Tax Refund Process in Austria
In Austria the VAT tax rate for most of the products is 20%. For a small number of products like newspapers, books, agricultural and forestry products and food the tax rate is 10%. The tax rate will be shown on the invoice.
If you wish to receive a tax refund you just have to fulfill the following conditions:
Purchase made the same day in one store, the gross purchase amount must be higher than 75 Euros (at least 75,01 Euros).
The buyer must not be a European citizen, or buyers who are permanent residents in a non-EU country. In addition, buyers must not stay in Europe for longer than 3 months, must be at least 18 years of age and for whom Vienna is the last destination before departing from the EU.
What kind of regulations apply for tax refund products?
1）Goods for which a tax refund is not possible: car parts.
2）For other products of the automobile industry a tax refund can only be obtained if the goods were kept unopened and if they were not used.
3）The purchased goods have to stay unopened and must be taken out of the country within three months of purchase (no later than the last day of the third month after the purchase month).
4）The goods have to be taken along in the tourist’s luggage (hand luggage or checked-in luggage). The reason for this is that goods which were purchased abroad and were then sent by post or intermediary agencies are eligible for a tax refund.
Remember: You are eligible for a refund if you purchased the goods yourself, left them unopened and carried them with you in your luggage back to China.
Important changes at Vienna International Airport
Since Sptember 1st, 2021, the Digital Export Validation ‘DEV’ was implemented at Vienna International Airport. All travelers leaving the EU from Vienna International Airport only have to present the tax refund form, purchase receipts, passport, boarding pass and purchased goods at the airport’s DEV service counter, where your tax refund is electronically validated. Afterwards, you can check in your luggage at the check-in counter or directly proceed to the gate for boarding. It is not necessary to obtain a manual customs stamp.
The DEV service counters are located:
- For goods exported in the check-in luggage: Before check-in, go to the DEV area in Terminal 1 or 3 to have your Tax Free Form validated (kiosks or app).
- For goods exported in hand luggage: After passing through security and passport control, go to the DEV area near your boarding gate (gate C,D,F, or G).
Starting February of 2024, TAX FREE EASY service has been upgraded to offer its users a convenient digital refund process, allowing for queue-free customs clearance with DEV at Vienna Airport and direct submission of export documents in our exclusive mailboxes.
Three Easy Steps With TAX FREE EASY:
- Receive the tax refund form
When you pay for your purchase at the store, please receive the TFE tax refund form. Make sure that your personal information on the form are correct and sign the form on the designated line.Please check if all invoices have been stapled or glued onto the back of the TFE tax refund form. Sending a valid invoice together with the tax refund form is a necessary precondition for receiving a tax refund.Name, nationality and passport number are the necessary information on the form. If you fill in your mobile number, we can contact you immediately in case there is a problem with your refund documents.
- Obtain the customs stamp
When you leave the country, please plan in enough time to go to the customs counter and receive a customs stamp on the refund form – we don’t want your trip to be delayed! According to the regulations, the customs officers are entitled to examine the purchased good. Therefore, please don’t check the luggage in before you visit the customs counter or DEV service counter. Please present your tax refund form, together with your valid shopping receipts, passport, and relevant purchased goods at the customs service counter upon departure. Please note that a tax refund form with unclear or invalid customs stamp cannot be refunded.
- Send the tax refund form
After the TAX FREE EASY tax return from was stamped by the customs staff or DEV, you can place the completed tax refund form together with the purchase receipts into the prepaid envelope and seal it. Please then follow the instructions on the envelope and either: drop it into our Tax Free Easy postal box, an ordinary mailbox at the airport or return it by mail after being back at your residence by using the prepaid envelope.
For your convenience, the Tax Free Easy postal boxes are located at:
- Terminal 3 Level 1 DEV area (landside)
- Terminal 1 Level 1 DEV area (landside)
- Customs stamp necessary
For receiving a tax refund, it is mandatory that the refund form has a customs stamp.
Note: If the customs counter is not open because it is too early or too late, please do not worry. There will always be a notice with contact information. You can contact the officer on duty and they will process your tax refund form.
Tourists whose final exit point from the EU is Vienna International Airport must digitally validate their Tax Free Form(s) via DEV. Please find more details about DEV charges here.
- Original invoice needed
The original invoice must be attached to the tax refund form when sending the documents to our datacenter. In order to receive a tax refund, a valid and original invoice is a precondition. After having received the customs stamp, please don’t tear the invoice off the tax refund form.
- Products must stay unopened
In principle, at the customs counter, the customs officer will check if the product is intact and unopened. This is the case for any product, also food, medicine, candy etc. If the product has already been used or is open, the customs officer will refuse to place a customs stamp on the refund form. Without a valid customs stamp, you are not entitled to receive a tax refund.