VAT and tax-free shopping

What is VAT?

VAT is a 20% sales tax charged on most goods and services sold in Britain – exceptions are food, books and children’s clothes.

Who's eligible for tax-free shopping?

Visitors from outside the EU who stay less than three months may claim this tax back.

How does tax-free shopping work?

When shopping, ask the retailer for a VAT 407 form. It’s important to note not all shops will participate in the scheme and some may have a minimum purchase price (often around £75). They may ask for proof you are eligible so bring a passport or national identity card.

To get your money back, show the VAT form, the goods and your receipts to customs at the point when you depart. Customs will approve your form if everything is in order. You then take the approved form to get paid.

For more information, visit the official customs website here.