One thing I love about shopping in Paris is taking advantage the tax refund service in France. Many people think the tax refund service in France is complicated when in reality it’s very simple and it’s made even simpler by Galeries Lafayette. I’ve broken down this article into 3 simple categories, what is VAT tax, how do you qualify for the tax refund, how do you submit and file the tax refund paperwork.
What are VAT Tax and Tax Back Refund Services?
VAT Tax is very similar to Sales Tax. The main difference between VAT tax and Sales tax is VAT tax is already included into the goods and services on the price tag. VAT Tax can range anywhere from 2% to 33%.
Tax Back Refund is the refund you receive from the government on the tax you paid for your item.
How do you qualify for the tax refund service in France?
There are a few requirements for the VAT Tax Refund that you must follow in order to claim your tax refund:
- Spend more than 175.01 Euros in the same store, the same day
- Cannot be a member of the EU (European Union)
- Must be older than 15
- Must not be in France longer than 6 months
- Make sure you have your passport with you the time of the purchase
How do you submit and File the Tax Refund Paperwork
Once you purchase something for more than 175.01 Euros ask for the VAT “Detaxe” Form. (Ask the sales associate for this if they do not automatically give it to you)
Galeries Lafayette now self-service tax back refund machines that take you step by step through the process of filling your tax back refunds. When you are processing the paperwork at the self-service kiosk you have the ability to get the VAT tax back immediately in cash or you can have it added back to your credit card which can take up to 3 months. If you want cash back immediately you receive 10.8% of your purchases back as long as you depart from the EU within 21 days. If you decide to wait and have it refunded on your credit card you will receive 12% cash back.
When you are using the self service tax back refund machine at Galeries Lafayette, it will prompt you step by step what documents you need to scan and will tell you the amount you will receive back.
Once you finish with the tax refund machine it will provide you will some paperwork. Make sure you take the paperwork and the envelope to drop it off at the airport. When you arrive to the airport there will be boxes at these locations:
South Terminal: Departures level, gate G
West Terminal: Arrivals level, gate E
At Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Terminal 1: CDGVAL level, hall 6
Terminal 2A: Departures level, gate 5
Terminal 2C: Departures level, gate 12
Terminal 2D: Departures level, gate 6
Terminal 2E: Departures level, gate 4
Terminal 2F: Arrivals level
Terminal 3: Departures level, airside
Website · Galeries Lafayette Haussmann Paris
Please leave any comments you may have regarding the tax refund process in Paris, and I will do my best to answer them
Sincerely Petite in Paris,