Woman paying bills at shop | TAX REFUND IN ITALY

HOW TO GET A TAX REFUND IN ITALY: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

For any purchase or transaction carried in Italy a VAT tax is applied.
The IVA, VAT in Italian, is around 22% but it can vary according to the goods or services you buy. For all the info about this tax, read our article aboutsales tax in Italy.

Claiming a VAT Refund as a tourist in Italy

If you are a tourist going to Italy and you are planning for a big shopping trip, this section may be extremely valuable to you.

In order to claim a VAT refund in Italy there are 4 important conditions:

  1. You should not be European resident, so you should not live inside Italy or any other European countries
  2. You should spend at least 175€ more or less from a single shop. This means that you are able to purchase one or more items from a shop but will not be able to get your VAT refunds if the total sum is less than the minimum amount requested to start this procedure.
  3. You should not wear or consume the product before leaving European Union.
  4. You should obviously have and save the bills of the shop, where you purchase the items from.

 

Tax refund in Italy | Woman shoppingTAX REFUND IN ITALY | Shoes and Shirt at shop

5 Things to Keep in mind

1)     If you are traveling around European Union you should do this process, only in the last countries you are visiting.
2)     Consider that in many European countries the threshold requested for a VAT refund may be lower as well. So, again, we strongly recommend to keep the bills of the purchase you do in any shop.
3)     You cannot get VAT refund for services you consume. So for instance you will not receive VAT refund for your accommodation or travel expenses. As well as you will have meals, dinners or entrances to museums.
4)     Carry with you some sort of identification ID with you or simply a copy of passport to be sure to be able to fill the requested forms.
5)     You can repeat this process for every travel you make to Italy. There are no limitations.

How to claim a VAT refund?

There are many ways and many places where you can get the VAT refund.
1)    From the shop
There are many stores around Italy that offer tax-free products. These are very common in the touristic areas or in the city center of important towns in Italy.
Please keep in mind that it is important to mention that you would like a VAT refund at the moment of the purchase. They will provide you a tax free form for tax free shopping.Be sure to buy from a store with tax free symbols like the ones attached below, if you want to take advantage of this option.

Global Blue Tax free logo | TAX REFUND IN ITALYPremier tax free | TAX REFUND IN ITALY
2)    From one of the Tourism Tax Refund Company
You can request the VAT refund form in one of the companies providing these forms such as Global Blue, Premier Tax Refunds, or Tax Refunds for Tourists.
Global Blue is probably the most popular one inside the Italian airports.
These shops are easy to find in the big cities and in the tourists’ hotspots of the cities.
However bear in mind that you will have to pass the checks of the Customs.
3)    From the Customs points
These points can be found mostly in the airports, and we recommend to look around for those before leaving the EU. You should get a custom stamp for your VAT refund forms.
The custom points in general can also give the tax refund form, needed to request your vat refund. You can also get these forms at the luggages’ check-in counters.
Most of the controls are done at the customs. Here you need to be sure to have your passport, your ticket, and your tax refund form filled.
Be sure to have the items you have purchased with you in the luggage. Some custom agents may demand to see the items.
If it is all ok, a customs officer will apply a stamp on your VAT refund form.

​When and how much money can you get back?

​You can get your VAT refund directly from one the tourism tax refund company. There, you can decide to receive the money whether by cash refund or credit card.
In case you choose a credit card some fees will apply. Moreover you will need to wait 2 or 3 months before receiving the money.
Therefore we usually recommend getting your money back, in cash. In general you will get euros but you can ask to get the money in your preferred currency instead, such as dollars for instance.Will you get all 22% VAT back in your pocket? This is unlikely. In general expect to receive a refund between 10 and 16% of the total VAT you have paid.
To the original 22% you should deduct administrative fee and as well as the fee of the tourism tax company.

Woman paying bills at shop | TAX REFUND IN ITALY

​VAT Refund for Companies

For companies outside EU

​If you are a company selling goods to Italy and you are based outside the EU, you should appoint a VAT representative in Italy.
This person is in charge of VAT payments, issues invoices to the clients in Italy, is in charge of VAT compliance, its deduction and reimbursement.
This VAT representative can be an individual or a company but it is equally liable with the international company for VAT obligations.As an alternative, you can choose to get a VAT code in Italy. Check our article about sales tax in Italy for more information.
In this case you will be responsible for being VAT compliant.
Do you need a VAT representative in Italy to help you save money? Contact us for more information.
As a third way if you are planning to expand your business in Italy, consider opening a permanent company or a subsidiary.

Check out our video about opening a partita iva in Italy.

From a business point of view, the convenience of these solutions may vary a lot depending on the income you are planning to make in Italy.

For companies within EU

​If you are a company based in another european country and you are planning to sell in Italy, you can check the VAT direct registration process.
Through this you can avoid establishing a company in Italy and get 100% VAT compliant.

Other tax refund for companies

​If your company in Italy goes bankrupt you can renegotiate the debts you may have with the state, depending on your financial statements and the conditions that have brought your company to the bankruptcy.

​Tax refund for individuals

​Foreign individuals who have jobs in Italy, or are working for multiple employers at the same time (abroad and Italy). These workers often end up paying more taxes than what are due to the Italian government and their home country’s one.
This is the so-called double taxation problem and you should carefully read the double tax treaty between Italy and your home country.
Check also ourincome tax rate guide for info about this, or check our video below about how to properly read a double tax treaty.
​Want to read more? Check out also our articles about filing your taxes in Italyairbnb taxes in Italy, or our guide for retiring in Italy.

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38 thoughts on “HOW TO GET A TAX REFUND IN ITALY: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE”

  1. I am a professional golfer. I recently won money in an event in Italy. Tax was deducted before my winnings were put into my UK account. The amount put into my UK account will also be taxable. Can I claim a refund from Italy if my earnings was below their personal allowance?

  2. I am going to travel to Italy and will purchase some goods from an artisan that does not work with Global blue or other Tax refund agencies.
    He told me that he is going to provide me with an invoice and that I have to have that invoice stamped at the customs. Is that enough to get my tax refund? Or I need something else? I usually work with Global blue so the process is very easy..

  3. We want to buy a few small appliances and ship them back. Can I request the VAT refund if I ship the items back?

  4. Ciao. Io ho passaporto ita ma risiedo in Sudafrica. Non ho ancora la residenza permanente ma sono regolarmente iscritto all’AIRE.
    Se acquisto prodotti tech in Italia prima di rientrare in Sudafrica, e però mi presento all’ufficio VAT refund col passaporto italiano, può bastare l’iscrizione all’AIRE per avere il rimborso? Sai se sui prodotti tech è previsto il rimborso più alto?
    Grazie.
    Saluti.

  5. I am a UK resident, I recently bought 2 pairs of shoes from Armani.com, I sent them back because they didn’t suit me, I was told by their customer service that VAT cost is not refundable. It is not mentioned in their refund policy. Can they really refuse to refund the VAT to me ? Is there any chance I can get the VAT cost back ? It is £84 that they want to take for nothing.

  6. I am not sure about I am eligible to purchase a new car when I visit for tourism travel to Rome as a resident in Azerbaijan. If I am, how can I reclaim already paid 22% VAT refund at the time of leaving from Italy? Is ıt possible, please?

    1. you need to get in touch with the Azeri custom’s Authorities. please write me in the form so we can move forward

  7. Hi, I’m an Indonesian citizen who’s been living in Italy since 2018 (family reasons). I would like to visit my home country for a few weeks in October. I have Indonesian passport but also have permesso di soggiorno and Italian ID (carta d’identità). I’m planning to have a big shopping spree at The Mall firenze. Am I eligible for the tax refund?

  8. I will be leaving Rome to return to the US but have a 2 hour connection in Dublin. Will I be able to get the VAT refund at the Rome airport or will they make me do it in Dublin?

  9. Hi, I am planning to purchase a few items from Italy, make my way to Switzerland via train, and fly back to my home country via Geneva Airport. Can I do the VAT refund for the goods bought in Italy, at Geneva Airport?

  10. Hi, I purchased an item in Italy and left the country with the item. Is it still possible to apply for a VAT refund if I have left the country? Or must I do it before I leave?

  11. Hello,

    How long does it take for the VAT to be refunded on my credit card? I was told 3 to 5 business days but have not received anything as of yet.

  12. Hi! I’m Brazilian and I’m going to take a trip to Italy, I’ll take the opportunity to buy some items at Apple. Do you know if I can get VAT in this case? Can I make the purchase online and pick it up at the store or do I have to make the purchase in person?
    Thanks!

  13. I am visiting a small Italian city and when I enter large retail chains that sell electrical items the store management & staff are unaware of “tax-free” shopping or tourist tax- free processes. I want to purchase a laptop. I have my passport with me. Does the electronic shop(euronics/UniEuro/expert/Mediaworld) need to fill out a form or give me a “special invoice” that shows my passport number and home address or can I just present the store invoice at the airport to claim my tax-refund?

  14. Hi There,

    We live in Canada and we purchased 2 leather jackets from BenHeart in Florence.
    We got the taxrefund.it (the yellow paper) stamped and dropped it at the Paris airport (our second destination before going back home). I see the taxrefund request on their website, but I still havent received the taxrefund yet since June 2022. I have tried calling them and emailing them but they never answer me back.

    What would you suggest we do in this scenario?

    Thank you very much for your help

  15. Hi Im a singaporean residing in london. 1) Will i be able to claim VAT refund as a tourist at milan airport? 2) if the counter at the milan airport is already closed for the day; is there another way that i can submit my claims online via website?

  16. Hello, I’m planning to buy a car from a dealer in Italy, and ferry it to Tunisia, I’m a resident of Iceland.
    Could you please advice how i can get 22% tax refund and should i get it at the port ?

  17. I’m from Australia in Italy in holidays. I did shopping in shops that not have forms for refund but they instead gave to me an invoice with my name on. invoice with name written on are enough to get a refund in Australia. Just wandering if in Italy are satisfied or need a proper tax free form. Thanks

  18. Hello,
    I have not enough time to get the stamp by customs at the airport in Rome. Is it possible to get the stamp later by the italian embassy in USA.

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