You're out shopping anywhere
in Turkey (particularly in a carpet
shop). You find something you like.
The price is suitable, or you haggle until it is suitable. You decide to
The salesperson says "I
must charge you Value-Added Tax"
(KDV in Turkish) "but you
can obtain a tax refund at
the airport when you take
your purchase out of Turkey."
Even better! Tax-free shopping! When
it works, it's great: at the airport
you apply to a tax refund office in
the terminal before you go through
passport control. You show them your
purchase receipt, fill in a form, and
they pay you the tax refund.
But often it does not work,
and here's why. The salesperson may
tell you that the tax is refundable
at the airport, but on your purchase
receipt it may say that you
have already received the refund directly
from the shop:
Uh-oh... The salesperson
asked you to sign the receipt ("for
your tax refund"). You signed
the unfamiliar form without reading
it carefully. When you get to the airport,
request your refund and are refused,
you examine the form more closely and
see the notice saying that by signing
the form you've confirmed that you've
already received your refund.
In theory, it's a convenience: you
get the benefit of the refund right
then and there when you make your purchase,
and the price you pay is the tax-free
price. The problem arises when you
are led to believe that the price you
are paying is item-plus-tax, and that
you will receive a refund at the airport,
in effect lowering the amount you pay.
You don't expect such a thing. The
salesperson knows you don't.
You signed without reading,
so the fault is partly yours.
emptor! ("Let the buyer beware!")
tax refund that helped you
decide to make the purchase has
already been deducted from
the price you're paying.
Here's how to avoid this disappointment:
1. Do not sign anything that
you have not read completely in a language
2. Do not rely on verbal
commitments. Get it in writing.
3. Make your purchase decision
on the basis of the final tax-included
price. If you receive a refund, good!
If you don't, no matter.
4. If someone asks
you to sign a form confirming that
you have received a tax refund, make
sure you have received the refund before
5. If you suspect
sleazy dealing from any salesperson, do
not do business with them.
There are plenty of honest merchants
Go find a better one.
Here's a different
twist on the VAT
tax refund scam....