Subject: Re: VAT refund
Hi, VAT refund hopefuls...

You don't get the VAT when you leave the country, you get it when you leave the EU. The only time we've done it we were doing both, that is, leaving Finland for America (with a change at Heathrow). We'd bought an item in Helsinki worth a couple hundred US dollars, and there are several things that must hold:

1. The store must participate in the VAT refund program,

2. They must somehow seal the item and give you the paperwork,

3. You may not use the item until you've arrived somewhere other than the EU,

4. You must check the sealed item through with the airlines.

You will get a paper from the airlines saying you did check the item. In our case we then got a cash refund at one of the stores on the Helsinki airside concourse.

Obviously this wouldn't work if we were leaving Finland to spend some time in Germany. So it's hard to give specifics.

Regards, DAVE HATUNEN Tucson Arizona, out where the cacti grow