Tax free in Belarus - VAT refund
Since 2019, the list of border crossing points, where foreign nationals can receive a refund of value added tax for purchases in Belarus, has been expanded. So, if you're going to Belarus and want to save money, we'll tell you about Tax Free and VAT refund in Belarus, as well as talk about the rules and points of refund.
What is Tax free
Tax free is a system of refund of value added tax to foreign citizens for purchases made in the state when leaving Belarus.
The purpose of Tax Free is the desire to make purchases for foreigners more attractive, and as a result, to stimulate imports from Belarus.
The amount of the refund depends on the VAT rate adopted in the country, the country's legislation, the deadline for submitting an application for refund, the period of validity of the customs stamp, as well as the minimum purchase value from which VAT is refunded.
Picture 1 Photo by all.accor.com
Tax free shopping in Belarus
The number of shops that operate under the Tax Free system in 2018 approached 460. They are located not only in Minsk, but throughout the country. The partner shops offer products of imported and Belarusian manufacture. You can find everything there: from jewelry to household appliances.
The list of shops with Tax free:
- department store "TSUM";
- department store "GUM";
- trading house "Na Nemige";
- chain of department stores "Kirmash";
- department store "Belarus";
- chain of shoe shops "ECCO";
- chain of jewelry stores "Belyuvelirtorg";
- jewelry store chain "ZIKO" and others.
The full list of Tax free partner shops can be found at https://www.tax-free.by/shops/.
We make purchases "at a discount" abroad, how to buy with Tax free
The conditions for Tax Free depend on the country you are going to, so you should check the nuances in advance.
The system is currently supported by the following countries:
- United Kingdom;
- Czech Republic;
VAT refund on import
The minimum purchase price for a VAT refund ranges from 38 to 175 euros, and the repayment period is about 3 months from the date of purchase. However, the conditions should be clarified in each country separately.
Tax free does not apply to some product groups. Most often these are foodstuffs, jewellery and goods that are not subject to value added tax.
To calculate an approximate VAT refund, you can use the following formula:
(Amount of purchase x VAT rate) / (100 + VAT rate).
The VAT rate in the formula is the VAT rate of the country in which the goods were purchased.
For example, you bought shoes in Germany for 700 euros, and in this country the VAT rate is 19%, then we receive:
700 x 19 / (100 + 19) = 111.8 euros.
Return of VAT on export
For foreign citizens in Belarus there is a refund of 15% of the purchase amount excluding VAT or 12.5% of the purchase amount indicated on the receipt. The minimum purchase amount should be 80 BYN ($37.6) within one working day in one participating store. The system of refund applies to all goods that are subject to 20% tax.
Where to buy
In the shop
Above we have provided a complete list of shops where you can buy goods under the Tax free promotion. We will duplicate it again: https://www.tax-free.by/shops/.
At customs, as well as in shops, you can buy goods with VAT refund only if you have a sign or sticker near the goods.
If you see a Tax free Shopping sign from Global Refund or any other company, then you can make a purchase with a VAT refund.
Picture 2 Photo by zen.yandex.by
How to get money (Tax free refund)
The first thing you need to do to get a refund is ask the seller for a tax refund check and remember the minimum amount of the check.
At customs, you must show the goods in one piece to the employee, all receipts and your passport. The customs officer must put a special tax free stamp on your cheques. Remember, however, that your cheques must be stamped within three months of purchase.
Further, if you are a tourist in Belarus, you must find a bank in your country that will refund the tax.
If you are a Belarusian and import goods, Tax free is refunded only by Technobank.
At the airport, you can also get a VAT refund by finding the Global Blue cash register and showing your checks.
Ways to get money
We have already told you that you can get money from a bank in your country or at the airport. You can get more money from Tax free operators. Their offices are at airports or large shopping centers.
It is also possible to transfer money to a bankcard.
It is also possible to transfer money to a bankcard (BPC).
- You can return the money through Global Blue cards. This company issues its cards for refunds. To get the card, go to the company website, register and the card will be sent to you within a few weeks.
- Money can also be credited to your PayOkay MTBank card. In this case, you will not only get a Tax free refund, but also a cache-back of 5%.
Reasons for not returning
There are some reasons why you may be denied a refund.
- Incorrect form design: Dates or passport details do not match.
- Lack or poor quality customs stamp.
- Lack of or inconsistency with the original receipt.
- If the checks and the form are presented not by the owner, but by a third party without power of attorney.
- If the presented papers have corrections or damages.
- If the stamp on the Tax free cheques is out of date.
- The amount on the receipt is lower than the set amount.
- Lack of all necessary documents.
Picture 3 Photo by holiday.by
Tax free is a common procedure in many countries and it is constantly being improved. So we told you where and how to get your refund. All you are required to do is comply with all requirements regarding purchase amounts, dates, documents and stamps.