How to Get Your Tax Refund from Shopping in Iceland
When you shop in Iceland, you’ll find that when you shop for goods, you’ll want to participate in the tax free shopping. It’s not a difficult process, but it’s one worth explaining because many people in Iceland had trouble figuring out how it worked. Lucky for me, I had a great Icelandic Tour Company and my guide was more than keen on making sure I knew how this system worked.
Tax Free Shopping in Iceland
If you are looking to get the VAT refund, or tax refund, here are the details you need to know.
There is a tax added to purchases that go beyond 6,000 ISK (the local currency is the Krona). While rates will fluctuate, at the time I write this post in April of 2018, 6,000 ISK is equal to about $61 US Dollars. When you shop, keep this in mind – the total of your bill needs to 6,000 ISK – not just one item.
If you visit a store multiple times you can even combine the receipts to reach this amount.
How to Get the Tax Refund
When you make purchases in Iceland, they need to be with the intention for taking them abroad (as an export essentially.) When you shop in Iceland, make sure to ask for tax free form. This will allow you to make a claim. When you get this, the salesperson will sign it and also attach the original receipt as part of the process. There are a few details for you to fill out after – just your name, address, country, credit card number, and signature.
Once you have all of this information, as you are leaving the country you can see one of the two global tax free companies operating in the country. Premier Tax Free is one, and Global Blue is the other. When I did this, I used the walk up stand at the Keflavik Airport.
Important: You must do this prior to checking into your flight. Reason being, you may be asked to show your purchased goods.
Get there early, because you never know what the lines will be like. I was very lucky in the aspect of there was a huge storm coming and we left very early knowing we had the comfort of the Saga Lounge waiting for us should we have a lot of time to kill. Also, you can’t get this refund if you don’t show an address outside of the country of Iceland.
When you present your documents, you will be given the option of taking cash (in local currency) right away, or having the amount added back to the card you used to make the purchase. If you the second option, which I did, you’ll find that it takes “about a month.” That’s what I was quoted, and in my experience, I left the country February 12, 2018, and the refund hit my American Express on March 21, 2018. About five weeks, give or take.
How Much Money Will You Get Back?
The value-added tax in the country is always already included in your purchase price of any product. They use two different tax brackets – one is 11% – one is 24%.
However, the maximum amount you can get back is 14% of the retail price of any goods you bought in the higher bracket, and 7% on the lower bracket. This can NOT be used to get money back on services.
Iceland Tax Refund Conditions
- Your permanent address must be outside of Iceland.
- Goods are to leave the country within 90 days of purchase.
- The minimum spend to get a rebate is 6000. (ISK).
- Must be ready to present goods upon departure.
- Person buying the goods must be leaving Iceland.
If you liked this information, I urge you to check out my other pages dedicated to Icelandic Travel!
Below, check out an image of my tax refund being credited back to my American Express Card.