Vat back. Goods needed?

Vat back. Goods needed?

Old Dec 21, 08, 12:36 pm
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If my brother will get vat tax back in lhr, how does he go about doing it? Also does he need to show all the goods?
And he is flying lhr-muc-ord. I'm guessing that if he puts it all in his checked bag then lhr is where to do it?

Last edited by jason8612; Dec 21, 08 at 1:18 pm
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Old Dec 21, 08, 4:42 pm
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There are plenty of threads about this in the UK & Ireland specific FT forum.

If items are in through-checked luggage, reclaim form should be shown (WITH GOODS) to customs staff prior to checking in the baggage.

If carried in hand luggage, they should be shown at the final departure airport exiting from the VAT tax area of the EU.

Note, a reclaim form must have been signed and completed by the retailer (who must participate in the retail export scheme). You can't just randomly shop and expect to reclaim it.
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Old Dec 21, 08, 4:44 pm
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He has all the vat forms filled out by the retailers but they are the normal ones (not sure if there is a difference) like tax-back from poland and one from italy.
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Old Dec 21, 08, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by jason8612 View Post
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He has all the vat forms filled out by the retailers but they are the normal ones (not sure if there is a difference) like tax-back from poland and one from italy.
Sounds like he probably has the right forms.
[They reason I mentioned that is that you get lots of people attempting to reclaim VAT using just normal till receipts! - And end up very disappointed.]

At most UK airports there is a route (usually a long windy corridor running parallel to departure lounge security!) to reach customs staff before you go to checkin - so ask before checkin or at airport information if you can't find it. [It is usually signed, but also usually very easy to miss!]

Last edited by David-A; Dec 21, 08 at 4:57 pm
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Old Dec 25, 08, 4:47 am
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The goods must be available for inspection; sometimes they ask, sometimes they do not.
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Old Dec 25, 08, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by rfrost View Post
The goods must be available for inspection; sometimes they ask, sometimes they do not.
Indeed:

Originally Posted by David-A View Post
....reclaim form should be shown (WITH GOODS) to customs staff ....

If what you are adding is that they don't always ask to see them, in my experience having done this countless times, if a customs officer is at the desk they always want to see at least a sample of the goods.

However, if there is no customs officer at the desk and you use their courtesy phone - they will ask you what you are carrying. The answer usually dictates whether they are bothered to come and check. In my experience, under 500 GBP of goods and they don't bother, over 500 GBP and they do.
If they aren't going to be present to stamp the form, and they instruct you to do so, you should deposit the completed reclaim form in the box provided. This limits your reclaim options to either refund to a payment card, or a cheque. [This would in turn be limited to the options the retailers form supports.]

Last edited by David-A; Dec 25, 08 at 8:03 am
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Old Dec 31, 08, 8:21 am
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I am not an expert in this scheme at all but are you sure that he can claim tax back at LHR when flying via MUC? He leaves the EU im MUC and I at least pretty certain that the goods need to be exported....
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Old Dec 31, 08, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
I am not an expert in this scheme at all but are you sure that he can claim tax back at LHR when flying via MUC? He leaves the EU im MUC and I at least pretty certain that the goods need to be exported....
Basically how it works is that goods being exported in through-checked hold luggage need to be shown to customs in the UK prior to checking them for what while be their final journey out of the EU vat territory. Hand luggage items need to be shown to customs officers before their final flight - whcih in this case would be MUC.

In the case of forms where goods are split between the two methods, customs will only certify the appropriate line items on the form for the items going by that method.

Similarly if you change your mind and decided not to export given items you are are perfectly entitled to put a line through thouse items on the form (in the manner specified or requrired by the given version of the form used by your retailer) and still present the form to customs for the remaining items.
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