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 about sales tax in Italy.

Eligibility Criteria for Tax Refunds

Understanding the eligibility criteria is crucial for anyone looking to obtain a tax refund in Italy. This part of the guide delves into who can claim a refund and under what conditions. Primarily, non-resident visitors in Italy are eligible for tax refunds on certain purchases made during their stay. It’s important to note the types of goods that qualify for a refund, as not all purchases are eligible. Additionally, there is a minimum expenditure threshold that must be met in order to qualify for a tax refund. This section aims to clarify these requirements, ensuring that travelers are well-informed and can efficiently navigate the process of claiming their tax refund 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 ITALY Premier 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

​Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Tax Refund

Understanding the process of obtaining a tax refund in Italy is essential for tourists and foreign nationals who have made eligible purchases during their stay. When it comes to claiming a tax refund in Italy, it involves a clear understanding of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) system and the specific steps required to apply for a refund. The process typically includes retaining receipts from purchases, filling out the necessary tax-free forms, and submitting them at designated refund points, often found at airports, seaports, or border crossings. Navigating this procedure can be straightforward if the correct steps are followed, ensuring that visitors can reclaim a portion of the VAT paid on goods bought within the country.

Moreover, it is important to be aware of the minimum spending threshold that qualifies for a tax refund in Italy. Shoppers should actively seek out stores that participate in the tax-free shopping scheme and ensure they meet the criteria for non-resident status. After completing their purchases, they must request a tax-free form from the retailer, complete it, and have it stamped at customs upon leaving the EU. This form is then presented at a tax refund booth or mailed to the refund agency, after which the refund process is initiated.

In recent years, digital solutions have simplified the tax refund process in Italy, with various apps and online services streamlining the paperwork and submission procedures. These digital platforms provide a convenient way for tourists to manage their tax refund claims, offering step-by-step guidance and often faster processing times. However, it’s crucial for travelers to still keep a meticulous record of their purchases and retain all original receipts and forms, as these are vital for successfully claiming a tax refund in Italy.

Understanding VAT (Value-Added Tax) in Italy

  1. Obtaining a tax refund in Italy can be a straightforward process for travelers aware of the necessary steps. The Italian tax system, known for its intricacies, offers opportunities for tourists and non-residents to claim back VAT (Value-Added Tax) on their purchases. Understanding the eligibility criteria and the proper procedure is key to successfully navigating this aspect of Italian finance. This guide aims to demystify the process, ensuring that visitors can reclaim their dues efficiently.
  2. To be eligible for a tax refund in Italy, certain conditions must be met, which primarily revolve around the status of the purchaser and the nature of the goods bought. Generally, non-residents who have made purchases above a certain value are entitled to a refund. The process begins at the point of purchase, where you must request a tax-free form from the retailer. It’s crucial to fill out this form correctly and retain all receipts as they are essential for the refund process.
  3. Claiming your tax refund in Italy requires attention to detail, especially at airports and border crossings where the final steps are completed. Before leaving Italy, you must present your purchases, along with the filled-out tax-free form and receipts, to the customs office for validation. Once validated, the process of obtaining your refund can vary, with options ranging from immediate cash refunds to credit card reimbursements. It’s important to understand each method to choose the one that best suits your needs.
  4. While the traditional approach to obtaining a tax refund in Italy involves a fair amount of paperwork and interaction with customs, modern digital solutions are simplifying the process. Several apps and online services now offer streamlined ways to manage tax-free shopping and refunds, catering to the tech-savvy traveler. These digital methods not only save time but also provide a more transparent view of the refund process, making it easier for visitors to claim what they’re owed efficiently.

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.

Case Studies and Real-Life Examples

When it comes to receiving a tax refund in Italy, understanding the eligibility criteria is crucial. The Italian tax system permits tourists and non-residents to claim refunds on Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on certain goods. This is particularly relevant for those visiting Italy and making substantial purchases, as the VAT rate can significantly impact the overall cost.

Navigating the VAT System in Italy

Navigating the VAT system is a key step in claiming your tax refund in Italy. VAT, a consumption tax added to most goods and services in Italy, varies by product category. Tourists and foreign nationals eligible for VAT refunds can substantially reduce their expenditure, making luxury purchases more affordable.

The Process of Tax-Free Shopping

Tax-free shopping is a concept that benefits visitors in Italy. To take advantage of a tax refund in Italy, one must shop at stores that participate in the tax-free scheme. These stores provide necessary documentation which, when duly filled and submitted, enables shoppers to claim their VAT refund.

Completing the Tax Refund Forms

One of the essential steps in securing a tax refund in Italy is correctly completing the Tax-Free Forms. These forms, provided by participating stores, must be accurately filled out with purchase details. It’s imperative to ensure all information is correct to avoid any delays or issues with the refund process.

Claiming Your Refund at Departure Points

For visitors leaving Italy, the final step in the tax refund process occurs at airports, seaports, or border crossings. Here, the completed Tax-Free Forms must be presented alongside the purchased goods and your passport. Officials may inspect the goods before validating your claim for a tax refund in Italy.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Many people seeking a tax refund in Italy encounter pitfalls due to unfamiliarity with the process. Key mistakes include losing receipts, incorrect form filling, or failing to present the goods at customs. Awareness and careful preparation can prevent these issues, ensuring a smooth refund experience.

The Role of Digital Solutions

In recent years, digital solutions have emerged to streamline the tax refund process in Italy. These apps and online services guide tourists through the process, offering a more efficient way to manage paperwork and track the status of their refunds.

Learning from Real Experiences

Real-life case studies of obtaining a tax refund in Italy can provide valuable insights for new claimants. These stories often highlight the typical duration of the refund process and the common challenges faced, offering practical advice for future claimants.

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

    1. Voronovschi Lucia

      I’m in Rome, a non-EU citizen, at the moment in the airport at 05:00 am not working Tax Free returns, it’s closed. How can I repay the money, I have all the tax receipts, invoices

  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?

      1. Hello,

        I got my receipts validated at VAT refund counter at the airport and requested the refund to be processed to credit card . How long does it take to get the refund ?

  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..

      1. I am going to travel to Italy and will purchase some goods from a factory that does not work with Global blue or other Tax refund agencies.
        They told me that they are 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 from them? 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?

      1. I would like to buy some goods in Italy and return by car to Switzerland ? How can I get the refund ? The stamp ? If i do not have a form can i get refund with only the bill ?

  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.

  19. Hi,

    I have a question: I made a purchase and filed my taxes at the store via credit card, but I still need a refund because I didn’t leave the country and go to the airport. I’m leaving Italy for a non-European country and will return in a week. Can I do my tax return at the airport when I’m back in Italy instead of doing it before leaving? Does it make a difference?

    Thank you

  20. We purchased a leather jacket and wallet on 29-09-2022 at Old Florence Firenze Leather Fashion. We applied for a VAT refund at the Rome airport before departure on 05-10-2022. The stamped slip was deposited in the requested drop box. We have not received any correspondence regarding this request.
    Thank you for any assistance or suggestions.

  21. Hi, I am not a European citizen and about top attend a conference in Italy on September. I have already paid the conference fees (770 Euros, cod22).
    Will I be able to apply for tax refund?
    Thank you

  22. I’m in the US military stationed in Romania. If I buy items in Italy would I be able to get the refund when I leave the EU in 6 months?

  23. Hi. I am shipping a bicycle to Italy from the UK. Will this attract VAT, Customs or duty ? I will ride my bicycle for a week post which I will take it home. Can I claim a refund on the duty charged (if any) ?

  24. Can I claim Italian new home 22% VAT deduction in USA if the Italian home is “prima casa”. This new home is purchased from a Italian VAT registered company. I will also declare to the Revenue Agency that I will become resident within 18 months from the purchase. I am assuming it will be 4% ?? due to the fact that it’s “prima casa”?

  25. Hi. As a Turkish citizen, I want to buy an IPhone from Rome, Italy. I have a Schengen visa. My return flight to Turkey from Rome is a connecting flight via Romania. Can I get the tax refund from Fiumicino Airport? Will my transfer affect this situation? I would be glad if you can inform. Thanks.

  26. The seller told me the car has VAT, but we cannot prepare documents to refund VAT. Can I refund VAT, If I bought the car in Italy and export this car outside the European Union, for example to Azerbaijan?
    Regards

  27. I bought an Xbox in Rome MediaWorld, fot the form and the bill and the I flied to Kos Island/Greece which is also EU member. While going to Turkey from Greece by Ferry I got stamped the bill and the form they said “it is ok. Now you should send these with the envelope MediaWorld gave to you” 🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️ They didnt give me an envelope. I will be in Turkey what should I do know?

  28. Hi, I have a permesso di soggiorno for work in Italy. But, I have a non European passport.

    Am I eligible for a vat refund on clothing?

    Thanks in advance!

  29. Hello, I am an Italian citizen resident in the USA. I am registered with AIRE and pay taxes in the US. I recently inherited a property in Italy and I was wondering if I can get a VAT refund for any remodeling and upgrading work (install air conditioner, replace the roof, etc.). Or does the VAT refund only applies to goods that are physically brought outside of the EU?
    Thanks!

  30. We are traveling to Rome Italy July 4 were we will take a cruise on July 8-15 ending at Barcelona Spain. We will not be able to return to Italy airport prior to us leaving on our cruise that will stop in other ports in France, Italy and Spain. What else can we do to get our VAT refund on purchases while in Italy during our short visit?

  31. Ciao Nicolo;
    We are from USA and made some purchases in Rome that qualify for VAT refund. We are leaving in 2 days to Athens and later to Izmir. How the refund process should be done in this case?
    Thank you

  32. My mum and myself was in Italy and we submitted our claim.
    It was stamped and we were given an envelope – New Tax Free envelope and deposited into the big red POSTE Roma E Provincia Di Roma box as told by the officer at the VAT window.
    We drop this in on 4th June 2023 and departed Rome airport to Dubai.
    We were told it would take 2 approximately 2 weeks into the same credit card that was used to pay for the purchase. It has been almost 7 weeks now and still no refund. Can you please help?

  33. Hi if I am a EU citizen but a permanent resident of a non eu country am I entitled to VAT refunds on shopping done in Italy upon departure from Italy back to the non eu country I am resident in?

  34. I purchased leather shoes on 26-05-2023 at Leonardo Italian Fashion Via Dei Cerchi 7R Firenze 50122. I applied for a VAT refund at the Rome airport before departure on 04-06-2023. The stamped slip was deposited in the requested drop box. We have not received any correspondence regarding this request.
    Thank you for any assistance or suggestions.
    Thanks

  35. We are leaving the EU by train from Bologna through Milan into Switzerland, which is non-EU.
    The train only stops for 5 minutes at Domodossola on the Italian border, so there’s not enough time to claim our VAT tax refund for goods bought in Italy.
    Is there a customs office at Bologna train station to claim our tax refund before we go on to the Italian border?
    If not, can we claim it at Bologna Airport if we have proof of ongoing train journey out of Italy into Switzerland?
    Also not enough time at Milan train station on our way through.
    Thanks so much.

  36. Hi,

    I’m a US resident traveling to Italy but have bought some household gifts for my sister who just bought a house in Italy, furniture and kitchen appliances, can I get a refund on the IVA?

    Thank you,
    monica

  37. I am a master degree student in Italy since October 2022 I am from Turkey(non-eu) and now I have italian residence permit for student for one year. Can I get Tax Refund ?