I initially thought that I was very familiar with the procedures of claiming tax refunds, but turns out that claiming tax refund in Europe is slightly different to claiming it in other countries like Korea.

Here’s a quick guide as well as what I learnt from claiming my tax rebate in Athens.


Guidelines for claiming your tax refund:

1. Bring your passport along when shopping and request for the tax refund slip from the merchant

2. Complete the fields on the tax refund slip (e.g. name, address, passport number, etc) and sign off

3. Before checking in, bring your purchases and tax refund slips to the VAT refund counter to get it stamped.

The counter is just beside the immigration


4. After checking in and clearing immigration, head to the duty free counter to collect your cash.

Present your tax refund slip with your passport and you will get your refund.

What I was not aware of until I got to the counter was..

There is a service charge PER TAX FREE FORM and it amounts to up to 4 euros.

This sets the refund back by quite a bit if your refund isn’t a huge amount.

I actually don’t remember such a fee when claiming for tax refund in Italy..

What I also didn’t know..

If you’re travelling domestically to another country in europe, you will not be able to claim tax refund.

You will only be able to claim it when you take an international flight.

For example, we flew from Austria domestically over to Greece. So because it wasn’t an international flight, we weren’t able to claim tax refund for the items purchased in Austria. We could only claim it when we flew off from Greece to Singapore. (So essentially we are claiming the tax refund for items bought in Austria at Greece. I find this procedure quite weird but that’s just how it works.)

I got an immediate refund in Greece for one of my items purchased in Austria, but the other one was not immediate, apparently they mail it over to Austria and the refund will be credited back into my credit card after a few weeks. 

UPDATE: Just received my tax refund credited back into my credit card on 6 July which took about 1.5mths instead. I’d recommend to go for the immediate tax refunds at the outlet mall if possible as I heard of people not getting their refunds credited back at all.

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