Who is eligible to reclaim sales tax (VAT)?
Visitors from non-European Union countries can reclaim the sales tax (VAT) on purchases from many British retailers*.
How to claim a VAT refund
To claim, first purchase goods from any store displaying the Tax Free Shopping sign. You’ll be given a tax refund form by the retailer – keep it along with your receipt
When you get to the airport, before you check-in, take your receipt and form to the Travelex VAT Refund Desk. Please ensure that you keep your goods with you when you make your claim, you may be asked to show them. High value items including watches, cameras and smartphones must be presented airside at the VAT Refund Desk.
If your claim meets all the relevant criteria, you can take your refund in cash1 - in pounds sterling or in your home currency2 . The refund is yours to spend as you wish. Even if we subsequently discover an error, we won’t ask for your money back.
How long does it take to claim a VAT refund?
Please note that the VAT Refund Desk can get busy, and we ask that you allow at least 45 minutes to complete your refund. If you are travelling at peak times, part of a group or if you are behind a tour group, the process can take longer. We ask that you ensure that you have completed your refund and checked in at least one hour before your flight.
*Conditions apply. For full details visit the HM Revenue & Customs website.
1. Cash refunds not applicable to all tax refund forms or in all cases.
2. Applies to most currencies. Travelex keeps most popular currencies in stock
Reserve your VAT refund
The Reserve your Refund service enables you the opportunity to pre book a VAT refund appointment before your flight home for only £15. Each appointment is for 30 minutes with the service available in all Heathrow terminals allowing you to claim your VAT refund at a time that suits you.