I received an email today from Global Blue. They are one of the companies that do the VAT refunds. You can now sign up with them, and avoid the the VAT office at the airport. Just sign up, which requires your passport information of course, and you can add it to your wallet on your phone. You do add a card to your profile so that they have a way of refunding you your VAT. When you are in a store making a purchase that would qualify for a VAT refund, just have them scan your membership card and you don't need to do anything else. No filling out the forms, no waiting at the VAT desk at the airport, no showing your items if requested, etc. We tend to shop enough that I almost always do the VAT refund, but this will make it so much easier!!!
mikliz97, I thought the VAT refund was based on the goods purchased not being used while in country. If so, how do they know that you haven't, or even still have the purchased items while exiting the country? Not snarking - honestly curious.
I had the same knowledge, but they are trying to make it easier for travelers. So I signed up and will test it out this summer! It is especially nice for the times that you fly out and the VAT office isn't open.