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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-tax-free-shopping-retailers-checklist-vat-407-notes/tax-free-shopping-retailers-checklist-vat407-notes
1. Check that your customer is eligible to buy goods under the VAT Retail Export Scheme
Customers are eligible if they’re visiting the UK and live outside of the EU, or they’re EU residents and are leaving the EU for more than 12 months.
Eligible customers can only claim back VAT charged on goods when they leave the EU, and only for goods purchased in the 3 months before leaving the EU.
Full details are in VAT Notice 704: VAT retail exports.
2. Make sure your customer has filled in form VAT407 (or authorised equivalent)
Your customer must complete the form and include:
- their full name
- their permanent address outside the EU - see the list of Non-EU territories
- their passport or identity number
- the name of the country that issued their passport or identity number
- details of a bank or credit card account - for their refund
- the date they arrived in the EU
- the date they plan to leave the EU
They must also sign and date the form.
3. Fill in the form and stamp the till receipt
Complete the retailer’s section of the form, and:
- give a full and accurate description of the goods, price, administration charge and the refund due
- sign and date the form
- mark the till receipt to show that the goods have been included on a VAT refund form, for example, stamp the form ‘VAT export’
Then give your customer a:
- pre-paid envelope to return the refund form
- copy of VAT Notice 704/1: tax-free shopping in the UK
Remind your customer that when they leave the EU, they’ll need to show customs their:
- VAT refund form
You can contact HM Revenue and Customs if you need help with the VAT Retail Export Scheme.
4. VAT: EU countries
Tax-free shopping can’t be used when goods are removed to the countries shown below:
- Cyprus (including the British Sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia)
- see section 5 for exceptions
- Czech Republic
- France (including Monaco)
- Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)
- Spain (including Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera)
- United Kingdom (including the Isle of Man)
5. VAT: Non-EU territories
Your customer can use tax-free shopping when goods are removed to the territories shown below:
|The Canary Islands:||El Hierro
|The Channel Islands:||Alderney
|Cyprus||The United Nations buffer zone and the part of Cyprus to the north of the
UN buffer zone, where the Republic of Cyprus doesn’t exercise effective control
|The Danish territories of:||the Faroe Islands
|The Finnish territory of the
|The French territories of:||French Guiana
|The German territories of:||Busingen
the Isle of Heligoland
|The Italian territories of:||Campione d’Italia
the Italian waters of Lake Lugano
|The Spanish territories of:||Ceuta
|The Vatican City|
All other countries not separately listed, for example:
6. Export timetable
This table shows you the latest date your customer must leave the EU with the goods, if they want to claim back the VAT.
|Goods bought in||Must be exported by|
|November||28 or 29 February|