Here’s how to do a tax refund in Korea
Planning on shopping a lot when you go to Seoul? If you’re anything like me, then you will, oh yes my friend, you will! At first, I wondered whether it would be worth claiming a tax refund in Korea because it seems like it’s a bit of a fuss just to save a couple of pounds. But you know what? If you accumulate a lot of receipts, it does add up!
The key points are:
- To claim tax you need to spend over 30 000 won to be able to claim. So if you are planning on shopping for say – innisfree items – if you have enough arms, buy all innisfree items altogether in one day so you can get over the 30000 won threshold. Don’t shop in dribs and drabs.
- Remember that refund amounts less that 75,000 won can be automatically validated at self-help kiosks at the airport! Which means you won’t have to show your goods to the customs officer. So once you have all your receipts, calculate what it all amounts to!
What to do to get a tax refund in Korea
- You will need a tax refund receipt from the store. So make sure you ask for it at the counter. The receipt will have info for you to fill out e.g. your passport number. It should look something like the below!
They will then give it to you in an envelope like the below! If I were you, I would keep these and write down the name of the shop on it for your own records.
There are various tax refund bodies. So far, I’ve encountered these three!
You can have a read of one of them!
When you get to Incheon airport
I took a picture of the information booth because it’s really handy and helps explain things better!
I had initially packed all my goods in my hand luggage ready to show customs but it was not necessary at all because my tax refund amounted to less than 75,000 won.
So what do you do? Head to the SPEEDY TAX REFUND kiosks.
There are people at these kiosks who will take your wad of receipts and scan them very quickly for you. Literally, they are flipping through them in seconds. Honestly, I was worried about this taking a long time but it’s so quick and easy, you might as well do it!
Once you are inside departures, head to the global tax-free booth and give them your receipts! They will then refund you the money there.
If you forget to claim your refund outside, then there are actually kiosks inside departures as well!
Side note: There are shops in Seoul that will give you an immediate tax refund if you have your passport with you. However, I found sometimes it’s a bit of a hassle to do. I found it was better to do it all in one swoop at the airport.
You can read more about tax free shopping at the Visit Korea website.
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