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Eddy Smirks

Claiming back VAT when leaving UK

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I was thinking of buying a camera before I leave the UK and head to Oz hopefully in the next month or so and a friend said 'can you claim the VAT back'. It hadn't occured to me at all. I couldn't find anything obvious on here (apologies if there is). But I thought I'd share the following with everyone as it might save a few pounds. This is from the HMRC website and seems to suggest that as I'm leaving the UK for more than 12 months I can get the VAT back. Please correct me if I've misinterpreted this but it seems like this is the case.

 

If you live in the EU

If you live in the EU, you may be able to obtain a VAT refund if you are planning to leave the EU for at least 12 months.

You must:

leave the UK for a destination outside the EU - with the goods you have bought - by the end of the third month after the month when you bought them (for example, goods purchased on 3 February would have to be exported by 31 May)

stay outside the EU for at least 12 months

show customs officials the goods, your receipts for them and a completed VAT refund document when you leave the EU

 

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/sectors/consumers/overseas-visitors.htm#1

 

So it looks like I might be able to claim back the VAT on my camera. Perhaps anyone else heading out can do the same on a laptop or whatever :biggrin:

 

Eddy


Nomination: Lodged - November 2014; Supporting Docs Requested - Late March 2015; Nomination Approved - Late April 2015 = 160 days;

 

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Guest muddyleopard

yes you can, but allow an extra hour at the airport.

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yes you can, but allow an extra hour at the airport.

 

Yes, and the retailer has to be signed up to the VAT Retail Export Scheme. Might be a bit of a pain in the ar$e all told. But if you've got the time and can be bothered it might be worth it.

 

I suppose buying during a stop-over in the far east might yield similar savings on electronic goods (not sure). Anyway, worth a look in to.

 

eddy


Nomination: Lodged - November 2014; Supporting Docs Requested - Late March 2015; Nomination Approved - Late April 2015 = 160 days;

 

Visa: Lodged - 30 April 2015; Visa Status – Approved!!! 03 September 2015 (127 days)

Processing Centre: NSW

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Though you also had to pay import duty on items under 12months old.


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Though you also had to pay import duty on items under 12months old.

 

Yeah, I just read this on another thread. How does that work then? Presumably the UK has one set of rules which aren't compatible with Australia's import rules. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away... :err: Maybe I 'won't' buy a new camera after all...

 

Edit:

There seems to be a Low Value Threshold of $1000AUS. I can't be bothered reading the info in detail on the customs.gov.au site (famous last words...) but maybe that's a way to get round having queues of people at customs who bought a pair of sunnies at Singapore airport...


Nomination: Lodged - November 2014; Supporting Docs Requested - Late March 2015; Nomination Approved - Late April 2015 = 160 days;

 

Visa: Lodged - 30 April 2015; Visa Status – Approved!!! 03 September 2015 (127 days)

Processing Centre: NSW

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Yes, and the retailer has to be signed up to the VAT Retail Export Scheme. Might be a bit of a pain in the ar$e all told. But if you've got the time and can be bothered it might be worth it.

 

 

You don't get the whole amount back as the company that runs the scheme takes quite a hefty chunk (did it recently on a trip to the UK as I also had the advantage as clothes are subject to the governemnt limit on imports and the bloke was still in Oz whilst I hit London :biggrin: )

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Guest

I'd question if its really worth the hassle, especially at the airport. And yes, anything over $1000 and less than a year old should be declared iirc.

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Guest LondonTom
I'd question if its really worth the hassle, especially at the airport. And yes, anything over $1000 and less than a year old should be declared iirc.

 

It's definately worth the hassle if you are buying a high value item!

I bought myself a watch a couple of weeks prior to leaving the UK. I shoved the box, paperwork etc in the shipping container so there would be no risk of any hassle with customs, etc.

 

Tip: to save yourself a lot of time and hassle at the airport (in my case, Heathrow T3) there is the option of you posting the stamped form back to the retailer(rather than face the ridiculously long queue for a cash refund). There are two queues at Heathrow T3, one to show the item to a customs official and get the form signed and stamped, and another to claim the cash refund.

Once the retailer receives the stamped and signed form they can then immediately refund the VAT back to your UK bank account. In my case there was no charge for doing this.

Make sure the retailer uses the correct form at the outset, as there are different forms, depending on whether the refund is to be paid at the airport in cash, or by the retailer, etc...etc.

 

This all worked very well for me and I saved myself over a grand.

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It's definately worth the hassle if you are buying a high value item!

 

Yes, if buying something that expensive it nets you back the amount you said. But the OP didn't sound like they were going to be spending quite as much on their camera. Who knows though.

 

If its only a few hundred quid being spent I'd honestly not bother if it means paperwork and time.

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