Taxes

DESTINATIONS greece taxes-32

TRAVEL TIPS

Taxes

Taxes are typically included in all quoted prices.

Value-Added Tax, 6.5% for books and 23% (V.A.T. is 15% on some remote Aegean islands) for almost everything else, called FPA (pronounced "fee-pee-ah") by Greeks, is included in the cost of most consumer goods and services, including most groceries. If you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you may get a V.A.T. refund on products (except alcohol, cigarettes, or toiletries) worth €120 or more bought in Greece in one shopping spree from licensed stores that usually display a Tax-Free Shopping sticker in their window. Ask the shop to complete a refund form called a Tax-Free Check receipt for you, which you show at Greek customs.

Have the form stamped like any customs form by customs officials when you leave the country or, if you're visiting several European Union countries, when you leave the EU. Be ready to show customs officials what you've bought (pack purchases together, in your carry-on luggage); budget extra time for this. After you're through passport control, take the form to a refund-service counter for an on-the-spot refund, or mail it back in the pre-addressed envelope given to you at the store. You receive the total refund stated on the form, but the processing time can be long, especially if you request a credit-card adjustment. Note that there are no cash refunds issued in the United States anymore.

If you are leaving from the Eleftherios Venizelos airport for a country outside the EU, after your Tax-Free Check form has been stamped, you can go directly to the Eurochange bureau de change (extra-Schengen area, Gates 1–4) and get your refund cash.

A refund service can save you some hassle, for a fee. Global Blue is a Europe-wide service with 300,000 affiliated stores and more than 200 international tax refund offices at major airports and border crossings. The service issues refunds in the form of cash, check, or credit-card adjustment, minus a processing fee. If you don't have time to wait at the refund counter, you can mail in the form instead.

V.A.T. Refunds

Global Blue. +421/232–111111; www.global-blue.com.

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