Your Questions About Uk Tourists Vat

Charles asks…

Can a tourist in UK claim VAT refund for purchases in Boots (the pharmacy)?

Pip answers:

Yes you can if the items you purchased include VAT but you usually have to buy something or things of above a certain value to make a reclaim.

There is a ‘contact us’ section on their website where you can ask them directly what the procedure is.

Helen asks…

Will i get my VAT back when i leave UK?

I am a tourist, and I want to buy something online using a UK resident’s credit card (this UK site does not accept any other countries’ credit cards). So the name on the receipt is not my name for sure. I wonder if i could get my VAT back when i leave. Or if there any other ways to get my VAT back? I can’t pay by cash online and the site does not have physical store.

Pip answers:

You can only get VAT back if you get the store operates the Tax Free Shopping schemes and gives you a tax refund form.

I suspect, in the circumstances you detail, that you won’t get one.

How about seeing if the online store will deliver overseas? They should then not charge VAT.

For details of the Tax Free Shopping scheme see

Laura asks…

VAT refund process at Heathrow airport, UK -need “VAT Refund form from the retailer” like ASDA, Sainsburys..?

I was a tourist in UK and now I am going back to India. It seems that I am entitled to get the VAT refund at any of the Travelex counters in UK and the things I need for this are – my passport, a receipt of the goods purchased and a “VAT Refund form from the retailer” from whom I have made the purchase?

I have made purchases from supermarkets like ASDA, Sainsbury’s, IKEA etc. How do I get the “VAT Refund form from the retailer” from these retailers?

Are these available online?

Pip answers:

You needed to make the request at the time of purchase, and not all retailers (especially retailers that deal with daily living requirements) are part of the scheme.

You will need to provide evidence that the goods are being removed from the country (taken with you or shipped separately), your passport, a receipt and the form you speak of. Only then would customs be able to refund you the VAT knowing that the goods are to leave the EU.

Sandra asks…

VAT refund on Macbook UK?

Hello everyone.
im planning to get a macbook from UK! which costs around 1000 pounds.. will i be able to get a VAT refund on it? ill be visiting UK as a tourist i.e m not a national!
please let me know as soon as possible.

Pip answers:

Yes, as long as you are leaving the UK to go outside the EU. You tell the shop when you purchase that you plan to export it, and they should be able to porvide forms which you give to Customs at the airport. Depending on the airport, there may be a manned desk, otherwise its a post box and they’ll send the cheque to you

Chris asks…

Hey, Can i and How do i claim back VAT on items i bought in America as a tourist from the UK? Thanks?

Pip answers:

You cant and if you tried to you would only open up a can of worms for yourself – as items bought from the states are subject to customs declaration – but I bet you went through the ‘nothing to declare’ zone. It aint worth it honey.

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