Tax free shopping
All American citizens and others non-EU visitors have avail the opportunity to make their purchase ‘tax free’ and save money by getting refunds on Value Added Tax (VAT) in Ireland. Americans and the non-EU visitors are eligible for a VAT Tax Refund at the airport at the time of exiting Ireland carrying the purchases back with them. One will be given 60% of the VAT paid for each purchased item.
Before visiting a shop one should check the sign for ‘Tax free shipping’ and collect the VAT refund form while making purchase from each store in which you shop.
There are major refund systems. All of these systems involve some paperwork
SHIP YOUR PURCHASES HOME
Many stores will provide the facility to pack your purchase and return back to home through mail. If you choose this service you VAT will not be charged at the time of paying for the purchase. You have to just bear the shipping chare. But it will be more expensive than paying the VAT.
This type of refund is occurred at the time of making credit card purchases. When the tax is deducted from the purchase, a voucher is issued for your purchase and your credit card number is recorded. You should complete and submit the voucher at the airport at the time of departure. If you forget to do that your credit card will be charged for the VAT Tax discounted beforehand.
GLOBAL REFUND SYSTEN
One can apply the Global Refund system to get back VAT. This is considered to be the largest and most authentic VAT-refund system.
At the time of making purchase either by cash or credit card in a store inquires for a Global Refund form (blue and white in color). The store can also issue a global refund cheque made out for the total amount of VAT on your purchases. You must fulfill the following details in the form :
1. Your name and address
2. Arrival and departure dates
3. Passport number
You should keep up all the forms & cheques carefully with you till departure day. Hand over all the collected forms or cheques to the Global Refund desk at Shannon or Dublin Airport and you will be some options like getting your refund in cash, receiving your refund through mail or having it refunded to your credit card. You will get your refund at the time of departure from Ireland subject to deduction of service fees ranging from 2% to 3% on the invoice total. You can receive the cash refund in several currencies like US, Canadian or Australian dollars, euros, sterling or Swiss francs into your hand. You will have to bear an additional charge of less than $1 on all cash refunds in currencies other than euro. It is advisable to acknowledge the refund in Euro and change it later as you will get a much better rate of exchange in the end.
If you have less time or forget to submit your VAT forms at the airport before leaving the Ireland, you will get 90 days in hand to mail the vouchers back. You must get these vouchers stamped by a customs officer or authorized by a notary public or similar before being mailed using a prepaid envelope (provided in stores).
TaxBack System — Make purchases by credit card or cash and receive a TaxBack form (purple-and-white in color). Fill out the forms and keep till the end of your trip. When you get to the airport, go to the TaxBack desk and they take your receipts (they do not automatically give you copies for your records). This company promises to send you a refund by check or credit card (Visa or Mastercard only), after deducting a service charge of 2% to 3% on the gross price of total goods purchased. They do not give cash into your hand. (Note: as of our visit in August 2009, the personnel and overhead sign for this service were no longer present at Shannon or Dublin Airports (on inquiring, no airport personnnel could confirm or deny whether TaxBack is still in business). It could mean they have ceased operating, so it is best to avoid this system until further notice, since getting a refund may prove problematic at best).
Money Back System – It is the most updated & advance system of VAT refund. With this system, you are asked to pay for your goods by credit card. You will get a reusable electronic card where all of your purchases will be stored when in Ireland. At the time of leaving Ireland, you insert your card at an airport kiosk and enter your Passport and travel information and your tax refund will be automatically transferred to your credit. You can also view the details of your MoneyBack purchases and complete this procedure online while returning home.
However many stores take part in some type of "tax back" program whereby a third-party company processes the receipts and vouchers you turn in. That third-party company takes a percentage for their work.
There also exist some companies that process tax refunds at the airport - Global Refund, Money Back, Tax Back and Customs Revenue. Each company has different procedure.
Global Refund provides cash back in US$ or €. Cash is refunded to credit card or check by means of mail. They will also process those vouchers where the tax has been taken off at the store. They can you’re your sure that you won't be charged for the tax. A receipt is given for your refund.
Tax Back is the purple logo and they do not offer cash back at the airport. You can enter a credit card number for your tax back, confirming a quicker refund or you may have a check mailed to you in U.S. dollars.
Customs Revenue is sometimes used and you will receive your refund in the mail. Simply fill out the voucher and deposit your unsealed envelope at the desk and you're finished.