A handy guide to tourist refund schemes in Asia

Smile's deputy editor Kat Mateo loves to shop when she’s traveling. Here she shares some tips on tourist refund schemes across the network

Australia

Spend at least: AU$300 in a single receipt
Refund: 10% GST
Where to claim: Tourist Refund Scheme facility at the airport
How to claim: Present the goods you purchased together with the original tax invoice, your passport and boarding pass. Find details at goo.gl/gBSJG9.

Japan

Shop at: Stores with the Global Blue tax free logo
Spend at least: ¥10,801 for general products, or ¥5,401 for consumables in a single receipt
Refund: 8% VAT
Where to claim: Tax-free counter or customer services desk in stores
How to claim: After making a payment, take all the items you purchased to the tax-free counter or customer service desk in store, and present them together with your receipts and passport. Go to goo.gl/m90L0M for more information.

Singapore

Shop at: Stores with “Tax Free” signs
Spend at least: S$100 in up to three receipts per store
Refund: 7% GST
Where to claim: Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) kiosks at the airport
How to claim: Apply for your refund at the eTRS kiosk. You can collect your refund in cash or have it credited to your credit or debit card. See goo.gl/eLGhGb for more information.

South Korea

Shop at: Stores with Tax Free logos
Spend at least: KRW30,000
Refund: 10% VAT
Where to claim: Service desks at the airport or tax refund booths at major department stores. See goo.gl/Df3tpm for the complete list.
How to claim: Have your boarding pass and purchased goods ready. Fill out a tax refund application form, then show your purchased items to the customs officer, or use a kiosk machine. See goo.gl/eMzqaF for details.

Taiwan

Shop at: Stores listed at goo.gl/Yq9hCU
Spend at least: NT$3,000
Refund: 5% VAT
Where to claim: Customer Service counters at the airport
How to claim: Complete a VAT refund application form and present it with the goods, your passport and boarding pass at the counter. After customs inspection, you get a certificate; show it to the designated bank at the airport to collect your refund. Go to goo.gl/QsLcmg for more details.

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Smile magazine.

Written by

Kat Mateo

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