Pie VAT - our guide to VAT refunds for visitors to the EU

If you're visiting the EU and plan to leave the territory soon, you may be eligible for VAT refunds on your purchases. Here’s a quick Pie guide to help you navigate the process - (please note, Norwegian tax rules are different and we explain more further in the article)

What is VAT?

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a sales tax included in the price of goods. As a visitor, you can get a refund on this tax for goods bought within the EU when you leave the EU territory.

Who qualifies as a visitor?

A ‘visitor’ is anyone who permanently resides outside the EU. This includes:

  • Individuals habitually living outside the EU.

  • EU citizens permanently residing in non-EU countries.

For example: Eduardo from Brazil spends his summers in Portugal. He is a ‘visitor’ while in the EU.

Paul, a Belgian living in Canada, can claim a refund during his visits to Belgium.

How to get a VAT refund:

  1. Pay the full price: you must pay the VAT-inclusive price initially.

  2. Ask the store: ensure the store provides VAT refund services and inquire about the threshold for refunds - if not, send us a message and we'll reach out to them to become a Pie store!

  3. Download the Pie app: you'll get a claim code to use unique to you - use this code to claim your refund.

  4. Complete the steps required by uploading your details into the app - you can do this at your convenience.

  5. In Norway* - our claims are DIGITAL - you do not need a stamp for claims in Norway.

  6. For all other EU countries a customs stamp is required: before leaving the EU, present the goods, forms, and receipts to a customs officer at the airport, cruise terminal etc for stamping.

  7. Receive your refund: Pie refunds are the fastest and the highest percentage of all VAT refund companies!

For example: Phil from the USA buys goods in Copenhagen and Amsterdam. He gets a Pie code for each purchase, downloads the app, fills in his details and on leaving the EU presents his receipts at Copenhagen airport for checking before flying home.

Xijing from China buys goods in Oslo and Trondheim, Norway - she gets a Pie code for each purchase, downloads the app, fills in her details and takes photos of her goods when she's home, proving the export of her items via geolocation.

Important considerations:

  • Administrative fees: refunds incur a service charge.

  • Store participation: not all stores offer VAT refunds; look for Pie ‘tax-free’ signs.

  • Eligible goods: only certain goods the can be exported qualify.

  • Customs: Good MUST be presented to customs for inspection. (*Norway exports exempt)

  • Thresholds: Minimum purchase values apply.

  • Export deadline: Goods must leave the EU within three months of purchase (For Norway claims the deadline 30 days)

Note: This guide is tailored to Pie VAT’s digital VAT refund service, ensuring a seamless and efficient refund experience for tourists and retailers alike. Visit Pie VAT for more details.

Get the Pie VAT App Today!

Ready to take control of your tax free shopping? Download the Pie VAT app and sign up in seconds to access rapid refunds, discounts, exclusive offers, and a smoother experience abroad.