Taiwan is a popular holiday destinations for many in Singapore for its good food, pop music culture and warmth of Taiwanese hospitality. Shopping is always top on Singaporeans’ travel itinerary and besides scoring good deals, it is also important to know about the tax free shopping privileges that only foreign travelers can enjoy.
Though Europe is known for its tax free shopping, mostly for the branded goods, it is important to get know the tax refund system in Taiwan as a 5% refund rate is just like an added 5% discount, just for being a tourist!
- E-tax refund service exclusively for foreign travelers
- it is eligible to claim tax refunds with the total purchase amount of NT$2,000 in a single store on the same day
- 5% business tax will be reimbursed (only foreign travelers can immediately enjoy 5% off for any purchase they make)!
- Tax refunds can be claimed in three ways: cash (new Taiwan dollars), credit card, traveler’s check of your choice.
Here’s some tips and what you need to know about tax free shopping in Taiwan.
Tip 1─ Recognising the Tax Refund Label in Taiwan
Tax refunds in Taiwan can be applied to accumulated spending of NT$2,000 in a day at a store with Tax Refund Service (TRS) label.
Look out for the Tax Refund Service labels in stores or at cashiers.
Tip 2─ Enjoy Immediate Tax Refunds Right after Paying
Having fun shopping and getting immediate cash refunds can be very satisfying and time saving as you do not need to submit your tax refunds for processing.
If you spend between NT$2,000 and NT$48,000, including taxes, accumulated in a single store on the same day with the label indicating ” on-site small amount tax refunds”, you can enjoy immediate tax refunds upon presentation of your original passport. Additionally, no approval or inspection is required prior to your departure from Taiwan.
Remember to look for the label below to enjoy immediate tax refunds.
Tip 3 ─ Convenient Counter Locations for Tax Refund Service
In order to let travelers enjoy greater convenience when traveling and shopping in Taiwan, designated counters can be found in major shopping malls like Taipei 101, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store A8, SOGO Department Store Zhongxiao and Hanshin Department Store in Kaohsiung.
At these counters, you can directly apply for tax refund service. Additionally, the service is not restricted to your purchase made in the four shopping malls and to the upper limit of small-amount tax refunds. You can apply for tax refunds and directly claim them in new Taiwan dollars.
When you go to a designated counter for tax refund service, remember to bring you original passport, the “Application Form for VAT Refunds,” uniform invoices or e-invoices and credit card. Please note that you have to make a security deposit payment in advance with your credit card (7% of the total purchase amount including tax. VISA, MASTER, JCB and UnionPay credit cards are accepted).
Important point to note when you use this method of tax refund is to remember to visit an e-VAT refund machine or tax refund service counter at the airport or port for verification prior to your departure and request the cancellation of the security deposit. Otherwise you will not be able to get your security deposit back, which could be quite a substantial amount.
If you still have other questions, you can directly ask the service staff at a tax refund counter or call 0800-880-288, and they will answer your questions in details! If you want to learn about other tax refund issues in Taiwan, you can go to www.taxrefund.net.tw for more information!
Tip 4─ Convenient and Easy-to-Use e-VAT Refund Machines
If you do not want to wait in line for the tax refund service before your departure, e-VAT refund machines are available in Taiwan’s airports and ports, kiosk as seen below. The machine is easy to operate with eight languages available and clear instructions to guide you through. Present your original passport and the application from for VAT refunds issued at time of purchase, you can apply for tax refunds in the maching, saving you a lot of time vs manual verification.
One thing to note though, that if the screen shows that you have to go through inspections at Customs, you’ll have to return to request verifications. If you are not sure how to go about it, you can always ask a service staff near by who will be able to assist you.
Tip 5─ Exchange Tax Refunds into Singapore Dollars before Returning Home
You have successfully claimed your tax refunds! Do you want to exchange new Taiwan dollars directly into Singapore dollars before returning home? Take a look at the image below to see where you can do that.
One of the places that I would like to shop at for local souvenirs and products is at Hsin Tung Yang 新東陽 which is centrally located in the city and it is a great place to grab some souvenirs and last minute shopping for friends, family members and colleagues. The great thing about Hsin Tung Yang is that it offers 24h tax free shopping experience and you can really make a quick run to the store just before heading to the airport any time of the day!
Here’s the full address if you would like to key it into GoogleMaps or inform the taxi driver.
新東陽 No. 282, Linsen North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City 台北市中山區林森北路282號
H A P P Y S H O P P I N G!