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Practical information and useful addresses in Great Britain

How can I claim back VAT?

Tourists who purchase goods at shops participating in the Retail Export Scheme may apply for a refund if they intend to leave Britain for a final destination outside the European Union within three months of the date of purchase. Visitors should ascertain before making their purchase whether or not a refund will be available.

  • At the time of the purchase the retailer will ask to see a passport to establish the customer's eligibility for the refund scheme.
  • Both parties should then complete the refund document provided by the retailer (form VAT 407 or a refund company voucher).
  • The VAT form or refund voucher must be presented with the goods for certification by HM Customs and Excise when the customer departs from the European Union. Forms cannot be certified after departure from the EU.
  • The certified form should then be sent to the retailer or funding company, and the claim will be processed and a refund cheque (in sterling) sent to the purchaser. Alternatively, the form may be handed in at the refunding company office at the airport for an immediate refund, if applicable.
  • Any correspondence about non-receipt of funds should be sent to the retailer or refunding company, not HM Customs and Excise or British Government Offices.

A brochure is published by:

The Southbank VAT Centre
HM Customs and Excise
Dorset House, Stamford Street
London SE1 9PY, UK
Tel: +44 207 202 4087

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