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VAT tax refund on hotels?

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NY
posts: 26
VAT tax refund on hotels?

In germany, can you get the 19% VAT tax refund on accomodations/hotels? Or it only applies to shops?

london
Destination Expert
for Seoul, Rothenburg
posts: 8,371
reviews: 162
1. Re: VAT tax refund on hotels?

Shops, only, I beleive.

Portland, Oregon USA
posts: 2,429
2. Re: VAT tax refund on hotels?

VAT refunds are only possible on items you don't use before you take them home.

For example, if you buy a sweater and use it in Germany, you can't get a refund. When you buy an item, the shop seals it and if the seal is broken, no refund.

No refunds on services or hotels.

Germany
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 31,291
3. Re: VAT tax refund on hotels?

VAT refund = export of goods

It applies for goods you're exporting (bringing) out of Germany (or more correct: the EU which is a customs union). If you can proof the export (on the correct forms) you get the German VAT back.

Please note that you are than importing the goods into your home country. Strictly seen you have to declare these goods there (from a certain amount on) and have to pay the VAT of your home country on them. Plus depending on the type of goods also other customs duties. The latter apply however in any case.

Wichita, Kansas
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 4,067
reviews: 11
4. Re: VAT tax refund on hotels?

IMO, the largest problem with obtaining a VAT refund is that, with the exception of Ireland, each country has a different minimum amount that you must purchase from a merchant before they will fill-out the VAT refund form.

Germany has one of the lowest minimums at 25 € while Switzerland has the lowest VAT at 7.6% but the highest minimum at 300 CHF.

Overview at -

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/vat.htm

5. Re: VAT tax refund on hotels?

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