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VAT Refund at Alicante Airport
When you go shopping in Spain, you pay IVA, the Spanish equivalent of VAT, the tax that is added to the price of most goods that you purchase in shops. If you don’t live in Spain, you might be able to get a VAT refund.
Who can get a VAT refund at Alicante Airport?
You may be eligible for a VAT (IVA) refund if you
- live outside of the European Union
- live in the Canary Islands, Ceuta or Melilla
- have bought goods for your personal use
- leave the EU within 3 months of purchasing these goods
What do I need to do to get a VAT refund at Alicante Airport?
There are 3 steps to this process:
Step 1 – Obtain a tax-free form
- This needs to be done at the time when you make the purchase. Simply ask for a tax-free form in the shop where you buy the products.
- You will need to show your passport and the shop will make a note of your details (full name, date of birth and passport number).
- Spain has a digital process for VAT refunds, called DIVA (devolución de IVA a viajeros = VAT refund for travellers). Therefore, you should be provided with an electronic tax-free form, called DER.
Step 2 – Validate your tax-free form
- You will need validate your tax-free form before leaving Spain for your country of residence. You can do this at Alicante Airport before you fly back home by using the electronic DIVA terminals located on the ground floor of the terminal building.
- The validation needs to take place before you check in the goods you want to claim your VAT refund for.
- Please have the following at hand when you validate your DER form:
- Your passport
- The goods for which you request the refund
- Your boarding pass or airline ticket with your route of travel
- In most cases, you should be able to validate your tax-free form at the DIVA terminals. If your validation has been successful, you will get the following message: “The tax free DIVA form is stamped. VAT can be refunded.”
- If, for some reason, the form cannot be validated at the terminal, you will have to go to the customs desk to obtain your validation. Along with your passport and boarding pass, the customs officer may wish to see the goods you have purchased.
Step 3 – Reclaim your VAT
- Once you have successfully validated your tax-free form, you will need to go through the security check-point.
- Once you have cleared security, look for the tax-free operator’s office at the Maccorp Foreign Exchange desk. Here, you can claim your VAT refund either in cash or to your bank card.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get a VAT refund for all the purchases I make while in Spain?
You can only get a VAT/IVA refund for products that you take with you to your country of residence. VAT paid for any services, or a meal in a restaurant for example, will not be refunded.
Is there a minimum amount I need to spend to get a VAT refund at Alicante Airport?
No. Since 2018 travellers are able to get a VAT refund for any eligible purchases, regardless of the amount spent.
Will any shop be able to provide me with a tax-free form?
Not all shops participate in the tax-free scheme. However, in bigger cities and in touristic areas many shops do. Look out for the tax-free logo and, if in doubt, check with a shop assistant before making your purchase.
Do I need a non-EU passport to be eligible for a VAT refund?
No, you don’t. European nationals can claim a VAT refund if their permanent place of residence is outside the EU. In that case, you will need to show proof of residence (e.g. consular card, resident permit, work permit, green card, etc.).
What does IVA stand for?
IVA stands for “Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido” or “Value Added Tax” in English.
You can get further information on the process from the Agencia Tributaria, the Spanish Tax Agency. You may also want to take a look at a short explanataroy video produced by the Agencia Tributaria on the topic.
For information on Duty-Free shopping at Alicante Airport, please see our Duty-Free page.