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Guide to Getting VAT Tax Refunds on Your Shopping in Seoul, South


Korea
by Zhiqiang & Tingyi on August 18, 2014 18 comments
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Shopping in Seoul, South Korea is not exactly cheap (except for skincare products from local Korean brands) but there is a way that you can get more bang
for your bucks claiming VAT tax refunds from your shopping in Korea. You can enjoy 10% tax refund when you spend more than 30,000 Korean won
(KRW) (about 30 USD or 38 Singapore dollars) from any shop in South Korea with Tax Free logos the more notable ones are Global Blue Tax Free
and the Orange Global Tax Free logos. This applies anywhere in South Korea e.g. Seoul, Jeju and other parts of the country as long as the shop has the
logos shown in the picture below. I will be sharing with you a guide to claiming tax refund not just via the traditional way of claiming tax refunds at airport
but how you can also save a lot of time claiming tax refunds in Downtown Seoul while your shop.

Even when you buy Korean snacks e.g. Lotte cookies, Korean ramen from supermarkets like Big C, you can also claim for tax refund if you spend more than
KRW 30,000 (Korean won). Simply proceed to the Information Counter for help on claiming tax refund.

You will not get paid your 10% VAT tax refund on the spot. You will have to ask the cashier for a tax refund slip typically provided in a white and blue
envelope (Global Blue Tax Free) or in a white and orange envelope (Global Tax Free). The tax refund slips and receipts are typically written in Korean but

you can easily deduce how much tax refund you are eligible for. So Step 1 to claiming your 10% tax free is to get your tax refund slip.
Before you get too excited about tax refund claims do note these conditions for tax refunds.
You must have spent at least 30,000 Korean won (inclusive of tax) at a shop participating as Global Blue or Orange Global Tax Free. Whatever you bought
must have been purchased within 3 months of your departure from Korea.
You must be an foreign visitor who has been residing/visiting in Korea for less than six months or is an overseas Korean (holder of Korean passport and
permanent resident) residing in/visiting Korea for less than 3 months or is a Korean student studying abroad for three years or more.
These persons are not eligible for tax refund claims: U.S. Armed Forces in Korea, diplomats in Korea, foreigners without passport, those who overstayed
their visa, foreigners working in Korea.

Processing Tax Refund Claims in Incheon International Airport


The typical way to claim your tax refund is via the customs office at the airport. Your purchased goods will be subject to examination so dont pack your
purchased items in your check-in luggage yet. Look for the Tax Refund/Customs Declaration counter in the Incheon airport (if you are flying back to
Singapore from Seoul). Typically there are quite long queues ensure that you have filled up all particulars on the tax refund slip and that your purchased
goods are easily accessible for inspection (if needed).
The aim is to get the coveted All Goods Exported stamp on your tax refund slip. We were lucky that we need not display our purchased goods it will
be very troublesome to show all the facial masks and skincare products for verification. I think the customs officers do random checks.
You can check-in to your airline first just inform the check-in staff that you have tax refund items in one of your bags to be checked in. They will do what
they usually do with checked-in luggages e.g. stick on the baggage claim labels and return the bag to you. You will need to bring this bag to the custom office
to get your All Goods Exported stamp. Once you have gotten the custom stamp, deposit your bag at the oversized baggage counter next to the custom
counter.
So to recap: Step 2 get your All Goods Exported stamp at the customs office/counter at the airport.

There are airport staff around the customs office to assist you with your tax refund after you have gotten the stamp of approval from the customs officers. We
had to scan our receipts using Tax Refund machines not quite sure what this step is all about just follow instructions from the staff. You will still not get
your money here. Proceed to check-in your luggages and go to the secured airport area after clearing immigration.

At Incheon airport, the gate to take note of within the secured airport area is Gate 28. This is where the Global Blue Tax Free and Global Tax Free offices
are located at. You will typically have tax refund slips from both companies if you do a lot of shopping in Seoul. Do note that Global Blue Tax Free office
will not process your tax refund slips from Global Tax Free (the orange one) so if you have a mix of both tax refund slips you will need to re-queue at the
other office after you have completed with one. Do note that if you dont have the All Goods Exported stamp on your tax refund slip, you can forget about
claiming your tax refunds.

Claiming your tax refunds via the Global Blue Tax Free and the Orange Global Tax Free at Gate 28 is not the only way some receipts are eligible for autotax refunds via Tax Refund machines in the airport try to scan your receipts to see if your receipts are eligible. I think this is what the above Step 3 is about
to check the eligibility for such auto-tax refunds before you clear immigration.

Do note that the tax refund process at the Incheon airport can involve quite a lot of queuing so get to the airport early if you intend to do tax refund claims.
For international flights by non-Korean carriers e.g. Singapore Airlines, you will still need to take the shuttle train to the other terminal to catch your flight so
do budget some time to do these tax refunds if you plan to do so at Incheon Airport.
If you are leaving the country from an airport/port that does not have a tax refund counter or got your documents stamped but did not have the time to visit
the tax refund counter or are traveling at a time when the counter(s) is closed, drop off your tax refund slips at the Refunds Box. The tax refunds will be sent
directly to your credit card-linked bank account.
There is another way to settle your tax refunds even before going to the airport and skip all the queuing and waiting at the airport.

Processing Tax Refund Claims in Downtown Seoul e.g. Myeongdong


There are various locations in Seoul where you can get your tax refunds processed for Global Blue and Orange Global Tax Free tax refund slips (see table
below).
You will need to present:
(1) All your receipts and tax refund slips;
(2) Your passport; and
(3) Your credit card. Your name in the passport must match that of the credit card.
You are not required to bring your purchased goods.
Your credit card will be charged with the same amount as the tax refund eligible to you as a guarantee. The payment will be cancelled once the stamped tax
refund documents arrive at the respective tax refund agency within a certain period of time.
You will be refunded in cash. The staff will stamp CASH PAID at all receipts and return the receipts to you.
You will still need to present your receipts and tax refund slips and your purchased goods for customs inspection at the Incheon airport (see Step 2 above).
The customs officers will stamp ALL GOODS EXPORTED on these receipts and will not return the tax refund slips to you. The customs office will send
these stamped receipts/tax refund slips back to Global Blue or Orange Global Tax Free. You must complete this step and ensure that you dont end up
with the stamped tax refund slips (these slips should go direct to the tax refund office). If you miss this step, you will forfeit the guarantee charged to your
credit card plus penalty fees (about 15%).
Do note that Global Blue accepts MasterCard credit card but Orange Global Tax Free does not accept MasterCard (VISA credit card is ok).
By claiming tax refund downtown in Seoul, you save time on queuing at the airport. You also get extra cash to spend with the tax refund! Do note that while
you can process most of your tax refund slips downtown, there are still some tax refund slips that require you to claim directly at the airport e.g. handwritten
tax refund slips.
More info here:
Global Blue Korea: +82-2-776-2170 / www.global-blue.com
Global Tax Free Korea: +82-2-518-0837 / www.global-taxfree.com
Agent

Global Blue

Location

Opening Hours

Woori Bank, Myeongdong Branch (located across Myeongdong Theatre)

Mon-Fri: 09:00 17:00


Sat-Sun, Holidays: 10:00 17:00

1F Lotte Department Store, Flagship Store, Myeongdong

Mon-Fri: 10:30 20:00


Sat- Sun, Holidays: 10:00 20:30

Mon-Fri: 10:30 20:00


Sat- Sun, Holidays: 10:00 20:30
2F Olive Young Flagship Store, Myeongdong (located next to Seoul Royal Hotel) Mon-Fri: 10:00 22:00
10F Hyundai Department Store, Sinchon

Global Tax Free Main Building 1F, Shinsegae Department Store, Myeongdong
B1 and 5F, Doota, Dongdaemun

Mon-Fri: 10:30 20:00


Sat-Sun, Holidays: 10:00 20:30
Mon-Fri: 10:30 23:00

Shopping online is one way you can avoid all these hassle of claiming tax refunds for example with online fashion and beauty retailer Zalora you can find
watches online for women right now there are over 99+ designs to choose from!
Do note these conditions for tax refunds in South Korea (you can claim up to 10% VAT tax refunds!) You must have spent at least 30,000 Korean
won (inclusive of tax) at a shop participating as Global Blue or Orange Global Tax Free. Whatever you bought must have been purchased within 3
months of your departure from Korea. You must be an foreign visitor who has been residing/visiting in Korea for less than six months or is an
overseas Korean (holder of Korean passport and permanent resident) residing in/visiting Korea for less than 3 months or is a Korean student studying
abroad for three years or more. These persons are not eligible for tax refund claims: U.S. Armed Forces in Korea, diplomats in Korea, foreigners
without passport, those who overstayed their visa, foreigners working in Korea.
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{ 1 trackback }
{Korea} Our 6 days itinerary to Seoul | Idelish
May 23, 2015 at 2:24 am
{ 17 comments read them below or add one }

1 Helen September 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm


Wow, thank you for such great advice and wonderful explanation. This is bar far the easiest and best explanation that is logical and good to read! Im
so glad you told me about this process. So many people should know about this.
I want to confirm, for the purchases, do i have to make purchases using Credit card in order to claim tax refund? Can I pay in cash and get the receipt
and still get refund? Does cash payment work for Seoul city claims?
Thank you!
Reply

2 Zhiqiang & Tingyi September 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm


Hi Helen
You do not have to make purchases with credit card to claim tax refund. You can pay in cash and request for the tax refund slips and receipts (if
you spend more than 30,000 KRW at a shop where tax refund is available).
Not sure what you meant by your last question but yes you can pay in cash and enjoy tax refunds if you are eligible.
Reply

3 Simon October 29, 2014 at 4:34 pm


Hi,
I have already left Korea but forgot to claim for my tax refund at the airport. Can I still claim for my tax refund from overseas? If it is still possible to
claim for my tax refund from overseas, how do I do so?
Thanks.
Reply

4 Zhiqiang & Tingyi October 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm


Did you get a customs stamp on your refund forms? If no, then there is no way you can get tax refunds. If yes, you will have to check with
Global Blue Tax Free http://www.globalblue.com/ or Global Tax Free for tax refunds via mailing the refund forms (with customs stamp) to
them.
Reply

5 Simon October 29, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Thanks Zhiqiang & Tingyi for your response. No, unfortunately I did not get the stamp on my tax refund forms. So I guess its a lost cause for me.
Thanks anyway.
Reply

6 Andronico Sanchez December 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm


were can i change my cheque here in Phillipines???
Reply

7 Zhiqiang & Tingyi December 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm


you cant get VAT Tax Refunds in Philippines for your shopping in Korea
Reply

8 Andronico Sanchez December 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm


I have the cheque from globalblue but i dont know were can i change my cheque here in phillipines
Reply

9 Zhiqiang & Tingyi December 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm


Go to your bank to cash it
Reply

10 Christine He December 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm


hi, you mentioned that Global Blue accepts Mastercard credit card and that Orange Global Tax Free accepts Visa credit card. Does the global blue one
accept visa too?
Reply

11 Zhiqiang & Tingyi December 30, 2014 at 2:57 pm


Hi Christine according to their website, they do accept visa http://www.globalblue.com/customer-services/tax-free-shopping/tax-freeshopping-faqs/
How can I get my refund back?
Global Blue offers a wide range of refund options:
(a) Refund in cash or to credit card at one of the Refund Offices located at major airports or by sending completed* Tax Free Form to Global
Blue:
(b) Refund to credit card (Visa, Master Card, Amex, Diners, JCB and CUP)
Reply

12 Lester January 2, 2015 at 4:25 pm


Hi there,
May i know if you have any idea of what time the Custom Office, Global Blue Tax Free and Global Tax Free offices closes at the airport?
Reply

13 Zhiqiang & Tingyi January 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm


From: http://www.globalblue.com/customer-services/tax-free-shopping/refund-points/southkorea/incheon-airport/?
_ga=1.156777211.1752162701.1420292700

It states 7am to 9pm for Global Blue. You can search online for opening hours of other tax refund offices.
Reply

14 Angela April 26, 2015 at 8:33 pm


Hi, if i do tax refund in Myeong dong, does this means that I can skip step 1 in the airport and start from step 2?
Reply

15 Zhiqiang & Tingyi April 26, 2015 at 11:06 pm


Just to minimise confusion, step 1 according to this article is collect the blue/orange tax refund forms from the vendor that still needs to be
done. Step 2 (according to the article) is still required. You need not do Step 3 and 4 (according to the above article). Bottomline, you need to get
your goods inspected by customs at the airport and submit your tax refund forms to them.
Reply

16 Joey June 11, 2015 at 11:24 am


Hi, I did a city refund but missed out on getting one of the receipts stamped at customs. Is it possible to get a friend who happens to be going to Korea
to get the stamp on my behalf? The difference between my arrival date in Korea to my friends departure date from Korea is less than 2months.
Reply

17 Zhiqiang & Tingyi June 11, 2015 at 9:17 pm


you will need to call/email Global Blue or Global Tax Free to check on this. I think there is a time limit before they check whether the receipts
had been customs-stamped after which, they will charge your credit card.
Reply
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