Know the VAT Rates and Refunds Process by Country

Avoid paying more taxes than necessary when traveling to other countries.

VAT rates vary by country and visitor purchases may qualify for a refund, depending on the conditions established by the visiting country as it relates to your country of permanent residence. For example, U.S. citizens visiting a European country may be subject to different refund terms than European Union (EU) nationals visiting a destination outside of their country of residence within the EU.

VAT should be viewed as a sales tax to local residents, and sometimes visitors may be entitled to a refund. In fact, VAT may account for about 20% of the total purchase price on goods. Procedures for refunds are available in many countries if the purchase price of items exceed a set amount by the country, and this may range from $25 or more.

Country VAT Standard Rate Minimum Required Purchase
Argentina 21.0% 70 ARS (Argentina Pesos)
Austria 20.0% 75.01 EUR (Euro)
Belgium 21.0% 125.01 EUR (Euro)
Croatia 18.5% 500,01 HRK (Croatia Kuna)
Czech Republic 19.0% 2,000 CZK (Czech Republic Koruny)
Denmark 25.0% 300 DKK (Denmark Kroner)
Estonia 18.0% 2500 EEK (Estonia Krooni)
Finland 22.0% 40 EUR (Euro)
France 19.6% 235 EUR (Euro)
Germany 19.0% 25 EUR (Euro)
Greece 19.0% 120 EUR (Euro)
Hungary 20.0% 45,000 HUF (Hungary Forint)
Iceland 24.5% 4,000 ISK (Iceland Kroner)
Ireland 21.0% No Minimum EUR (Euro)
Italy 20.0% 155 EUR (Euro)
Korea 9.1% 2,200,000 KRW (Korean Won)
Latvia 18.0% 29.50 LVL (Lat)
Lithuania 18.0% 200 LT (Lithuanian Litas)
Luxembourg 15.0% 74 EUR (Euro)
Netherlands 19.0% 50 EUR (Euro)
Norway 25.0% 315 NOK (Norwegian Krone
Poland 22.0% N/A in EUR (Euro), previously 200 PLN
Portugal 21.0% 60.35 (mainland), 57.36 (lslands) EUR (Euro)
Slovakia 19.0% 5,000 SKK (Slovakia Koruny)
Slovenia 20.0% 50.01 EUR (Euro)
Spain 16.0% 90.15 EUR (Euro)
Sweden 25.0% 200 SEK (Swedish Krona)
Switzerland 7.6% 400 CHF (Swiss Franc)
Turkey 18.0% 100 TRY (Turkey New Lira)
UK 17.5% GBP (United Kingdom Pounds)
Check HM Revenue & Customs for conditions.

VAT standard rates listed above are believed to be accurate as of 2008 and are provided as an estimate only. For current rate information and requirements, please consult the official tourism website for individual country terms and conditions on VAT refunds.

 

Rob is editor of Business Travel Destinations. He was voted among the top 10 business travel bloggers by USA TODAY 10Best. Rob reviews international destinations for meetings and events — where business travelers go, the hotels where they stay and their lifestyle preferences on the road. He spent more than a decade planning hundreds of corporate events throughout the U.S. for a Fortune 50 company, including meetings, conferences, seminars, executive retreats and other special events. Rob was previously the event planning guide for About.com (owned by The New York Times Company) from 2007 – 2011. His articles have appeared in business travel publications and travel sites internationally.