Korea: Quick guide to claiming your tax refund at Incheon airport 2017

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.


Your receipt will state very clearly “Immediate tax refund”

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.

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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

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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!

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11 thoughts on “Korea: Quick guide to claiming your tax refund at Incheon airport 2017

  1. Hi,
    Is it that all 3 different companies can be tax refund at the same kiosk? We should check in luggage without those items claimed to proof to officer? Can we just bring everything in the luggage there to claim refund and check in luggage after the kiosk verification?

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    1. Hi, thanks for your comment, I would suggest to scan your receipts at the kiosk first and then you can check all your luggage in after that. If they want to verify your items they will do it at the kiosk. And yes you are right, one kiosk is sufficient for all the different tax companies πŸ™‚

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  2. Hello, for stores that offer immediate tax refunds, do we still need to fill in the forms for the tax refunds and get them verified at the airport ? thank you for answering my question πŸ™‚

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    1. Hi Kim,
      You don’t need to fill in forms as long the store u visited can do immediate tax refund for u, usually they will directly deduct from the total purchased amount or a designated counter within the building to claim back the fund.

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  3. Hello Esther and Nick, thanks for answering my question πŸ™‚ so similarly for otte duty free shopping, they offer immediate tax refund upon purchase ? Do we need to go to a specific counter to claim the tax refunds or they will do the deduction upon payment ? Thank you !! πŸ™‚

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    1. Lotte duty free mall, after payment u may ask the cashier where to get the refund of tax, they have designated counter for that. As long wherever your shopping is, lookout for those tax refund logos and before payment ask them about how to go about it, some they might need u to do it at the airport.

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  4. Hello, thanks Nick for your prompt reply ! do you happen to know if we are able to collect our items on the spot after shopping at lotte duty free or we can only collect them at the airport before we depart ? Thank you !

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    1. Kim,
      U will be able to pack into your luggage once the tax refund completed at the mall, there’s no requirement to show the custom after the rebate made. Items that u will be claimed tax refund at the airport required u to get them ready to show the custom officers if they demanded to look at it.

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