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Help with VAT refund

After being in Portugal, Spain and France, my wife and I will spend our last 5 days in London before departing back to the USA. My question, assuming we will have made purchases in PT, ES and/or FR that would qualify for a Duty-Free refund, what do we do to insure we get the refund?….Must we do it when we are leaving Barcelona, flying to London or do we save all our paperwork, receipts and have it processed at LHR, when we are actually leaving for the USA?

Posted by
3734 posts

You do your VAT refund processing at your last stop in the EU. Do not wait until London. You will not be able to do it there. If your last stop is Barcelona, be sure to allot plenty of time get the refunds processed.

Posted by
3734 posts

"what do we do to insure we get the refund?" There is nothing that will insure that you get the refund. Of course, you have to go through the process but fair warning, I know people who have done their refund processing properly who did not receive their refunds. Personally, I have been very lucky but received the vast majority of my refunds but I have not received two, one of which was for about $500. This item was deal even without getting the refund. Don't buy the item if not getting the refund will be a deal breaker.

Posted by
4880 posts

The last time we tried to get refunds, one had to work through a processing company, which took a percentage. The entire process was a real hassle. Best advice- don't buy anything based on getting money back. Good luck!