When you make a purchase in Germany, the price generally includes 19% VAT. If your place of residence is outside the EU and you take your purchases home with you, the VAT can be reimbursed. Here’s how it works:
- Complete the export certificate for your purchases. Some stores do it for your electronically but there are others who just give you the form to fill in.
- At the airport you need to check in first and get your boarding pass. This serves as a proof that you are leaving the country (EU). If you are going to check in your purchases, tell the check in counter that you will drop your suitcase later because you need to declare your purchases to get Tax refund.
- Go to the Customs desk in main Terminal 2 Departure Hall, Level 4 and present the certificate along with your purchases and receipts at the customs office. You will also be required to present your passport and a plane ticket issued for the current date. The Custom officer will stamp/validate the Tax refund form.
- Don’t forget to drop your suitcase at the check in counter first then go through security.Take the subway to the Satellite Terminal 2, and look for the Global Blue Refund desk near Gate L10 for payment of your refund in cash or to your credit card.
What you need to know
- If you are traveling in more than 1 EU country, you need to get your Tax refund form validated by the Custom Officer on your last EU country. Be mindful that not all European country is part of EU. If you are leaving the last EU country by train, do your research and find out at which train station you can get your form validated.
- If you are flying back, it is advisable to spare 3-4 hours prior to the flight so you are not in a rush.
- Some airports have machine which can validate your form and you won’t even need to show your purchases. However they usually have a treshold amount, If your purchases above treshold in the system, they will require you to go see the Custom Officer. When that happens just locate where the custom office is and ask the officer to validate for you.
- You can get the refund through deduction in Credit Card or cash. I always go with the former because asking for cash is another queue.