To qualify for a VAT refund on purchases made in the European Union (EU) you must reach a minimum purchase amount. This amount differs across EU countries. To help you find your way around, we offer this complete guide to purchase minimums as set by the various EU countries. There are two ways to reach your minimum for a VAT refund: the cumbersome, inefficient method that has been the standard until now, and the innovative ZappTax way, which lets you consolidate your purchases across multiple vendors.
I - Minimum purchase by country
In many EU countries, you need to achieve a minimum purchase in order to obtain a tax refund slip. The 15 countries below are listed in descending order of minimum purchase:
🇭🇺 Hungry: 175,00 €
🇮🇹 Italy: 154,94 €
🇧🇪 Belgium: 125,01 €
🇫🇷 France: 100,01€
🇭🇷 Croatia: 100,00 €
🇨🇿 Czech Republic: 75,91 €
🇦🇹 Austria: 75,01 €
🇵🇹 Portugal: 61,50 €
🇬🇷 Greece: 50,00 €
🇳🇱 Netherlands: 50,00 €
🇵🇱 Poland: 47,00 €
🇩🇰 Denmark: 40,00 €
🇳🇴 Norway: 29,50 €
🇩🇪 Germany: 25,00 €
🇪🇸 Spain: 0,00 €
II - How does the minimum purchase rule work?
There are two options for tax-free shopping in the European Union:
- You can use the traditional method, in which the VAT refund is offered by the merchant in cooperation with a tax refund operator. Since merchants are not obliged to offer VAT refunds, most choose not to.
- Or you can use the innovative ZappTax system, the simplest way to get a VAT refund. ZappTax is approved by tax and customs authorities, and lets you get VAT refunds on purchases at any shop.
VAT refunds using a traditional tax refund operator:
Tax-free shopping with a traditional tax refund operator involves requesting a tax refund slip at the time of purchase. In addition to the fact that not all stores offer tax refund slips, these slips can only be issued when the cost of your goods at a store reach the minimum purchase for the country in which you are located. For example, in France you would have to make a minimum purchase of €100 at each store where you wanted to request a tax refund slip. Since it is not always possible to meet the minimum threshold in a single store, ZappTax offers an easier way.
VAT refunds with ZappTax:
Thanks to ZappTax, you won’t have to spend €100 in a single store in France to be eligible for a VAT refund, and you won’t need to find a store willing to issue a tax refund slip. With ZappTax, you just request a VAT invoice in the name of ZappTax; any business is obliged to issue a VAT invoice upon request. Upload your invoices to the ZappTax app, and we issue you the necessary tax refund slips at the end of your stay. With ZappTax, you can combine invoices from different stores on a single tax refund slip. If the total purchase amount of all purchases put together meets the minimum purchase amount for the country in question, you will be eligible for a VAT refund.
Want to know more? Learn all about VAT refunds in our article “Understanding everything about how VAT refunds works” or contact customer service here or via the chat icon below.