Retail export scheme

What purchases can you claim VAT back on?

Any purchases of goods that come within the definition, tourist or travellers qualifying goods, are allowable under the scheme.

These are goods carried in the personal luggage of a tourist or traveller which are supplied within the State to a tourist or traveller, and which are exported by or on behalf of that tourist or traveller by the last day of the third month following the month in which the supply takes place. Goods transported by a tourist or traveller for the equipping, fuelling and provisioning of pleasure boats, private aircraft or other means of transport for private use are excluded.

Refunds can be obtained on purchases of goods, such as souvenirs and gifts, bought for non-business purposes, which you carry in your personal luggage. You must export the goods by the last day of the third month following the month in which you purchased the goods.

What purchases are not allowable under the scheme?

The scheme only covers goods. No refund can be obtained for goods that remain in the State. Services, such as hotel accommodation, car-hire or restaurant meals are not within the scheme.

Value of the goods under the scheme

You are entitled to get the Value-Added Tax (VAT) back regardless of the value of the goods purchased.

However, if the value of the good exceeds €2,000 (including VAT), you must present the good along with the export voucher to Customs for inspection on departure from the State (see certification of exports).

What is the VAT Off refund scheme?

The VAT Off refund scheme allows the retailer to sell the goods to you free of VAT.

However, the retailer, the refund agent and the tourist or traveller must ensure that the full requirements and conditions of the scheme are met in the case of each VAT Off purchase.

Revenue will reverse the VAT Off position and impose the correct VAT liability on the retailer, where the full requirements and conditions are not met in relation to a purchase.

Next: How do retailers operate the scheme?