Vatfree.com
How can I safely share a copy of my passport? /

We encourage you to block the sensitive information of your passport yourself, before you send us a copy for our administration. After you have blocked the sensitive information of your passport, you can also print it, write over it by hand, and rescan this copy. This will make identity theft with the copy of your passport extremely difficult and unlikely to occur.
 

Details to block: social security number, photo, signature

Details that should stay visible: passport number, name, country, expiration date
 

The specimen below is an example of a Dutch passport. Your own passport and the position of sensitive details may differ. 
 

Example:


 

Please note that all European companies are obligated to store sensitive information, like the copy of your passport, in a secure and safe way. 

At vatfree.com we comply by always blocking the sensitive information of your passport before saving it permanently to our system. 

The Dutch Data Protection Association has advised us to always block your social security number, photo and signature. Furthermore, the original upload of your passport is deleted from our system after we have blocked this information. 

Lastly, we only share these copies of your documents (with blocked sensitive information) when the retailer or tax administration requires them.

Does my stamped receipt have an expiration date? /

Get your stamp at customs within 3 months after the month of purchase. 

After your receipt has been stamped by customs you can submit the stamped receipt for a VAT refund within 5 years after the year of purchase (in the Netherlands). 

The expiration period varies per country. Check the guidelines in the overview below.

AU Austria 3 years / 1095 days 
BE Belgium 3 years / 1095 days
BG Bulgaria 5 years / 1825 days 
CR Croatia 5 years / 1825 days 
CY Cyprus 5 years / 1825 days 
CZ Czech Rpblk 5 years / 1825 days 
DE Germany 4 years / 1825 days 
DK Denmark 1 year / 365 days 
ES Spain 5 years / 1825 days 
ET Estonia 5 years / 1825 days 
FI Finland 5 months / 150 days 
FR France 6 months / 180 days 
GR Greece 90 days 
HU Hungary 5 years / 1825 days 
IR Ireland 5 years / 1825 days 
IT Italy 3 months / 90 days 
LI Lithuania 5 years / 1825 days 
LU Luxembourg 5 years / 1825 days 
LV Latvia 5 years / 1825 days 
MT Malta 5 years / 1825 days 
NL Netherlands 5 years / 1825 days 
PL Poland 7 months / 210 days 
PT Portugal 5 years / 1825 days 
RO Roemania 5 years / 1825 days 
SE Sweden 1 year / 365 days 
SK Slovakia 5 years / 1825 days 
SV Slovenia 5 years / 1825 days 
UK United Kingdom 1 year / 365 days

*Stamped receipts for purchases made in Belgium are valid until December 31st of the third year after purchase date.

 

Can I request a VAT refund from a UK online shop? / No, you can not request a VAT refund from UK online shops. In the UK, online purchases are not eligible for VAT refunds.Where and when can I fill in/provide my payment details? /

When the store has processed your VAT refund request, we will notify you by email. You will then be able to log in to your account to provide your payment details and request a payment transfer. 

If we have sent you an email to let you know the store has paid your refund you can:

- Log in to your account
- Go to the 'My receipts' page
- Click the green 'Payout refunds' button
- Select your preferred payment method
- Submit and check your details
 

Can I request a VAT refund for online/webshop purchases? /

Yes, you can request a VAT refund over goods bought from European online shops. How you can do this depends on the place you get your online purchases delivered.

 

1. If your online purchases were delivered to an address in Europe, you will have to follow the same steps as if you bought the goods at a regular shop: 

- request a proper receipt/invoice (this is often sent to your email by the online shop, after finalising your purchase online)
- register your purchase receipt in the vatfree.com app or via our website
- visit customs before leaving the EU to get a customs stamp on your receipt
- post the receipt to our office

Please note: Most EU webshops will provide the option to list a billing address and a delivery address during check-out from your shopping cart. If the option for a billing address is provided, please list your foreign billing address. The delivery address can be a European address. If the option for a billing address is not provided, please add your name and foreign address in a remark field or add it by hand on the printed invoice you take to customs.

 

2. If your purchases were shipped directly to your home address by the online shop, you do not need to get a stamp from customs. You also do not need to send your original receipt to our office in the post. It is sufficient to 

- request a proper receipt/invoice (this is often sent to your email by the online shop, after finalising your purchase online)
- register your purchase receipt in the vatfree.com app or via our website
- provide a copy of the confirmation of shipment from the store
- provide a copy of the Proof of Delivery​

The POD is a digital document that is provided by the courier/postal service that was contracted by the online shop to deliver your goods. You can obtain the POD in two ways: ​

a. Use your tracking number and request the POD from the courier
b. Ask the online shop to send you the POD they have received from the courier.

How do I know if a store will cooperate with refunding my VAT? /

In our shopping guide you will find 55.000 stores that cooperate with refunding your VAT via vatfree.com. The coloured logo's that mark the shops in our guide indicate whether a shop will cooperate or not.

Why do I need to post my receipts to your office? /

In most cases, the tax administration requires us to receive, check and archive original receipts, in order to prevent double entries and fraud. We kindly ask for your understanding in this matter.

Not all receipts need to be posted. Find out which receipts need to be posted here.

Do I still need to send my original receipts to your office? / If you submit a cargo request (for goods exported by a shipping company), you do not need to send your original documents to our office in the post. Instead, you can simply upload copies of your receipts and digital export documents. These digital export documents are sufficient to prove that your goods have been exported to a non-EU country.

If you have exported your goods by airplane or car yourself please read out instructions here.Where is your office located? / Our office is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.Can I request a VAT refund if my goods were exported by a shipping company? / Yes, you can request a VAT refund if your goods were exported on a cargo ship, by a shipping company. After you have registered your receipts online, please let us know by email that these goods were exported by cargo. Do I need to send my original documents to your office? / No, If you are NATO personnel we do not require you to send your original receipts and customs documents to our office in the post. The digital copies of your documents, provided by you during the online registration of your receipt, are sufficient for us to process your VAT refund request.

Am I eligible for a VAT refund? / You are eligible if you meet the NEMS-requirements:

Please note!
Your purchase receipt must state the following information: