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Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

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Melbourne, Australia
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Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

Morning all,

My trip is almost over and I'm after some advice about claiming VAT when I leave London. From what I've been able to find out, you must be able to produce and show the goods to the tax claim people (I take it you would have to do the vat thing before checking in your luggage?) and they must be unused. I bought clothing from two stores in Paris, one did a printed form, the other a hand written one.

Also purchased item in Ireland, can I claim these from London as well? At the shop in Cong, the sales lady put the form/receipt in an envelope and said just post it within three months, at the other shop, I was told to fill out required information on the receipt.

Am I able to claim from both countries when exiting London? Also, must all price tags still be on the items and if you wear one of the clothing items, does that mean you cannot claim for that item?.

Flight with China Southern departs 10.30pm from T4, any advice on how early to arrive at the airport?

Thank you.

Watford
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for London
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1. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

You should be able to claim everything at the same time but be prepared for a lengthy line and disappointment with regard to the item you have worn. If in doubt show the forms to the assistant serving you and ask their advice.

The refund desk isn't the easiest to find at T4 (it's on the mezzanine floor) so if your items will pack into your carry-on it might be better to check in first and go through security before finding the other refund desk located airside.

Cotswolds
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2. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

If you wear an item you cannot claim for it

Edited: 30 July 2014, 06:51
Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

You might get away with that though, unless you are stupid enough to wear it as you leave the UK.

Washington DC
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4. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

My wife has gotten away with it more than once. She is surprisingly good at this sort of thing. Not sure what the trick is, but she is almost never asked to produce anything.

Bodmin, United...
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for Cornwall
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5. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

deja vu?

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

Thanks for your replies, apologies for not answering earlier, I've been sick as a dog, on antibiotics and not up for anything.

The items will be in checked baggage, what will happen if I do checkin first and then apply for the vat refund? Having flown with CS before, they aren't like qantas which allow you some leeway.

Just remembered, was told by sales persons in Ireland I have three months in which to post my claim for goods taken out of Ireland.

Does such a policy exist for other countries or jusr \ireland\/

Thanks

Edited: 03 August 2014, 11:41
East Sussex, United...
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7. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

>>> My wife has gotten away with it more than once. She is surprisingly good at this sort of thing. <<<

Tax evasion and fraud ...you must be really proud of her ?

The sooner this loophole is closed the better. Why should non residents be able to claim back tax that the rest of us have no option but to pay ?

London, United...
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8. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

We had someone on the forum very recently who had checked in their shopping and were refused the refund . I think that what the Irish sales person meant was that you have three months to remove the items from the EU, get your form stamped and posted back.

If you think about it, without some kind of check at the customs desk there is nothing to stop you buying all sorts of goods in the EU on behalf of a resident and just leaving them here. It would be open to abuse.

Washington DC
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9. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

>>Tax evasion and fraud ...you must be really proud of her ?<<

She wore something and still got her refund. How will the Empire survive?

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Advice on claiming VAT at Heathrow

<< The items will be in checked baggage, what will happen if I do checkin first and then apply for the vat refund? >>

You will be wasting your time, as you won't get your refund.