Germany's refund rate ranges from 6.1% to 14.5% of purchase amount, with a minimum purchase amount of 25 EUR per receipt.
Food, books, antiquities and medical supplies
Cars, car parts and phones with contract/SIM card
You need to be older than 18 and have permanent residence or long-term visa (more than 3 months) in a non-EU country to be eligible.
|Less than 200 EUR||6.1% – 11%|
|200 EUR – 6,000 EUR||11% – 14%|
|6,000 EUR – 7,000 EUR||Around 14%|
|More than 7,000 EUR||14.5%|
Germany has one of the lowest minimum spending requirements, at 25 EUR.
If you live in Europe but hold long-term visa to some non-EU country, you are eligible for VAT refund in Germany.
Germany has relatively low refund rate for small purchases, at or below 10%. Many nearby countries also have higher rate for large purchases: Sweden has up to 19%, Denmark up to 17.5%, and Poland up to 16.5%.
Shop at a store that offers tax-free shopping. Spend the minimum amount required for VAT refund on a single receipt. Mention to the cashier that you'd like to obtain a VAT refund.
2. Obtain VAT refund form in store
If you are shopping at a boutique, your sales associate will have it prepared for you when you pay. If you are shopping at a large shopping center, this is usually obtained from a special VAT service counter within the building.
There are 3 ways to get your refund: in downtown, by cash at the airport, and via credit card or bank account. See below for the pros and cons of each option.
3. Custom Stamp
Regardless of how you choose to receive the refund, you must obtain a custom stamp on your VAT refund forms when you exit the EU.
Refund forms for Global Blue, Premier Tax Free and other processors should be mailed back to their respective locations. If you have generic tax forms, you may be able to use a refund app to submit forms electronically.
- When buying several items, try putting as many on the same receipt as possible. You can often get a higher rate of refund for larger purchases, and if you choose to get your refund by cash, the cash fee is usually per receipt.
- Keep your purchases on you for inspection. Don't check in your luggage before obtaining the custom stamp, unless instructed otherwise below.
- DO NOT consume the goods purchased prior to exiting the EU.
- There may be a line. Give yourself an extra hour allowance to do this before your flight.
- Take photos of your refund forms after stamping. In case things go wrong, you will need this as an evidence when contacting the refund company.
Depending on your situation, choose the refund method that works best for you.
- Fast refund in city downtown. You can get cash or in some cases an electronic refund in supporting stores or downtown refund points. This is the fastest way to get your refund. However, you need to give the refund processor your credit card information, and you are obliged to make sure it receives your stamped tax form within a certain time limit, typically 15 - 25 days, starting from the day you get the refund. Otherwise your card will be debited with an additional fee.
- Cash refund at the airport. After stamping your forms, you can choose to get cash at refund kiosks at the airport. This is subject to a cash fee, usually around 3 EUR per receipt. Make sure you arrive at the airport early, as there may be a line. You will be refunded in the local currency, so there is no loss due to foreign exchange rates. This option is recommended if you have large-value receipts.
- Electronic refund by credit card or bank account. You don't need to wait in line for a cash refund, and you can avoid the cash fee. You will be refunded in the currency of your card or account. If it's in the same currency as the refund, this option can maximize your refund. However, if it's in a different currency, the foreign exchange rate may be suboptimal and you are subject to an additional 3% to 5% fee. This option is recommended if you have many small-value receipts.
Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL)
The Customs Service Point is located on the ground floor of the main hall in Terminal A (Service Center). Opening times: Mon – Sun 5am to 11:30pm. Please note that processes for exemption from VAT for export deliveries in non-commercial travel (tax-free) are handled for flights by Hainan Airlines and MIAT Mongolian Airlines at the respective departure times at desks 0 and 1 in Terminal A.
Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
There are 6 tax refund counters. Please see link below for a map of the locations.
Munich Airport (MUC)
Customs is located at:
- Terminal 1: Level 4, Module B
- Terminal 2: Level 4, Gate G/H, K/L
- Terminal 2: Level 5, Gate G/H/South