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Where to get my VAT refund

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Hong Kong, China
posts: 17
reviews: 19
Where to get my VAT refund

Hi all,

I am sure this question has been asked many times already but I have not been able to get a sure answer so far.

If I am to board a flight from Milan via Munich (Germany) to Hong Kong, where do I go to do my VAT refund? Milan airport or Munich airport during transit?

Interestingly I have been receiving different answers from different people, so I need a more authoritative answer. If the answer is Milan I plan to arrive the airport 4 hours early, if it is Munich I would need to run to the tax refund office once off my flight from Milan because I will for sure be short of time!

Thank you very much for your kindness!

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 16,544
reviews: 48
1. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

Milan. Often on a transfer you are not out from behind the security screen and usually the VAT office is before screening since people often put their stuff in their checked luggage after getting paperwork stamped. YOU are leaving from Milan.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 58,283
reviews: 11
2. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

No. You cannot claim VAT refund until your last port in the EU, which in this case is Munich. You cannot claim in Milan, as you might not leave the EU on your flight to Munich.

Stresa, Italy
posts: 1,103
3. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

I believe if you are only transitting in Munich you can do it in Milan...as you will not be leaving Munich airport... would make sense.

Italy
Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,245
reviews: 139
4. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

As you will be in Milan you can ask at the VAT refund office in the Rinascenti department store across from the Duomo, they will be able to give you the correct info.

Wichita, Kansas
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 4,066
reviews: 11
5. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

The German Customs Office and VAT Refund Office(s) at MUC airport are street-side = outside of Secure area.

If your luggage is checked through to your destination outside the EU zone and you are a 'In-Transit' passenger at MUC airport then the all paperwork should be done at Milan Malpensa airport.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 16,544
reviews: 48
6. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

he is not flying to Munich he is flying to whereveroutsideEU through Munich -- if he is on a single ticketed trip he can do it in Milan -- there is rarely time on a transit to go outside the secure area and back through security to catch a flight

if he were on a single ticket to Munich and then another onward, maybe not -- but then he wouldn't be able to make the flight probably either

7. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

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Removed on: 1:29 am, March 03, 2012
Chicago, Illinois
posts: 16,544
reviews: 48
8. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

it is not unusual to wait an hour in line at the detax office and then another hour to check in and perhaps a third hour for security -- in Amsterdam last year I had to wait over an hour in detax although there were only 5 people in line ahead of me

I would not expect this to be a quick transaction and so would make sure I had plenty of time at the airport if it was important to me to get the VAT refund

And I am not surprised when people use several passports to avoid this and that rule that the agent expects evidence of residence -- if the passport is enough to establish SA residence, then why is not your UK passport enough to establish you are a resident of the UK -- it is convenient to play games with passports -- but then you shouldn't be surprised that someone needs to know your country of residence

9. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

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Removed on: 1:29 am, March 03, 2012
Chicago, Illinois
posts: 16,544
reviews: 48
10. Re: Where to get my VAT refund

how did Detax guy even KNOW you had a UK passport?

and of course it is game playing to use one for one purpose and the other for another purpose that is convenient -- not illegal -- but game playing