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Tax-free shopping is a great incentive for tourists, allowing them to obtain a VAT or GST refund on goods purchased when returning home. It is only natural that one would wish to take advantage of this benefit. 

However, you may have wondered if you needed to meet certain requirements to shop tax-free. Here are a few simple things to take note of to be able to claim your tax refund.  

1. You must be visiting the country as a tourist and not a resident of that country 

You will be able to claim your tax refund only if you are not living in the country. For example, if you are a citizen of the United Arab Emirates who lives permanently in Milan, you are eligible to shop tax-free when visiting the UAE as you do not reside in the country. You will be asked to prove your visitor status by presenting your passport to the cashier at the point of purchase. 

2. Ensure that the shop allows for tax-free shopping  

Look for a ‘tax-free’ or ‘VAT/GST free’ sign displayed in the shop’s window. If you are not able to identify the sign, you can ask the shop assistant to confirm if you can shop tax-free there. You will only be able to shop tax-free if the shops are able to provide a Tax Free Form for you to claim your tax refund. 

3. There is a minimum spend requirement set by each country to be entitled for a tax refund 

There generally is a minimum amount that you must spend to be able to claim a tax refund. This amount varies across different countries. It also differs in whether you would have to meet the requirement in a single purchase or in a day. Be sure to check on this before your start shopping. 

4. You must leave the country with the purchased goods within a specific period 

The goods bought tax-free must be brought home with you within the time limit. This time limit is usually two to three months from the time of purchase depending on the country.  

Just remember these few things and you’ll be entitled to shop tax-free! 

Tax-free shopping with utu: Here’s what else you are entitled to! 

Ready for your next tax-free shopping getaway as borders reopen? A revolutionary product that will change your tax refund experience is coming your way. The upcoming utu Tax Free app is built by putting the traveller at the center of the experience, allowing all tax-free shoppers the ability to upsize their tax refunds when you shop tax-free in 50 countries including France, Italy, Germany and the UAE.  

At utu, we believe that tax refunds should be rewards for shoppers and tax-free shopping should be a delightful shopping experience for them. Shoppers should receive the best refund when shopping tax-free and be offered the choice to receive a higher refund with any shop, any brand, and any Tax Refund Operator. 

Be amongst the first to explore the new tax-free shopping experience, reimagined. Join our waitlist now! 

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