🇬🇷 Tax Free in Greece: The Complete Guide
Greece, a land of ancient history and stunning landscapes, is not just a tourist paradise but also a haven for shoppers from outside the EU. This guide will walk you through the process of tax-free shopping in Greece, enabling you to enjoy VAT refunds on your purchases.
Greece Tax Free Rules
VAT Rate in Greece
The standard VAT rate in Greece is 24%. As a non-EU resident, you can receive a VAT refund of approximately 12.5% to 14.75% on products subject to this standard rate.
Who Can Shop Tax Free in Greece
To benefit from tax-free shopping in Greece, you must have a permanent residence outside the EU and be over 18 years old. All items with the standard VAT rate are eligible, potentially leading to higher VAT refunds due to Greece's higher-than-average VAT rate.
Minimum Amount Per Receipt
The minimum purchase threshold to qualify for a VAT refund is 50 EUR.
How Long Until Refund Expiry
You must take your purchased goods out of the EU within three months of purchase (at the end of the third month).
How to shop tax free in Greece: A step by step guide for tourists
At the store
In Greece, when you're shopping, remember to request tax-free service from the retailer. You might need to present your passport or inform the retailer of your residence outside the EU to establish your eligibility for tax-free shopping.Keep in mind that not every retailer in Greece is part of the tax-refund scheme. Therefore, it's a good idea to look out for a tax-free shopping sign or to inquire with the store staff to confirm their participation in the program before you make your purchase.
Before your departure day from Greece, it's important to ensure that all refund forms or any required documentation steps are fully completed. Also, safeguard your receipts as they are crucial for the refund process. When packing, remember to keep the goods you've purchased in an easily accessible place in your luggage.
For example, suppose you bought a beautiful Greek ceramic vase in Athens and some locally made olive oil. Before you leave, fill out the necessary tax refund forms and keep them with your receipts. When packing, place these items at the top of your suitcase or in a carry-on bag, so they are readily available for inspection if needed at the airport. This preparation will help streamline your departure and tax refund process.
With Pie VAT: you will use our app instead of manually filling out numerous forms!
When you depart the EU
Before leaving the European Union from Greece, make sure you have completed all the required forms for tax-free shopping. At your departure point, which is typically an airport, your next step is to find the Customs office. This is unless the tax-free operator has specified a different location or procedure.
Once at the Customs office, be prepared to present all your completed forms, along with your passport and any other travel documents. You'll also need to show the items you've purchased. The Customs officials will examine these documents and goods to verify and approve your request for a tax-free refund.
With Pie VAT: after you obtain the stamp, just upload a photo of it to the app - simple!
In Greece, after receiving approval from Customs, typically indicated by a stamped form, you can proceed to claim your tax refund. This process often involves visiting the office of the tax-free operator and presenting your stamped forms.
The refund is usually processed back to a payment method of your choice, such as a credit card, bank account, or an e-wallet. It's important to note that the timeframe for receiving the refund can vary, but it generally takes a few weeks to complete.
With Pie VAT: withdrawal of your VAT refund is digital (through the Pie VAT app), and refunds are generally received within 24 hours!
Greece Tax Free Tips
Look for Tax Free Shopping Signage:
In Greece, stores that participate in the tax-free shopping program usually indicate this by displaying "Tax Free Shopping" signs. You might find these signs as stickers on the windows or doors of the store. Additionally, inside the store, there may be small tax-free displays or signage on the counters, making it easier for shoppers to identify and take advantage of the tax-free shopping opportunity.
Keep your receipts:
Be sure to keep your receipts, just in case. Without the receipt, you may be denied a Customs stamp.
Time it right:
Sometimes it may take a bit of time at the airport to find the Customs and obtain the required Customs stamp. There may be lines as well, so please plan ahead.
In Greece, when you're seeking the Customs stamp for export verification, it's possible that you'll need to show the goods you've purchased. Therefore, it's important to visit the Customs office for this stamp before you check in your luggage. Ensure that your purchased items are packed in a way that they are easily accessible.For example, if you've bought a traditional Greek pottery piece in Santorini or a handcrafted leather bag in Athens, make sure these items are not buried deep in your checked luggage. Instead, pack them in your carry-on or at the top of your suitcase. This way, when you reach the Customs office, you can easily present these items for inspection. After the stamp is received, you have the option to repack or rearrange your belongings as needed for your journey.
Don't be shy to ask for help.
Our in-app customer support team is available 24/7 to help answer any questions about your claim, required documents, eligible purchases, or anything else!