The Importance Of VAT Rates In Europe

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Love it or loathe it but you cannot avoid it. We mean travel shopping. Whether budgeted separately or not, shopping always takes up a large chunk of the holiday fund. And why not! After all, you have travelled miles and hours to this dream destination and taking back a few gifts and memories is absolutely called for. But sometimes it goes beyond just souvenirs, especially when you travel to Europe. That limited edition bag or the ‘Made in Spain’ shirts, Europe nearly spoils you for choice. With the likes of London, Milan, Paris and Berlin one cannot help splurging on the exclusive fashion brands, collectible art, and hand made luxuries at the fashion capitals of the world. But what if we told you there is a way to earn a flat discount on all your large purchases without even asking for it on your special buys? Read more to find…show more content…
VAT is the English-language term; but in some countries it can be disguised with terms like IVA, TVA, moms, MwST, and a handful of unique local terms. EU (much of Western Europe) rules require that member countries impose a VAT of at least 15%; most rates are in the range of 19-25%. VAT rates in Europe’s some non-EU countries are as follows: 25.5% in Iceland, 25% in Norway, 8% in Switzerland, and 18% in Turkey. The VAT rate is the amount added to a pre tax base price, not a percentage of the final price. Thus, a 20% VAT rate amounts to 16.7% of the purchase price. To qualify for a refund, the goods must be new and unused. So make sure you don’t use that Louis Vuitton bag from Paris until you leave the EU. The main bummer here is that not all shopping qualifies – you need to have a bill with a minimum threshold for it to qualify for a VAT refund. This minimum ranges from zero in Ireland, Germany, and the U.K. to CHF 300 (about $333 USD) in Switzerland, €175 (about $237) in France, €155 (about $210) in Italy, €125 (about $169) in Belgium, and €90 (about $122) in

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