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#46228 - 04/06/01 01:38 PM Non-EU citizens get tax refund
FriendlyDoc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/00
Posts: 26
Loc: Beavercreek, OH USA
I wish I had understood this better while I was in Spain, so I'm going to share it with all you Americans that want to buy big in Spain...

When you go to buy something significant, like luggage, shoes, jewelry, perfume, make sure the shop is willing to give you an official Tax-free Cheque. Most stores played dumb with us (we found out later it was because they themselves don't want to pay taxes on their sale) and didn't give us the Cheque. Word of advice: Pay a little more and get the Cheque.

Before you leave Spain, get your Customs to stamp it. When you return to the US, fill it out and mail it in the envelope you should have been given with the Cheque. You will be reimbursed 10% of your purchase price (the taxes).

You will not be refunded with only the store receipt. It MUST be the official cheque. Plaza del Sol promoted this in many store windows (tourist shopping is big there) and you can get info on it there.

[ 05-06-2001: Message edited by: Antonio ]

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#46229 - 05/06/01 05:12 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
GranadaGirl Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/01
Posts: 367
Loc: Maryland via Connecticut, USA ...
As long as you spend over 15,000 pesetas in one store, they should be giving you the tax free check form. And you can actually, in the Madrid airport at least, can get it stamped and mailed out right there. In some instances you will get your money right away (in the airport), others you can get it sent to you or charged back to your credit card. El Corte Ingles is great with the Tax Free checks, if I know I'm going to buy a lot of things, I just try to buy them there, so that most of my things will be on 1 check. They may have a little higher prices than some smaller places, but since your minimum purchase has to be 15,000 ptas, if you buy a lot of little things at all different stores, you'd never reach the minimum so you wouldn't get the tax money back on that stuff anyway, so it all evens out!
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#46230 - 05/06/01 08:02 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
Carole Chiaro Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 378
Loc: Danville, CA USA
Thanks for the information. If I buy any Lladró figurines, those tax-free cheques would be helpful. What are they called? Who stamps them at the airport?

[ 05-06-2001: Message edited by: Carole Chiaro ]

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#46231 - 05/07/01 07:40 AM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
nevado Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/00
Posts: 620
There's a booth set up in the airport (inside the terminal for ticket holders only) with the "Tax Free" logo. You take your documentation there and get the stamps.
If anyone has a connecting flight in the EU, you need to have your documents stamped at the port of exit of the EU. Make sure you have plenty of time to do this. I've arrived on delayed flights without enough time. It's VERY frustrating, especially after having gone through the hassle of getting all the paperwork in order.

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#46232 - 05/07/01 10:53 AM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
Puna Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1674
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
In years past you were able to request the tax return in US dollars at Barajas -for some reason this year the choice was Euros or Pesetas only ... or having the refund credit to your charge cards. Did this happen only to me .... or is this part of the move to Euros?
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emotionally & mentally in Spain - physically in Charlotte
http://www.wendycrawfordwrites.com/

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#46233 - 05/20/01 04:37 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
marval96 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 30
Loc: Maryland
I just left another inquiry post about the same issue. The problem we had was.. WHERE in the terminal (Barajas) is this ^&%** office located....we looked and asked to no avail.
we really thought we had all the info until we got there...nobody knew what we were talking about!! Regards to all. VFF confused

[ 05-20-2001: Message edited by: MadridMan ]

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#46234 - 05/21/01 01:26 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
FriendlyDoc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/00
Posts: 26
Loc: Beavercreek, OH USA
Hmmm-It's been a while, but if I remember correctly, it was just inside the main entrance, by the airline check-in counters (where the taxi dropped us off).

It was a little glass window (like a teller booth window). I spotted it because of the sign suspended from the ceiling, telling where the line formed. Hope that helps.

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#46235 - 05/21/01 02:10 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
I remember it just like Friendly Doc. It was easy to find. We had Lladro and other goodies, and with each purchase we kept adding paper work to our collection. But when we got to the airport and got it all approved, we just hopped on the plane and came home. Two credit card billings later, we had been issued the credits for all our purchases @ 16% of what the price had been.

Of course you have to be aware that there's a chance you may be required to pay tax when you arrive in the US. Now, how can you avoid paying that tax? Hmmmm..... rolleyes

Wolf

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#46236 - 05/21/01 09:19 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
Avoiding taxes in the US is easy. You are allowed a whole bunch of $$ worth without duty (what, $300 per person??). And when you fill out your little declaration form, you put down all sorts of stuff and make sure it
doesnt add up to more than the exemption amount. I always put down the books, turron, little stuff, and oh, yeah, there's a $200 necklace that might be put down as worth $50.... Oh, hello US Customs and Imigration! eek

[ 05-21-2001: Message edited by: rgf ]

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#46237 - 05/21/01 09:59 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
rgf,

Yes, there are ways, aren't there? laugh

Of course I'd never recommend them to anyone. As an example, taking Cuban cigars and putting them into a box that Hondurans came in... wink

None of us would do anything like that...

Wolf rolleyes

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#46238 - 05/22/01 02:50 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
Puna Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1674
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
Okay all - that's the same way I get back in to US - all under $300 .... but, my original question ... with the advent of the Euro - is the only way we can pick up the VAT in US $ via our charge card issuing the credit? Used to be an option to get the VAT in dollars / francs, etc .... anyone know?
_________________________
emotionally & mentally in Spain - physically in Charlotte
http://www.wendycrawfordwrites.com/

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#46239 - 05/22/01 05:06 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
Nic Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/01
Posts: 67
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA
Wolf,
You don't need to do that anymore. You are allowed, two boxes of Cuban Cigars per person back to the states. We just bought two boxes of Monticristo's they were about $95 euro at Bajaras airport to insure that they were authentic, last month. My husband loves them. He is going to buy two more boxes on his trip to London next month. The embargo was lifted a few months ago, once Elian was sent home.

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#46240 - 05/22/01 06:58 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
Nic,

Since I'm just down the road from you... in Rockford... I'm waiting for my invite over to your home for "after dinner wine & a cigar." laugh

Montecristo is my fav cigar... I ran out months ago, now I need to get back to Spain and buy some for both my wife and I (she don't smoke them fortunately rolleyes ) That leaves more for me....

Wolf (leaning back... smelling the aroma of a Montecristo in his mind)

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#46241 - 05/22/01 08:34 PM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
WAIT! WAIT! WAIT!!!! ????? WHAT??!?!!?! "The embargo was lifted when Elian was returned"?????? Ummm.. WHY is it this is the first I've/We've heard of this???? Shouldn't THIS be on the cover of Time Magazine and shouldn't we now be able to travel to Cuba??

This is getting WAY off topic (I think we could easily start a THRIVING "CUBAN CIGAR" thread in the "General Chatter" forum), but I TOO love cubans/puros/Montecristos and MIGHT HAVE brought some back last October, but MIGHT HAVE taken them out of the box, and MIGHT HAVE taken off the rings/labels, and MIGHT HAVE put them in a ziplock bag to bring back. And now you're tellling me we're now allowed 2 boxes brought back without problem???? Where can I find this information??

Coincidentally, I smoked one of my last 2 Montecristos two nights ago -- getting dry -- but still, knowing they're Montecristos and FROM Cuba makes it a wonderful cigar. I only smoke about one cigar a month (and don't smoke ANYTHING else!), but want it to be good when I do.

If the embargo has been lifted, why can't one buy puros cubanos in the states now? I subscribe to a cigar catalog and have never seen them there.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#46242 - 05/23/01 09:05 AM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
I haven't been able to find anything on the embargo being lifted either. Maybe Clinton lifted it for one day so he could replenish his stock... before leaving office wink

Now, as for MadridMan's method of bringing in illegal contraband, rest assured the Wolf would never do such a thing rolleyes

Wolf

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#46243 - 05/23/01 10:04 AM Re: Non-EU citizens get tax refund
Nic Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/01
Posts: 67
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA
I do not believe that I am crazy, but it is fairly well known that you are allowed cigars now. I should have been a bit clearer, the entire embargo was not lifted, but it was on cigars. And there is a two box limit. I just reconfirmed with people in my office and my husband, for what ever that's worth. And if not, then nobody in customs cared. Glad you all don't know where I live.... eek eek Maybe someone could search Cigar Afficiando or something.
Wolf, come on down anytime, maybe we should start a Chicago dinner group. I knew it would only be a matter of time.

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