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FAQs about European VAT

February 24, 2011
VAT Receipt

VAT Receipt

Visiting a European country can be expensive, especially with the increase in VAT (Value Added Tax) across most of the European countries. UK, for example, raised the VAT from a 17.5% to an all-time high of 20%. There are ways travellers to these countries can get a refund on the VAT and these rules differ from country to country. It’s best to know them beforehand and save some money while you can.

BBC’s TravelWise answers some FAQs on the working of the VAT and how a traveller can get a refund.

Read more: Travelwise: FAQs about the VAT

An excerpt from the article:

Some places’ taxes have jumped a lot. Greece jumped from 19% to 21% to 23%. Hungry had already jumped twice by 2009 and now I think it’s at 25%, around the highest in Europe. But still, I lived in Budapest a few months ago and the prices were so low that it didn’t really matter. The fact that the UK is going up to 20% puts it more on par with other popular European destinations — its competitors [tourism-wise]. I think the real issue for [travellers] is the continued relative strength of the pound. It’s no longer a punishing 2 to 1, but it’s still about 1.6 dollars to the pound, and it’s compounded by the high sticker prices.



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