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Old Nov 19th 2011, 7:42 pm   #1
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Default VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

Hello, can anyone shed any light on which stores and shops in the UK participate in the VAT Retail Export Scheme? I cannot seem to find a list anywhere... Any help, advice, guidance would be really appreciated. Many thanks.
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Old Nov 19th 2011, 8:14 pm   #2
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

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Originally Posted by Flower11 View Post
Hello, can anyone shed any light on which stores and shops in the UK participate in the VAT Retail Export Scheme? I cannot seem to find a list anywhere... Any help, advice, guidance would be really appreciated. Many thanks.
Hello and welcome to the site.

I am not aware such a list exists. Your best bet is to ask the shop where you are making your purchases. Some of the large chain stores participate in the scheme...M&S, BHS, Debenhams. You have to spend a minimum amount before the scheme kicks in. IMO anything less than several hundred £ isn't worth bothering about.
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Old Nov 19th 2011, 9:17 pm   #3
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

Hi Flower11

Welcome to BE.
Sorry I don't know the answer either - maybe Customs and Excise can advise

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Old Nov 21st 2011, 4:22 pm   #4
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

Hello and a big welcome to BE.

Excellent information can be found in the BE Wiki, not forgetting the Living and Moving Abroad forum that will help you, another set of great help is the permanent threads at the TOP of each forum, they are very pertinent to that particular forum and makes sensible reading.

Moderators deal with any problems that arise such as inappropriate posts, spammers etc, you will find their names at the bottom right hand side of each forum's index in bold font.

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Old Nov 22nd 2011, 12:39 am   #5
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

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Originally Posted by Flower11 View Post
Hello, can anyone shed any light on which stores and shops in the UK participate in the VAT Retail Export Scheme? I cannot seem to find a list anywhere... Any help, advice, guidance would be really appreciated. Many thanks.
Hi and welcome to BE,

As JG mentioned the best thing is to check with the shops you are interested in shopping with. I know Debenhams participate as once we are shopping there and the assistant realized we live abroad he printed off a form with our receipt that we could use to claim back the VAT.
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Old Nov 22nd 2011, 12:45 am   #6
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

I don't know if this is the answer but I am reliably informed that you can request a VAT receipt from any shop in the UK and the shop is required by law to provide this receipt - it is often a seperate receipt from the usual till receipt.
It is probable that if you produce these receipts then VAT can be returned on exit from the UK if you are exporting the goods or having them sent outside the UK.
One to note for future use me thinks

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Old Nov 22nd 2011, 12:50 am   #7
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

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Originally Posted by dreadsoc View Post
I don't know if this is the answer but I am reliably informed that you can request a VAT receipt from any shop in the UK and the shop is required by law to provide this receipt - it is often a seperate receipt from the usual till receipt.
It is probable that if you produce these receipts then VAT can be returned on exit from the UK if you are exporting the goods or having them sent outside the UK.
One to note for future use me thinks

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AFAIK you have to get a tax refund form from the store...you cannot get a refund if you only provide a receipt at the VAT office at the airport. VAT can only be claimed on goods from stores that participate in the scheme.

If it's a shop that you shop at frequently...it's best to wait until the end of your trip and get all your purchases put on one form...that way you only pay one lot of fees.

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...ocument#P9_554
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Last edited by Jerseygirl; Nov 22nd 2011 at 12:53 am. Reason: insert link
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Old Nov 22nd 2011, 12:57 am   #8
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

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I was told by a customs officer mate of mine that production of a specific VAT receipt was sufficient - these are different types to the usual till receipt - but I guess if you present both VAT recipts and tax refund forms you are pretty much guarenteed to get your VAT back.

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I think he means the form the store fills in and not just a till receipt. I don't know whether our posts crossed...but I edited a link into my post. You don't get all the VAT back...you have to have spent a certain amount before the refund kicks in. This amount varies from store to store. Then the store deducts a fee...so unless you have spent a couple of hundred pounds it not worth the hassle. Even then you will only get a few quid back.

You also have to have your goods with you to prove you are taking them out of the UK.
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Old Nov 22nd 2011, 1:01 am   #9
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

When the store fills in the TAX refund forum...you have to provide your passport and details of your return journey (good idea to have a printout of your plane ticket with you). You have to sign the form while you are in the store...then the person who is filling out the form will sign it. If it's not filled in correctly by both parties you will not get a refund.
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Old Nov 22nd 2011, 1:03 am   #10
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

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Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
I think he means the form the store fills in and not just a till receipt. I don't know whether our posts crossed...but I edited a link into my post. You don't get all the VAT back...you have to have spent a certain amount before the refund kicks in. This amount varies from store to store. Then the store deducts a fee...so unless you have spent a couple of hundred pounds it not worth the hassle. Even then you will only get a few quid back.

You also have to have your goods with you to prove you are taking them out of the UK.
I think we did cross over - hence deleted my bit above.
To be honest the whole thing seems like one big pain in the ass and a load of hassle for a small return.
Typical tax rules - make it as complicated as possible to put people off !

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Old Nov 22nd 2011, 1:13 am   #11
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Default Re: VAT retail export scheme - advice needed!

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Originally Posted by dreadsoc View Post
I think we did cross over - hence deleted my bit above.
To be honest the whole thing seems like one big pain in the ass and a load of hassle for a small return.
Typical tax rules - make it as complicated as possible to put people off !

Dread - x
It is...especially as there are usually only one or two store employees that can fill out the forms and if they are not available...it's tough luck. Even then many don't have a clue how to do it and I usually finish up helping them. Although that's in Manchester and Cheshire...probably the London stores are much more familiar with the whole procedure.

You also have to carry the goods in your hand luggage so they are available for inspection...which is a huge hassle if you buy as much stuff as I do. They want to make sure you are taking the goods out of the UK and not claiming a VAT refund for goods that you have left in the UK for relatives/friends etc. You also have to sign a declaration that you will not return to the EC for a period of 12 months.
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