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VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

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London, Canada
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VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

Hi all,

How exactly is working this? We will fly back to Canada from Edinburgh, with the changing flights at Amsterdam...Can we claim the TAX refund for the goods/gifts bought in Scotland? And, if that's the case, is the Edinburgh customs office that we should use for this claim?

Thank you,

Cristian

67 replies to this topic
Beausoleil
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11. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

Chris C - Have you got your VAT refund yet? Every time I have tried this at Edinburgh airport I have never seen any money, so last couple of times I hand carried the goods to London where you can get the refund processed.

Am about to head back this weekend and would rather pack everything in my check in luggage than carry it to London again.

Edited: 4:53 pm, September 04, 2013
Long Valley, New...
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12. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

I filed a small claim recently..... dropped off in drop box on June 15, 2013, and recevied refund directly to my bank account (debit card) on July 19th. Smaller refund than what I expected (not sure how calculated, conversion rate, and/or fee for processing). Not a big deal - small claim for a bottle of Gordon and Macphail whisky purchased at the Whisky Castle in Tomintoul.

Islington
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13. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

Bear in mind that in the UK the price you see in shop is inclusive of VAT. I think some people fail to realise that this means the VAT paid is not 20% of the total price, but 20% of the price before VAT was added. Thus the VAT you will have paid on something that costs £60 will be £10 (The price of the item = £50 plus the VAT = £10.). If you were given back £12 (20% of the ticket price) that would be more VAT than you had actually paid.

Edited: 12:30 pm, September 06, 2013
Long Valley, New...
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14. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

Thanks - I understand. Whisky was about ~£60 but I only got back ~ £5.80.... seemed less than expected.

Edinburgh...
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15. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

A £60 bottle should be £50 and £10 VAT. £5.80? "Administration" Hrrumph.

Glasgow, United...
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16. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

The company who processes the refund take an "admin fee" which is why most retailers only give refund receipts for purchases over £50 (anything less it would all go to the admin fee). The retailer should be able to tell you how much to expect if you want to know in advance. Ridiculous yes, but that's how it goes in afraid

Ithaca, NY
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17. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

You're a god among men, Chris! I, too, intend to buy scotch--so your notes are incredibly helpful. Slainte!

Somers, New York
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18. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

Okay so I finally have the results of whether I got VAT refunds from the EDI trip. The short answer is - YES, I did, for all 4 I submitted. I wasn't sure I'd get them all since one of the vendors didn't give me an envelope, so I had to pair two receipts in one envelope which I suspected might wind up disqualifying one of them. I think I was strategic and paired two receipts from the same processing firm into the single envelope (I was lucky that I had another receipt using the same processing firm) but my memory is a little hazy on that now so don't hold me to it. The first refund (from the Laphraoig distillery FWIW) came in on August 22nd, or about 7 weeks later. The other three came in on September 26 and 27, which was about 12 weeks later. That's a pretty long processing time in my opinion, but at least in my case I did actually receive all of them.

I'll also note that the amount I actually got refunded (all directly to credit card as requested) was in line with what I had expected. I couldn't perfectly gauge how big the transaction fee wound up being since the VAT is charged in pounds and was credited back in USD after the fee, and of course the exchange rate fluctuates every second. So it's hard to be certain that the processing fee was precisely as advertised on the receipt, but in all cases the dollars were roughly 1.5x the pound value so I think it was basically correct.

To be honest the whole process feels like it has enough randomness in it that I was pretty skeptical it would work (i.e. merchants can't tell you how it works, you just leave receipts in a box at the airport on your way out of the country, some guy comes and collects them periodically and processes them by hand in batch, I'm over in another country without a way to really argue if somehow I get shorted), so I was pleasantly surprised when the credits showed up in my statements (eventually) even though it's "supposed" to work. it does take a long time, so be prepared to wait. But I'm still enjoying some of the fruits of the trip (read: relaxing beverage) so that helps offset any frustration at the delay in getting the refund, and it does make me more confident in making big purchases in the future there since it worked across all 4 trials.

Happy travels to Scotland, and best of luck with your VAT refunds!

Somers, New York
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19. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

You bet! Sorry I've been off the forums for a while (I tend not to hang around here unless I've got something to post or I'm planning an upcoming trip). I did get all 4 of my refunds believe it or not, and just posted a moderately-detailed reply to my initial post if you're interested in more information, though it sounds like your trip is already done at this point. I think it takes 24 hours or something for new posts to be approved so if it's not up yet just give it a day or so.

I hope your trip went well and that you found something unique and wonderful! If you'll be spending any time in Edinburgh definitely check out Cadendhead's - they're a bit curt on the personality side (I did a review of them in July if you're interested) but they're actually nice once they realize you're a serious client not there just for the free samples, are very knowledgeable, and carry excellent product that you might not come across in other travels. And the icing on the cake is that the custom-labeled bottles by themselves are a pretty cool addition to anyone's liquor cabinet. Cheers!

Arlington, Texas
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20. Re: VAT TAX refund at the Edinburgh Airport?

A little further info on VA refund.

Here is a link to the official "HM Revenue & Customs website.

…hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/…

You will find a PDF document at the bottom of the page titled "tax free shopping in the UK.

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