Getting your tax refund in Paris can make a huge difference especially if shopping is one of the activities you’re planning on doing during your trip! The tax refund scheme doesn’t just apply in France but in all of the European Union, though refund rates might be different. In France, the Value Added Tax (TVA in French) is at a standard 20% on all commercial goods. Travellers in France can claim up to 12% of this back upon leaving the country.
This article serves as your guide on the rules and the procedure of claiming your tax refund in Paris. Read below for:
- eligibility for tax refund in Paris
- steps on how to do your tax refund in Paris
- where your can do your tax refund in Paris
- our best tips for getting your tax refund in Paris
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Eligibility for Tax Refund in Paris
In order to quality for the ‘Detaxe’ in France or anywhere in the European Union, you must have all the following qualities:
– be a resident of a country outside of France and the European Union
– be a visitor in France for a period of under 6 months
– be over 15 years old
– have spent more than 175€ in the same establishment on the same day (this could be on only one item or on multiple items)
How to do your Tax Refund in Paris
Here are the most typical steps that you need to take when doing your tax refund at commercial establishments in Paris. It’s important to remember that NOT ALL commercial establishments have tax-free shopping. For example, this doesn’t apply to supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, and restaurants.
After successfully making a purchase worth over 175€, you must show your passport to be able to ask the staff for your ‘Detaxe form‘.
Carefully complete your Detaxe form. Make sure that it is signed by you and someone from the shop staff. This must be done on the same day as when you made the purchase.
Keep your Detaxe form along with the receipt. You must either scan or mail this off at the airport on the day you depart France or the European Union.
Decide if you’d rather get an instant cash refund (usually for a slightly lower percentage) or you’d prefer to get the refund on your credit card. If you’d like an instant cash refund, you must do this at Detaxe counter at the airport. For refunds direct to your credit card, you can do this at one of the detaxe machines called ‘PABLO’ machines.
Step 5 A: Pablo machine
Once you’ve arrived at the airport, head to the Detaxe area right away (see the locations below). The machine is available in different languages and there will be instructions carefully laid out. Scan your ‘detaxe form’ and if it’s been validated, you’re done!
Step 5 B: Detaxe counter
If your detaxe form cannot be validated by the machine, that means you would need to head to the Detaxe counter and present your detaxe form, receipts, and purchases to the officer. You must also have your boarding pass and passport with you. It should be a pretty smooth process though you might need to wait in line for some time.
INSIDR Tip: We don’t recommend checking in your luggage beforehand because the officer at the Detaxe desk might ask to see the item you’ve purchased. Failing to show them the item results to ineligibility to get your tax refund.
This is especially true for luxury brands (Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Chanel) and jewelry.
Step 6: Waiting period
If you chose the direct to credit card refund, don’t be surprised if you’ve been waiting for a while. The refund can take up to 8 weeks and sometimes, even more.
Where to do your Tax Refund in Paris
1. CDG Airport
The detaxe machine locations can be found at each of the three terminals at Charles de Gaulle airport. To find them simply follow the signs in the airport for ‘Detaxe’ or ‘Tax Refund’. Here are their locations:
Terminal 1: same level as the CDGVAL, hall 6
Terminal 2A: Departures level, gate 5
Terminal 2C: Departures level, gate 4
Terminal 2E: Departures level, gate 3/4
Terminal 2F: Arrivals level
Terminal 3: Departures level, international customs zone
2. Orly Airport
You can also get your tax refund at ORLY Airport. Here are the locations:
– Orly 1-2: Level 0, near Gate 22a
– Orly 4: Level 0, near Gate 47d.
For PABLO machines, here are the locations:
– Orly 4: Departures level
– Orly 2: Departures level
3. Galeries Lafayette
Expert shoppers in Paris know well that one of the only places outside of the airports for an instant tax refund is at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. Basically, as long as you’re eligible and you’ve spent more than 175€ on the same day, you can ask for your tax refund. They also offer an instant cash refund! You can directly head to their Tax Refund Desk on Level -1 in the main store (Coupole) with the original receipts and your passport. It’s a really smooth and quick process!
INSIDR Tip: For an easy time getting your tax refund, Galeries Lafayette Haussmann offers a variety of VIP shopping experiences that includes doing your tax refund at one of their private concierge lounges. Enjoy a refreshment while waiting for the staff to handle your tax refund! For reservations of inquiries, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Tips for doing your Tax Refund in Paris
1. Pack your bags with your purchases at the top of your suitcase so they’re easily accessible if you need to show the customs officers your purchases!
2. Fill out the forms in advance in order to save time at the airport!
3. While you cannot get a tax refund on medicine, parapharmacy purchases of skincare, fragrance, and makeup are included in the tax refund scheme! Such parapharmacies are CityPharma. More about beauty shopping in Paris here.
4. You can also do your tax refund from Travelex counters at the airport but they often have a long queue. The PABLO machines are quicker!