How to Claim Your VAT (KDV) at Turkish Airports
Turkey is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. One of the reasons why Turkey is a great destination for travellers is its shopping scene. With a diverse range of products and competitive prices, Turkey offers a unique shopping experience.
One thing that many visitors to Turkey might not know is that they can claim their Value Added Tax (VAT), known as KDV in Turkey, back at the airport when they leave the country.
In this article, we will walk you through the process of getting a VAT refund in Turkey. The process is relatively simple and involves a few easy steps. With the right information and documents, you can get a refund on the VAT you paid during your stay in Turkey.
What is the VAT (KDV) Rate in Turkey?
The VAT (KDV) rate in Turkey varies depending on the type of goods or services being purchased. As of September 2021, the standard VAT rate in Turkey is 18%. However, there are some goods and services that are subject to reduced rates or exemptions.
For example, basic foodstuffs, books, and some medical goods and services are subject to a reduced VAT rate of 8%. Certain goods and services, such as exports and international transportation, are exempt from VAT.
It's important to note that VAT is included in the price of goods and services in Turkey. When you make a purchase, the price you see on the label or the receipt will already include VAT. If you are eligible for a VAT refund, you can claim back the amount of VAT you paid on your purchases, minus any fees charged by the refund service provider.
Who is Eligible to Get a VAT (KDV) Refund?
In Turkey, visitors who are not residents of Turkey and who are leaving the country permanently are generally eligible to get a VAT (KDV) refund. This means that if you are a tourist or a foreign national who has been living in Turkey temporarily and you are leaving the country, you may be eligible for a VAT refund on goods purchased during your stay.
There are some conditions that you need to meet to be eligible for a VAT refund in Turkey. These conditions include:
- You must have a valid passport or travel document that shows your entry into Turkey and your departure from the country.
- You must have made purchases from a VAT-registered business that is participating in the VAT refund scheme. Look for the "Tax-Free Shopping" sign or ask the shop if they offer VAT refunds.
- The total value of your purchases, including VAT, must be over the minimum amount set by the Turkish government. As of September 2021, this minimum amount is 118.15 TL.
- You must have the original receipts or invoices for your purchases and they must be issued in the name of the person claiming the VAT refund.
- You must leave Turkey within three months of the date of purchase and you must take the goods with you when you leave.
- You must declare your goods to customs officials and have them stamped before you check in your luggage at the airport.
It's important to note that some goods and services, such as fuel, hotel accommodation, and car rental services, are not eligible for VAT refunds in Turkey.
Read more about the Top Things to Do in Winter in Istanbul.
How to Claim Your VAT (KDV) Refund?
If you are eligible for a VAT (KDV) refund in Turkey, you can claim it at the airport before you depart. Here are the steps you need to follow to claim your refund:
- Collect all the original receipts or invoices for the purchases you made during your stay in Turkey. These receipts must show the amount of VAT you paid.
- Before checking in your luggage, go to the Tax-Free Refund Office at the airport with your receipts and passport or travel document. The office is usually located in the departure area, and you can follow the signs or ask for directions.
- At the Tax-Free Refund Office, present your receipts and passport or travel document to the officer. They will ask to see the goods you purchased, so make sure you have them with you.
- The officer will check your receipts and make sure that they are valid. They will also calculate the amount of VAT refund you are entitled to receive. This amount is typically the VAT you paid minus a service fee charged by the refund service provider.
- After the officer has verified your documents, they will stamp your receipts and give you a Tax-Free Refund Cheque or a cash refund. The cheque can be cashed in a designated exchange office or bank.
- You can then proceed to customs to have your goods stamped. You must do this before you check in your luggage.
- Finally, after customs, you can check in your luggage and proceed to your departure gate.
It's important to note that the process of claiming a VAT refund in Turkey can take some time, so make sure you arrive at the airport early enough to allow for this. Additionally, some refund service providers may have different procedures, so it's always a good idea to check with your provider before departing.
Documents Required for the Digital Customs Validation
- Personal details and passport: You'll need to have your passport or other valid travel document with you, as well as your personal information such as your name, address, and contact information.
- Tax Free Form: You must have the Tax Free Form that you received from the retailer when you made your purchase. This form must be fully completed with your personal details, the retailer's details, the value of the goods purchased, and the amount of VAT paid.
- Purchased goods: You'll need to have the goods that you purchased with you, as customs officials may ask to see them to verify that they are being taken out of the country.
It's important to note that you must have all three of these documents with you to complete the digital customs validation process for a VAT (KDV) refund in Turkey. Without them, you may not be able to claim your refund.
Moreover, some retailers may have different procedures for issuing Tax-Free Forms, so it's always a good idea to check with the retailer before making your purchase to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation.
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Edited by Safaraq Tourism
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