France is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for its unique culture and landscapes, but it is also a great destination to get great deals on local products. In fact, as a non-EU resident, not only can you find French products at a fraction of the price you would pay in the UK, but you can recover the VAT on these as well. So, whether you’re planning a weekend trip to France or to stay for a few weeks, read on to learn how you can make the most out of your trip by using the ZappTax and avoid the burden of VAT on your purchases.
Based on an EU directive, all non-EU residents can have a refund of the VAT for the goods they buy in Europe and take back to the UK. This process, which can be quite administrative and time-consuming, can be simplified by using the app ZappTax. This free app digitalizes the whole process with a user-friendly interface and, by working as a tax operator, makes the process of claiming VAT refunds a breeze. You just have to upload the picture of your invoices and scan your tax-free form (customs’ official document) at customs when leaving France, that’s it!
Here is an example: let’s say you want to purchase a box of wine worth 575£ in the UK. You are considering buying it in France not only because of its excellent quality but also because it’s cheaper than in the UK – on average 13% less. So you are already saving around 75£ (13% of 575) thanks to the difference in price but, on top of that, you can still claim the VAT back.
With ZappTax, you can claim 80% of the VAT back*, meaning you will receive a refund of 83£ on your purchase. This way you bought a 575£-worth box of wine at 417£ – for an overall discount of nearly 30%, great right?
Luckily, this system doesn’t only work for wine, and France is a country rich in treasures and traditional ‘savoir-faire’. If you’re a more leather goods kind of person, this example will be better suited. Imagine you are in a French luxury shop and you want to buy a leather bag for 1.200£, with ZappTax it will actually only cost you 1.030£, by being refunded 170£!
How does it work? While you’re making your purchases, you only need to ask the merchant to get your invoices in the name of ZappTax (more information on ZappTax app and website), and upload them in the app. When about to leave France, you will get a tax-free form generated in a few clicks by the application, that you will have to validate with Customs. This validation can happen by either going to the customs office and reviewing the tax-free form, or more easily by scanning it at a ‘PABLO’ terminal, and you are ready to go!
To sum it up, if you’re a non-EU resident, don’t forget to claim your VAT back on your purchases made in France. If you want the process to be simple and efficient, you can use the ZappTax app!
*This example was made on a basket with an overall value of 500£, for this amount ZappTax refunds 80% of the VAT. For larger baskets, even if composed of several items, you can have up to 90% of the VAT refunded. For more details about the percentages of refund per basket size please consult the table at this link.