Who has the right to VAT return?
A - All travellers not resident in the European Union travelling to a third country.
B - Residents in the Canary Islands and in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla when travelling to a third country (the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla have this consideration to these purposes).
The usual residence of the travellers will be vouched for through the passport, identity document or any other probationary means accepted in law.
What goods are affected?
All the goods purchased by travellers which do not constitute a commercial shipment.
Goods carried by travellers will not be considered a commercial shipment as long as they are an occasional purchase, for the traveller’s personal use, that of their family, or to be offered as gifts, or as long as their nature and number does not lead to conclude they are aimed at a commercial activity.
The goods must have a value higher than €90.15 for each bill of purchases made, which must state the tax paid separated from the price of the product (not being applicable to any service, such as restaurant or hotel bills, etc).
Similarly, this regime excludes deliveries of goods assigned to the equipment or provisioning of any private means of transport (e.g. tyres or fuel).
The VAT refund is made on those products which travellers take with them when abandoning the territory of the European Union.
What is it necessary to do to recover the VAT paid?
There are two possible systems of refund:
A -Managed by the traveller
The traveller must submit the invoices issued by the customs service to the supplier of the products purchased in its establishment, which will return the tax paid within the following 15 days by means of a cheque or bank transfer. Starting from 1 January 2015, this refund can also be made by means of payment to a credit card or any other means which allows the refund to be certified.
B - Managed via Collaborating Bodies
The traveller can also request the VAT refund via the collaborating bodies authorised by the Tax Agency in exchange for a set fee. To do so, the traveller must submit the invoice issued by the customs service in these companies, which will pay on the spot the tax applied in the invoice minus the corresponding fee
The said companies will then send the invoices to the suppliers (businesses), which will be obliged to make the corresponding refund.
Order HAP/2652/2012 of 5 December includes, with effects from 15 December 2012, the tables of fees adapted to the VAT rates in force from 1 September 2012 (21%, 10% and 4%).
The collaborating bodies authorised by the Tax Agency to make the refund of taxes paid are the following:
- Global Refund Spain S.A. (formerly European Tax Free Shopping Spain S.A.). Resolution of 3 June 1993 of the Director-General of the Tax Agency (BOE of 25 June).
- Premier Tax Free (formerly Cashback). Resolution of 15 December 1994 of the Directorate-General of the Tax Agency BOE of 29 December).
- Innova Taxfree Spain (formerly Spain Refund S.L.). Resolution of 25 February 2003 of the Directorate General of the Tax Agency (BOE of 13 March).
- Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona. Resolution of 20 February 2008 of the Directorate-General of the Tax Agency (BOE of 28 February).
- Open Refund S.L. Resolution of 26 July 2011 of the Director of the Tax Management Department of the Tax Agency (BOE of 5 August).
- Tax Free World Wide Spain S.L. Resolution of 8 March 2012 of the Tax Management Department of the Tax Agency (BOE of 16 March).
- Comercia Global Payments Entidad de Pago S.L. Resolution of 22 May 2012 of the Tax Management Department of the Tax Agency (BOE of 31 May).
- Financiera El Corte Inglés, EFC, S.A. Resolution of 22 June 2012 of the Tax Management Department of the Tax Agency (BOE of 3 July).
- Travel Tax Free, S.L.U. Resolution of 25 March 2014 of the Tax Management Department of the Tax Agency (BOE of 4 April).
Resident in the Canary Islands or the cities of Ceuta and Meliila
Travellers resident in the Canary Islands or the cities of Ceuta and Melilla must obligatorily submit the invoices with the corresponding goods in the branches of the respective Autonomous Community Tax Administracion for the payment of the IGIC in the Canary Islands or the IPSI in Ceuta and Melilla.
Act 37/1992 of 28 December on Value Added Tax, Article 21 (BOE, 14 December 2012).
Royal Decree 1624/1992 of 29 December passing the Regulations of Value Added Tax (BOE 31-12.1992).
Order HAP/2652/2012 of 5 December passing the refund tables to be applied by the companies authorised to operate as collaborating bodies in the refund procedure of VAT in the travellers regime (BOE 14-12-2012).
Royal Decree 1619/2012 of 30 November passing the Regulations on the invoicing obligations (BOE 01-12-2012).
Consultation of the D.G.T 0455-01 of 02 March 2001.