VAT Refunds in IRELAND

Value added tax or VAT  for short, is added to most purchases within the European Union. Each country has its own VAT  ranging from 12% to 23%.   A tourist  is entitled to a refund of this VAT  as long as the purchase has not been used and is exported from the European Union. Each year, millions of dollars of refundable sales taxes are left behind by non-EU residents departing the European Union.

Personally,  collecting the refund is not worth the time and few dollars at stake.   However, if you do extensive shopping, it will be worth your while to collect the VAT refund.  This must be done at your last point of departure from the European Union.

 Here’s how it works in Ireland

 There seems to be at least two VAT  refund schemes and Ireland.


FEXCO Tax Free Shopping

This is relatively new and is by far the easiest.   When making a purchase the merchant will offer a FEXCO  tax-free shopping card.   It looks kind of like a credit card.   At shops participating in this scheme,  the VAT  may be  deducted from your purchase at the cash register, but you must  pay for your purchase with your own credit card.   Other shops may not deduct the VAT  straightaway, but you’ll get it later.  In either case, present the FEXCO  card wherever you see the FEXCO  placard displayed in the stores.  This is very important, the FEXCO  card must be registered and activated before you leave Ireland.   Otherwise, all the “saved” VAT  will be re-added to your credit card.


Traditional Tax-Free Shopping Scheme

When you purchase items at a retailer, ask for a tax receipt. You’ll fill out your name, passport information,  and other details about your purchase.  This tax receipt will show the amount of VAT  you are due to have refunded.



It’s likely you’ll have at least two types of VAT refunds to turn in. Luckily, both can be handled in advance. VAT refunds that require a receipt should be filled out and placed into the envelope before you arrive at the airport. All you have to do with this is drop the envelope at the proper company. If you are using the FEXCO Card, be sure your account is set up online before you arrive at the airport. There are two kiosks available and you will need to finalize your purchases and refund before you leave. There are times the lines for this are long. And if you get stuck behind someone who hasn’t set up an account, the wait can seem like forever. During busy times you will, thankfully, find FEXCO agents offering assistance to help the lines move along.








About the Author
David McGuffin established David McGuffin's Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.

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