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VAT Return - is it possible to get a full 20% refund?

VAT Return - is it possible to get a full 20% refund?

Old Jun 8, 17, 3:11 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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VAT Return - is it possible to get a full 20% refund?

Hello everyone,

I am going to France for 10 days in 2 days. I have done some research and was wondering if it is still possible to get a full 20% VAT refund? I saw some people are saying you can get 20% if you do the paperwork yourself instead of using 3rd party companies. Anyone has any experience? I would really appreciate your time!
venusphil is offline  
Old Jun 8, 17, 10:01 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Paris, France
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I have never hear of anyone getting the full VAT refund. The difference between what the government refunds and what the customer ultimately receives is taken by the refund company as their fee. I have always been suspicious that the vendor shared a portion of the refund themselves.

As a fraud deterrent, I do not think that the government will pay claims submitted directly by an individual.
Tamino is offline  
Old Jun 9, 17, 11:48 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Originally Posted by venusphil View Post
I saw some people are saying you can get 20% if you do the paperwork yourself instead of using 3rd party companies.
I've never heard of anyone doing the paperwork themselves. The retailer generates the form when you make your purchase and they all have specific tax refund companies they are affiliated with (i.e. Global Blue, Premier). In all my years of shopping in Europe - and I do a lot of shopping in Europe - I can't recall ever seeing a tax refund form that was just from a retailer and not from one of the refund companies.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 2:12 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2016
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Based on my experience, the % of VAT refund depends on the amount.
In most cases, I have received an average refund of 13%.
However, I once purchased a watch worth about 20,000 euros, and the VAT refund was 19%.
So I assume that for larger purchases, the refund companies charge a smaller % fee.
zip10001 is offline  
Old Jul 16, 17, 4:17 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Denver CO
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Years ago you could just get the paperwork from the retailer and file it yourself, keeping the entire roughly 20%. Now every retailer I know just uses one of the intermediaries who keep about 1/3 of the refund.

The good news is that in many cases one can just scan the detax form the retailer provides at the airport rather tha waiting through the long lines for a visual inspection and stamping.
Mountain Trader is offline  

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