Claiming your tax refund in Korea has become even simplier than it was a year back because now, most shops offer IMMEDIATE tax refund on the spot, so you need not haggle around with a mountain of tax refund slips.
Remember to bring along your passport with you when you’re shopping to get the immediate tax refund. Otherwise, remember to request for the tax refund slips.
However, there are still shops that don’t provide immediate tax refund, so here’s what you need to do to get your tax refund.
1. Prior to reaching the airport, Separate your tax refund slips from the receipts
Left: normal receipt
Right: tax refund slip (it usually has a portion to fill in your passport details and sign)
You don’t need to present your receipts to get your tax refund. You ONLY need to present the tax refund slips.
2. Fill out your tax refund slip prior to reaching the airport
You typically need to fill in your name, passport number, address, sign and date. It’s a good idea to fill them in prior to reaching the airport to save time at the airport.
3. Reach the airport at least 3.5hrs before hand.
I reached 3hrs beforehand and still had to run my gate because of the CRAZY LONG queue at security check. And it’s not a one off thing, it’s perpetually like that.
4. Before checking in, scan your tax return slips at the self tax refund kiosks
self tax refund kiosks just beside the departure gates
There are staff who will be able to help you at each kiosk. I did not have to show them my purchases but I had them ready just in case.
5. After checking in and clearing immigration, get your cash at gates 27 or 28.
The staff at the self tax refund kiosk will advise if you should be going to gate 27 or 28.
All you need to do is present your passport and tax refund slips at gates. They will refund you in USD, KRW or Chinese yuen.
And… Your tax refund is now complete!