|Subject: Re: VAT Refund|
I've received VAT back from Canada, and from purchases in the Netherlands/Germany.
I don't remember any issues with the Canadian return - I had all the right forms, and I believe I actually filled it out when I got back home to Australia? This was back in 1998 hence my fuzzy memory. The return was credited to my nominated account some weeks later.
In 2001 I bought some Delft wares in Holland, and they automatically organised the appropriate forms. Similarly I bought a cuckoo clock in Germany and they filled out the paperwork. I exited the EU through Charles De Gaulle airport and I must admit the experience was rather horrible. Having the materials in your hand luggage obviously means you have to be equipped to carry stuff around - I'm not sure how you go about the refund if you arrange for the store to post the merchandise directly to your home?
I thought I had everything filled out and ready to go just so, but perhaps my fatigue (11:30pm) and my level of French-speaking worked against me. The rather gruff officer at the claims desk had me in tears in no time and it was a lovely young French woman passing by my bench seat who helped me out explaining I also needed to fill out another section as well as purchase postage stamps to hand in! I then had to find the stamp dispensing machine, get some coins, get the stamps and get back in the queue. (Meanwhile time is ticking...)
I am fairly positive that it is not normally this difficult! :) Megan Brisbane, Australia