Lisbon Airport VAT Refund

All You Need To Know About Lisbon Airport VAT Refunds

If you’re taking a vacation to the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon and plan on leaving by airplane, you could stand to save some money on the items that you have bought during your stay in the city. Humberto Delgado Airport, often simply called just Lisbon Airport, provides the potential to get a refund of value added tax (VAT) if it is charged to items that you buy.

VAT is a tax on consumer goods and in Portugal it applies at three separate rates:

  • 23 percent charge standard VAT added for the majority of goods
  • 13 percent charge VAT added for specific goods including wine
  • 6 percent change VAT added for books, contact lenses and medicine

VAT refunds can be very valuable if you are buying expensive items or several goods, because a refund could end saving you a lot of money. For example, if you were to buy a standard item at a price of €5,000 then you could get a VAT refund for €725 if you are eligible.

You can generally only ask for a VAT refund if the item you purchased cost more than €50, and if you state that you do not plan to resell the product or use it for commercial goals.

Residents of the European Union do not qualify for VAT refunds, but if you are from any other country then you might be eligible for getting a refund on the items you buy in Lisbon.

When you buy items either in Lisbon or at the airport, be sure to ask the seller whether they are part of the tax refund program. If they are, you should ask them for a tax free form when making your purchase. The seller will likely ask you to see a passport or other identification that shows you are not a resident of the European Union, and might ask some other questions.

There’s no need to fill out your tax free forms during your vacation, and instead you can take care of the VAT refund process once at the airport for your departure. Ensure that you get your forms stamped at the airport at the customs desk otherwise you won’t get any VAT refund.

It’s recommended that you put your purchased items all in the same checked baggage or the same carry-on bag. Simply tell the agent at check-in that you have goods that you need to declare. If the items are in your checked baggage, the agent will direct you to an electronic kiosk at which you can enter your personal and flight details, and follow prompts to request your VAT refund on your goods. If the items are in your carry-on bag, then you will first have to take the bag through security screening before you can proceed to complete the VAT refund process.

If your items are eligible for a VAT refund you can either receive it immediately at the airport by cheque, cash, or credit card payment, or later by mailed cheque or credit card payment.

Lisbon Airport VAT refund FAQ

You qualify for seeking a refund of the VAT paid on items your purchased so long as you are not currently a resident of a European Union member country.

No, you can only seek a refund for VAT paid on items that are worth more than €50 without counting tax, and that can be refunded and are not for resale or commercial use.

No, meals are consumed and cannot be refunded so you can’t seek a VAT refund for them.

Ask the shopkeeper to give you a tax refund receipt at the time of purchase, because you will need this document to help with processing your refund request once at the airport.

When you are ready to check in for your flight, tell the check-in desk staffer that you want to declare products. They will then send you to an electronic kiosk where you’ll enter details including your passport, boarding pass and invoices before being giving further directions to either see a customs official or to proceed to a refund company’s location to get your money.

You can choose among Global Blue, Innova Tax Free, Planet Tax Free and Travel Tax Free when seeking your VAT refund once you have arrived at the airport.

All four of the individual operators that can process your VAT refund can be found in the departures area of Terminal 1 after you have checked in for your flight and cleared security.

In Terminal 2, only Global Blue has a kiosk and this is also located after passport control.

It depends on how you choose to proceed, as you can seek an instant refund that the operator will confirm and pay you at the airport, or you can leave your refund request with an operator and they will pay you later via bank transfer, cheque or send it to your credit card.