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Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

Sydney, Australia
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Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

Consider this a community announcement. :-)

***

The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) has been overhauled to allow travellers to claim a GST rebate on purchases under $300, along with doubling the buy-before-you-fly period.

The new rules come into effect as of 17 April 2013. Here’s what you need to know.

Refund on goods under $300

Travellers can now claim a TRS rebate on individual purchases costing under $300 – a welcome relaxation of the previous ‘$300 and over’ rule.

But there’s a catch: you’ll need to be claiming for goods worth over $300 in total and they must all be accompanied by a tax invoice from the one retailer with the same Australian Business Number, although they don't have to have been bought on the same day.

Under the old system, the only way to claim a rebate on an item costing less than $300 was to buy them at the same time as other goods which could boost the total price past the $300 mark.

From now on you’ll be able to submit several lower-cost purchases for your refund, as long as they’ve all been bought from the same retailer and have a combined total of $300 or more.

Buy within 60 days before you claim

Travellers can now claim the tourist refund on purchases made up to 60 days before leaving Australia, compared to a 30 day window under the old regulations.

For more information, visit the Tourist Refund Scheme website or download the TRS fact sheet [100KB PDF].

Three tips for claiming your TRS rebate

1. Any items on which you want to claim the TRS refund must be included in your carry-on luggage, not bundled into your checked baggage. "However, if those goods are oversized, for example a case of wine, they must be sighted prior to check-in at the Customs and Border Protection Client Services counter" according to the TRS website.

2. Any single invoice over $1,000 will need to list your address as well as your name. This isn't normal practice at many stores, so don't be caught out.

3. Queues at the airport's TRS office can be very long, especially for morning flights, and you have to be at the counter (not standing in line) 30 minutes before your flight departs. So allow plenty of time: consider making the TRS rebate office your first stop once you're through security, even before you hit the lounge.

Source: ausbt.com.au/tourist-refund-scheme-new-rules…

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1. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

Bump.

Thanks for posting Mez. I wonder if there's an FAQ this should be attached to, or have you done that already?

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

Great post and very useful information for visitors.

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

Excuse my ignorance, but I imagine that the TRS applies departing Australia to Norfolk Island (territory of Australia) but international flight generally requiring a passport? Please advise.

China, Texas
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4. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

In regard to the TRS ,I bought a watch in Perth and claimed the gst on the way out of the country but as the watch was worth more than the $900 limit it must be declared on coming back into the country and the tax paid on it THEY DONT TELL YOU THAT IN THE SHOP WHEN YOU BUY IT so really no better off. You could just put it on your wrist and say nothing but as they have all your details is it really worth it .Next time I have something to buy I'll wait until I go over seas to a tax free country buy it there bring it back and say nothing so money goes overseas all because of another tax

Edited: 26 April 2014, 14:54
Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

And why - pray tell - should a shop be required to do anything beyond selling you an item ?? Were you utterly incapable of a basic google search ?

http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page4646.asp

China, Texas
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6. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

Thanks for the help you seem like a really nice person

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

Thanks - I am.

You on the other hand prefer to find blame where it is not warranted when the problem was easily solved by you reading an official govt website !

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

I think the shop would be operating under the assumption that you are a tourist or the goods are being taken out of Australia permanently. That's why it's the *tourist* refund scheme, and it really doesn't make sense for the shop to care what happens if/when you come back - that's out of their purview.

If you are a resident, you are allowed to access the scheme for the purpose of taking goods to friends/relatives etc, but it makes perfect sense that the GST is due if you bring the item back when you return. The scheme is not a tax avoidance measure: if you are an Australian resident and primarily intend to use the item in Australia, you'd save hassle by not claiming it in the first place.

Edited: 20 May 2014, 06:34
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9. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

You only pay on return if your goods are worth more than $900 (or if there is more than one traveller the combine allowance)

W've actually brought back a push bike and saved a lot because between 4, tax refund OS and the 3600 allowed to be imported :)

And yes we declared it

10. Re: Tourist Refund Scheme - amendments as of 17/04/13

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