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VAT refunds for tourists

I recently traveled through Europe and Singapore.

Now I’m not the world’s biggest shopper by any means but I did spend enough to consider applying for a VAT refund as I left the EU.

But consider it is all I did. When I saw the queues and paper work involved I decided it just wasn’t worth the hassle.

On the other hand, the Singapore refund scheme is amazingly easy and quick, so I took advantage of it.

This is probably a case of size making a difference. The European VAT system is much more complex than Singapore’s, especially with several countries involved.

Nevertheless, what stood out with the Singapore system was their greater use of technology which avoided a lot of paper work, sped up the process and shortened queues considerably.

Well done Singapore!

cheers

Iain

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