Getting a tax refund in Austria is simple and fast, the process exceeded our expectations, as I thought that it would be time-consuming. There are currently 2 companies are handling the VAT refunds in Austria, Global Blue and Planet Tax-free. This post will share the tax refund procedure and also the fast refund, which can be done in the city downtown this will in turn save your time at the airport, and also receive extra cash for more shopping in town.
Before getting to the Airport- FAST Refund
The fast refund can be done downtown in Austria. The staff will help you process your refund and you can skip the process of waiting at the airport. I had to go through the counter process because my tax-free form cannot be read by the tax refund self-service kiosk.
The staff asked if I would like to get cash or credit card refund, I chose credit card refund as there is no handling fee.
*Note: Regardless cash / credit card refund, credit card information have to be provided
GLOBAL BLUE AUSTRIA
Steffl, Kärntner Straße 19, 5th floor, customer service, 1010, Vienna
Source: Steffl Vienna
10:00 – 20:00
09:30 – 18:00
Global Blue Tax-Free Forms issued worldwide are accepted
Maximum cash refund limit – 1500 EUR / Form
Maximum credit card refund limit – 1500 EUR / Form
For more information: Global Blue Vienna downtown counter
There is an instant refund on Alipay wallet, UnionPay Credit Cards and WeChat pay.
For more information visit global blue.
TAX REFUND- Step by Step guide
**Covering on GLOBAL BLUE only**
Even after doing the fast refund you will need to follow the following steps.
Step 1- Do Your Airline Check-in
Proceed to the airline counter to check in your luggage, inform the staff that you have tax-free items inside your luggage. The check-in staff will weigh and return the luggage to you with the boarding pass issued, bring your luggage and boarding pass and proceed to “eValidation” counter.
If you do not have any tax free items in your check-in baggage, it will be sent off from the belt to the aircraft.
Same goes for the hand-carry luggage, you can proceed to the “eValidation” counter, only after check-in and with your boarding pass.
Step 2 – Get your Export validation QR code
Get the export validation QR code at “eValidation” counter, present your passport, boarding pass and also the bag or luggage with your goods.
(No eValidation = No Refund)
Airport Vienna, Terminal 3, Level 1, Transit/Departure Schengen Area, 1300 Flughafen Wien
Monday – Friday:
05:00 – 22:00
05:00 – 22:00
05:00 – 22:00
Your fragile/expensive goods or products should be packed in a hand-carry bag. For small items, it can be placed inside a transparent bag, it will be easier for the customs officer to see it. If your items are inside your luggage, packed the items at the top of your luggage, so that once it is opened it can be easily retrieved. Don’t start to search for your item at the counter, as it will be a waste of time for not only yourself but holding back the queue for other passengers.
Step 3 – Get Your Tax Refund
Global Blue- Tax-free forms
You will get your tax free form from the salesperson upon your purchase. You will need to fill in the necessary details accordingly. Lastly, sign on the form and choose the tax refund mode you prefer. By cash or credit card. The officer at the counter will ask where are your goods and they might need to see the items.
-Cash/ Credit card refund limit – 1500 EUR / Form (Max)
-Credit card refunds are not subject to this fee.
-CASH refund cash handling fee (3 EUR) is charged for Each Tax-Free Form at INTERCHANGE.
Arrival Level 0 (Opposite Mc Cafe)
05:00 – 23:00 (Daily)
Source: Vienna Airport
For Credit card refund, drop your tax form here.
Planet Tax-free (formerly known as Premier Tax-Free)
I am not able to provide much information about it, as we did not use this service. However, you could visit their website for more information.
Inside the transit area:
The whole tax refund process from queuing at the check-in counter, going to the Customs clearance counter and back to check in the luggage took around an hour. There are a lot of self-check-in counters, however, the machine was not able to retrieve our booking, thus, we had to go over to the check-in counter instead.
Luckily, the queue was short and at the eValidation counter, there was no queue so I cleared all the procedures real fast and smooth. And by using the tax fast refund, I got my tax refund instantly back to my credit card account on the same day when I did it at Steffl. *Remember to obtain your customs stamp at the airport, if not, the cash / credit card refund that was processed immediately will be debited from your credit card*
I will suggest that you arrive at the airport 2-3 hours earlier so that you have enough time to complete the tax refund.
Pack your goods properly as the customs officer might request to see your goods. Always take a photo or make a copy of your receipts and forms before you mail or post it out.
I am going to transit in other EU countries back home, do I have to get the customs stamp?
Yes, you will need to get your custom stamp. If you are departing an Austrian airport but changing flights at another EU airport, and if the goods you are exporting are to be checked through to a destination outside the EU, go to Customs at the Austrian airport and your Tax-Free form will be Customs approved as if you were at the EU departure point.
What is the time limit for customs approval?
3 months after the month of purchase
How much do I need to spend in Austria to get Tax free?
Minimum spending would be 75.01 Euro per invoice
I have bought some items in Switzerland and will depart from Austria do I need to get a custom stamp?
Yes, Switzerland and Norway are not in the EU. If you purchase goods in one of those countries, you must get your documents stamped before you cross the border.
I am leaving Switzerland by train to Austria where should I get the customs stamp?
If you are leaving from Zurich HBF, there is NO tax refund office at the train station. You might need to go to the nearest tax-refund office which is the Zurich International Airport to get your stamp first.
Can I represent my parent to do the tax refund?
No, if your parents did the payment and the name filled in the tax form is your parent’s name, they have to be at the counter physically with their credit card and passpoort to do the tax refund. You can accompany but not representing them.