FAQ from buyers

What goods are eligible for TAX FREE purchases?

Any goods bought at an authorized store whose total value is at least 175 euros, VAT included. To claim back the VAT these must be in an unused state (in their original sealed packaging), must be bought on a fiscal invoice and be transported in the hand luggage or checked-in luggage.

Does the TAX FREE facility also apply to services (hotel, restaurant bills)?

No, this facility only applies to the purchase of goods.

Do I absolutely need the customs office’s stamp?

The stamp of the customs office is mandatory, or your purchase will not be eligible for a VAT refund. The VAT refund form and the fiscal invoice must both be stamped by customs upon leaving the EU.

Do I have to carry all the purchased goods in my carry-on luggage?

Usually, it is recommended to have them in your carry-on baggage. However, if the goods are too large to be transported in the carry-on baggage, they must be presented to the customs office before check-in. In this case, it is recommended to arrive at the airport earlier to fulfill all formalities.

What if I leave Romania on a flight with a layover in another EU member state?

Hand baggage: the carry-on goods, the VAT refund form, and the fiscal invoice must be presented to the customs office of the last EU member state visited before leaving the EU.

Checked baggage: the goods must be presented to the customs office of the airport of departure, before checking in.

Does the TAX FREE concept apply to goods shipped by courier, mail or purchased online?

Only if the delivery is made in Romania, you are issued a VAT refund document and invoice, and the goods are transported outside the EU.

May I use the purchased goods before leaving the EU?

No, they must be presented to customs as purchased, in their sealed packaging. Customs may otherwise refuse to stamp your documents.

How can I make sure the store is TAX FREE authorized?

Please check whether the store displays the Tax Free logo or inquire with the staff.

I do not have a stamp on my invoice, can I get my money back?

According to the current legislation, the VAT refund is made based on the original refund document, stamped by the customs office when leaving the European Union, and a copy of the invoice stamped by the same customs office.

How long do I have to obtain a customs stamp?

The customs stamp must be obtained before the end of the third month following the month of delivery.

Can I get a VAT refund for documents with digital export validation? (e.g., Vienna)

Romanian legislation does not allow VAT refund based on digital validation.

Can I use a voucher?

Yes, if the final invoice is over the minimum value of 175 euros.

Can VAT be refunded after 3 months?

Yes, if the customs stamp is within the three-month period.

I want to receive my money back on my credit card. Does it have to be the same credit card that I used to make the purchase?

No, it can be the account associated with another card or it can be an account belonging to another person, with the mention that you must provide the full name of the account holder.

How can I get my money back?

After leaving the EU space and completing all formalities, there are several options through which you can recover the value-added tax, as follows:

  • In cash, at our counter located inside Henri Coanda Bucharest International Airport;
  • By bank transfer if you have left the EU through another exit gate;
  • In cash, at the store where you made the purchase, only if you return to Romania and if the store accepts cash payment.

Where should I send the VAT refund form?

After completing all formalities, you can send the original refund document as well as copies of the invoice and fiscal receipt to the following address: ASK FOR TAX FREE SRL, OP 15, CP 24, Bucharest, Romania.

Does Ask for TAX FREE apply a commission to the VAT refund?

Yes, our commission is 6% of the invoice value.

FAQ from shops

What is the minimum amount?

The minimum amount is 175 euros calculated at the National Bank of Romania exchange rate from the first working day of October of the previous year. For 2024, this is 871.00 lei.

Can multiple invoices be combined on a single VAT refund document?

No, multiple receipts can be combined on a single invoice, but multiple invoices cannot be combined on a single VAT refund document.

What does Tax Free authorization involve?

Tax Free authorization involves submitting a file at the Tax Administration attached to the company’s headquarters and is issued in approximately 30 days.

How long is the Tax Free authorization valid for?

The authorization is valid for 5 calendar years.

If I have multiple secondary offices, do I need authorization for each?

Yes, each secondary office needs to obtain an authorization.

Can I issue documents for goods sold before obtaining Tax Free authorization?

No, documents cannot be issued for goods sold prior to obtaining Tax Free authorization.

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