Blog > Newsletters > Tax Refund for visitors to Australia

Tax Refund for visitors to Australia

It is said that there are two things you cant avoid – death and taxes.   The Australian Customs and Border Protection Services has released information on an Australian Government Tourist Refund Scheme.  Follow their guidelines and you might be able to get some of your taxes back!

The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) allows Australian and Overseas passengers to claim back the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) on goods purchased in Australia and taken with them as accompanied baggage overseas. 

at the airport

To be eligible for a refund under the TRS, you must:-

*  spend a minimum of AUD$300 including GST with the one retailer;

*  ask the retailer for a single valid tax invoice totalling AUD$300 or more including GST;

*  purchase the goods within 30 days prior to departing Australia;

*  carry the goods with you as hand baggage unless they are oversized or restricted by airline regulations.

TRS facilities are located after you go through outward immigration processing at international airports and major cruise liner terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns Darwin and Fremantle.   These facilities are open to service all departing international flights and cruises.

If you plan to apply for the TRS, ensure that you allow enough additional time to complete your check-in, immigration and security clearances as well as your TRS.  Claims at airport facilities will not be processed within 30 minutes of your flight’s scheduled departure time.  Claims at seaports can be made no earlier than four hours and not within 60 minutes of the ship’s scheduled departure time. 

To make a claim, you must submit several documents to Customs and Border Protection officers at the TRS facility – including passport, international boarding pass, original valid tax invoice and the goods for verification.  You can select your preferred refund option by cheque, bank deposit or credit card.  You will need to provide the relevant account and BSB details.  Customs and Border Protection aim to process credit card and bank deposits within 5 business days,  cheque may take up to 15 business days. 

You can download a copy of the Australian Government ‘tax back for travellers’ brochure here.

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