🇵🇹 Tax Free in Portugal: The Complete Guide
Portugal, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, is a favorite destination for many travelers. An added benefit for those shopping in Portugal is the opportunity to receive a refund on the Value Added Tax (VAT) charged on purchases. This guide will help you understand and make the most of tax-free shopping in Portugal.
Portugal Tax Free Rules
VAT Rate in Portugal
Portugal's standard VAT rate is 23%, with certain goods and services having reduced rates. This tax is included in the price of most items and services purchased within the country.
Who Can Shop Tax Free in Portugal
Tax-free shopping in Portugal is available to non-EU residents. This initiative is designed to encourage shopping by international visitors, making it more attractive for tourists to buy goods.
Minimum Amount Per Receipt
To qualify for a VAT refund in Portugal, your purchases need to total at least €50 in a single transaction. This threshold ensures that the tax-free process is utilized for substantial purchases.
How Long Until Refund Expiry
Purchased goods must be exported out of the EU within three months of purchase. This period allows tourists ample time to complete their shopping and the subsequent refund process.
How to shop tax free in Portugal: A step by step guide for tourists
At the store
Initiate the Process: While shopping in Portugal, remember to ask for tax-free shopping at the point of purchase.
Proof of Non-EU Residency: Present your passport to the retailer to demonstrate that you are a non-EU resident.
Identifying Participating Retailers: Keep in mind that not all shops offer tax refunds. Look out for signs indicating tax-free shopping or inquire directly with the store staff.
Before departure day:
Finalizing Paperwork: Ensure that you complete all necessary tax refund forms or any other required procedures well before your departure date.
Organizing for Inspection: Retain all your receipts and pack the items you've purchased where they can be easily accessed, as you may need to present them for customs inspection.
With Pie VAT: you will use our app instead of manually filling out numerous forms!
When you depart the EU
Before exiting the European Union from Portugal, it's essential to ensure that all your tax-free shopping forms are properly filled out. When you're at your departure location, typically an airport, your next step is to find the Customs office, unless the tax-free operator has indicated a different procedure.
At the Customs office, be prepared to present the completed forms, your passport, and any other travel documents. You'll also need to show the items you've purchased. The Customs officials will review these documents and goods to process 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 Portugal, once Customs has validated your tax-free purchases, usually evidenced by a stamped form, you're ready to receive your refund. This process typically requires you to visit the tax-free operator's office with your stamped documentation in hand.
For instance, if you've shopped in Lisbon and are now at the airport, you would find the designated tax-free operator's office there. Present your stamped forms, and choose how you'd like to receive your refund – options usually include a credit card, bank account, or e-wallet. It's important to note that the refund process can take 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!
Portugal Tax Free Tips
Look for Tax Free Shopping Signage:
In Portugal, stores that participate in the tax-free shopping program typically make it known by displaying "Tax Free Shopping" signs. You might see these as stickers placed on the store's windows or doors. Moreover, inside some of these stores, you may also find small displays or indicators on the counters, highlighting their participation in the tax-free scheme.
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.
When in Portugal, to obtain the Customs stamp for export verification, you may need to present the goods you've purchased. It's important, therefore, to visit the Customs before you check in your bags. Ensure that your purchased items are packed in a manner that allows easy access for this verification. After you've received the stamp, you'll have the opportunity to rearrange or repack your items as necessary.
Don't be shy to ask for help.
In Portugal, our dedicated customer support team is accessible around the clock through our app. They are ready to assist with any inquiries you might have regarding your claim, necessary documentation, eligible purchases, or any other concerns you may have!