9.4 GST Refunds

Both Australia and France will refund GST payments under specific conditions.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service calls it the Tourist Refund Scheme.

Eligibility conditions are clearly specified on their website but basically:
  • Australian residents are eligible for refunds of GST paid on eligible items in the 60 days prior to leaving Australia.

  • The cost of items purchased from a single business must be $300 or more, even if purchased on seperate invoices.

  • The passenger must have paid for the items and have an original tax invoice.

  • The items must be physically verified by a Customs officer so they need to be worn or carried in your hand luggage when you leave Australia.

  • The items can be brought back to Australia upon your return.

  • Open the above link to confirm these details and to download an application form.

It is also possible to obtain a refund of Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on goods purchased in France.

Eligibility conditions are clearly specified in english on the Discover France website but basically:

  • You must be an adult resident of a "third-country" such as Australia (ie not European Union).

  • Your visit to France must not exceeded 6 months.

  • The value of purchases from a single store (including tax) must exceed 175 euros.

  • Prior to purchase you must confirm that the store participates in the tax-free scheme. The store will then establish your eligibility and issue you with a Retail Export Form ("bordereau de détaxe").

  • You must leave the EU within 3 months of the purchase date.

  • The items must accompany you in your carry-on luggage when you depart France.

  • If you leave the EU from a French port of entry your claim will probably be processed on the spot at an automated Pablo kiosk.

  • Alternatively, the claim must be lodged within 6 months of purchase.

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