Tax Free Shopping FAQs

Tax Free Shopping FAQ’s

Am I eligible to claim?

As a non-EU resident visiting Great Britain, you are entitled to reclaim the local sales Tax, usually known as VAT, on all items purchased during your stay in Great Britain. Countries and territories within the European Union and therefore NOT eligible are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, The Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

How do I claim?

Take the Tax free form you are given at point of sale in store and present the form and the purchased goods for inspection at the official Customs Office at your last point of departure from the EU. The form will then be stamped and you will be eligible to receive your refund in cash or refunded to a credit card or bank account.

Do I need a Customs stamp?

Yes, without a Customs stamp it is not possible to process a Tax refund. Forms must be stamped by a Customs Officer upon departure from the country of purchase or last point of departure from the EU. Remember you are obliged to have the goods available for inspection by the Customs Officer.

Where do I mail my GB TaxFree form to?

When you purchase the goods in store, the sales assistant will provide you with a stamped pre-addressed GB TaxFree envelope. You can send your Tax refund form free in this prepaid envelope within the UK. However, forms posted from outside the UK will require an additional postal charge. If you have not been supplied with an envelope or have lost it, you should send your stamped form to: GB TaxFree, Weylands Court, Watermeadow, Chesham, Bucks, HP5 1LF.

How long will it take for my Tax Refund to come through?

We process your refund within 4 – 6 weeks of receiving your original Tax refund form stamped by the Customs Office. If you do not receive your refund within two months of purchase, we advise you to contact us as there may have been a problem with your Tax refund form.

How can I get my cash refund at the airport?

Simply present your Tax free form to the Travelex refund desk with your passport and original shop receipt to receive your refund in cash at Heathrow or at Moneycorp Refund Desk at Gatwick Airport.

How do I get my refund credited to my credit card or bank account?

Simply post the Customs stamped Tax free form back to us in the prepaid envelope ensuring your credit or UK bank details have been filled in on the form and we will credit your card or account within in 25 working days of receiving the form.

Does a service charge apply?

Yes, GB TaxFree applies a processing administration fee. Your refund corresponds to the full amount of VAT less a processing administration fee. Travelex will add a local charge for cash refunds.

Does my refund amount correspond to the full amount of VAT?

The VAT is a percentage added on top of the price. For example: the UK VAT rate is 20% and a pair of shoes is displayed at £100, including VAT, the VAT amounts to £16.66. (Shoe price: £83.35 + 20% VAT = £100.) The refund amount will therefore be £16.66, minus a handling administration fee.

How long are Tax free forms valid for?

You must get your Customs stamp on your VAT refund document within 3 months following the end of the month in which the purchase is made, i.e. a purchase made in January can be validated up to the end of April.

Can I change my refund option?

Yes, once you have mailed your form it is still possible to change your refund choice if it has not yet been processed. To change your refund option, please contact GB TaxFree.

Do I have to carry all the goods bought under the scheme in my hand luggage?

Yes but if the goods are too large to carry on board an aircraft you may pack them in your hold baggage. If you do this, you must contact the Customs Export Office before you check in, in order to show the goods to Customs. If you do not have the goods to present to Customs for verification, they may refuse to stamp and validate you Tax refund form.

If you have any further questions please contact us on +44 (0)1494 776020 or email at

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