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Guidance on How to Seek Refund on VAT on Goods

The information provided on this page is only given as guidance, for we are not lawyers. Therefore, we are not liable for errors and omission, direct or indirect damage suffered because of the use of the information imparted in it.

IVA, (Value added tax-VAT ), a tax known throughout most European countries is a tax paid on goods and services ranging from 16% to 20 % of the price.
If non-EU citizens buy goods for personal use and pay over €180 at only one shop they have the right to be get a refund. The kind of good and quantity does not affect their right. However, to obtain the reimbursement it is necessary to have a Tax Refund Receipt (bill of entry). This bill of entry needs to be stamped. Make sure the bill of entry is stamped before leaving the shop.

Shops participating in the Tax Free Italy program

Shops bearing an Euro Tax Free are included in the "Tax Free Italy" program. To buy and get this benefit you have to have your passport at the time of buying and paying at the cash register. Request the store clerk to provide you with a "Tax Free Shopping Cheque" and a receipt for the items bought. Tax has to be paid when paying but the Tax Free Shopping Cheque will entitle you to later reimbursement of the VAT charged if it is written on it.
Reimbursement is claimable at the Italian Customs office or at the last EU Customs office before leaving the EEC. Goods and their bill of entry have to be ready for Customs to check out. Inspection is done before stamping the Tax Refund Forms: (a) if goods are packed in your unaccompanied luggage, make Customs inspect them before checking in for a non-European destination; (b) if goods are packed in your accompanied luggage, you can have your goods inspected by Customs after passport control & therefore obtain the receipt.

The means to receive reimbursement of stamped Tax Refund Forms are:

1) in cash at an airport’s ETS desk;
2) by exchanging the tax equivalent amounts for Tax-Free Shopping Cheques by mail;
3)  by credit card account transfer.

Beware: this is a time consuming procedure therefore it takes time to demand it.

Shops not participating in the Tax Free Italy program

When buying items at a shop not included in the Tax Free Italy program, you can request an invoice called fattura where Esente IVA ai sensi della legge 38 quarter, and the VAT the store has charged you is written on. On leaving Italy the fattura and items have to be shown and stamped at the Customs office. Later on already at home you have to send the fattura to the shop not further than 90 days after your purchase. The next step is to wait for the shop to reimburse the VAT by return of post (lawfully possible).

Goods Sent Home

When goods are sent from Italy to your home in your country, VAT is not included in the price. The shop where you have purchased any item will provide you with a Tax-free receipt (lawfully possible).

The Italian tax refund website can provide more information on the subject: