🇳🇱 Tax Free in The Netherlands: The Complete Guide

The Netherlands, known for its picturesque canals, vibrant tulip fields, and rich artistic heritage, also offers a rewarding shopping experience for non-EU residents. This guide is designed to help you navigate the tax-free shopping process in The Netherlands, allowing you to enjoy VAT refunds on your purchases.

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The Netherlands Tax Free Rules

VAT Rate in The Netherlands

The standard VAT rate in The Netherlands is 21%, with certain items having reduced rates. This tax is included in the price of most goods and services purchased in the country.

Who Can Shop Tax Free in The Netherlands

Tax-free shopping in The Netherlands is available to non-EU residents. This initiative is designed to encourage shopping by international visitors, making it more attractive for tourists to purchase goods.

Minimum Amount Per Receipt

To qualify for a VAT refund in The Netherlands, your purchases must total at least €50 in a single transaction. This threshold ensures that the tax-free process is utilized for significant purchases.

How Long Until Refund Expiry

Purchased goods must be exported out of the EU within three months of purchase. This period allows tourists enough time to complete their shopping and the subsequent refund process.

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Learn more here: Tax Free for Retailers

How to shop tax free in The Netherlands: A step by step guide for tourists

At the store

Request tax-free shopping when making a purchase.

Show your passport or inform the retailer of your non-EU residency.

Look for stores displaying a tax-free shopping sign or confirm with the store before making your purchase.

Complete any necessary refund forms or steps before your departure day.

Remember: Keep your receipts and pack your purchased goods in an easily accessible place for customs inspection.

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When you depart the EU

Before exiting the European Union, it's essential to complete all the necessary paperwork for your tax-free purchases in The Netherlands. Let's say you're departing from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Here, you should locate the Customs office, which is typically found near the departure gates, unless directed otherwise by the tax-free service provider.

For example, imagine you've bought a designer watch and some Dutch cheese. At the Customs office, you'll need to present the filled-out tax-free forms, your passport, and your boarding pass or other travel documents. Additionally, have the watch and cheese handy for inspection. The Customs officials will examine these items along with your documents to confirm your eligibility for a tax refund. Once they approve your documents, your tax-free refund process will be successfully completed, allowing you to claim back the VAT on your purchases.

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Receiving Your Refund in The Netherlands: After obtaining the necessary approval from Customs, typically indicated by a stamped form, you can proceed to claim your refund. This usually involves visiting the office of the tax-free operator and presenting your stamped forms. In The Netherlands, the refund is often processed back to a method of your choice, such as a credit card, bank account, or an e-wallet. Please note that the time taken to receive the refund can vary, but it generally takes a few weeks to be completed.

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The Netherlands Tax Free Tips

Look for Tax Free Shopping Signage:

In The Netherlands, stores participating in the tax-free shopping scheme typically make it known by displaying "Tax-Free Shopping" signs. These signs can often be found as stickers on the windows or doors of the store. Furthermore, you might also notice small tax-free displays or signage placed on the counters inside the store, making it easier for shoppers to identify and take advantage of the tax-free benefits.

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.

Pack Smart:

When undergoing export verification in The Netherlands, you might need to present the items you've purchased to obtain the Customs stamp. Therefore, it's important to visit the Customs office for this stamp prior to checking in your bags. Ensure that your purchased goods are packed in a way that they are easily accessible for this purpose. Once you have received the stamp, you will have the opportunity to rearrange or repack your items as necessary.

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!

Learn more about tax free shopping in other countries: