Tax Free shopping in Amsterdam

Tax free Shopping

If you are a non-EU resident you can get a VAT-refund (up to 21%) on products you bought on your visit to Amsterdam and Europe, making your shopping TAX FREE. Some rules do apply:

  • You have to officially live in a country outside the European Union.
  • You have to bring the goods back to your country within 3 months after purchase.
  • Make sure you get a VAT-receipt with your purchase (ask for a “BTW-bon”).
  • To apply for a VAT-refund, the total amount on the receipt must be over €50,-.

Procedure

Before check you check in; show customs the receipts and products, so make sure not to check in the products with your luggage at the airport. Customs will sign and stamp your receipts.

You will then have to send back to the store where you bought the products. The owner of the store can then refund you the VAT he charged you.

Getting the owner of the store to refund you the VAT can be a hassle, especially if you have bought items in several stores. There are some companies that will refund you the VAT (minus a fee) and take the hassle out of your hands. The same restrictions apply and your still need to get your receipts stamped at customs, however with some companies the amount on the receipt does not have to exceed €50,-. Fees for this kind of service are usually between 4% and 10%.

Non-EU residents that have purchased goods in Europe and are entitled to a VAT refund, can have their VAT paid out in cash at Schiphol. VAT cheques of the Global Refund organisation can be cashed at one of the branches of ABN AMRO Bank and GWK. Cheques issued by the Cashback and Easy Tax Free organisations can be cashed at the desk of the Communication Centre in Lounge Central. I

f you are applying for a VAT-refund make sure to check with the customs of your country of residence up to which amount you can import products without having to pay VAT on these products when you re-enter your own country.

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