Tax free shopping in Ireland

UPDATED: October 2013, with new information

Visitors to Ireland from non-EU countries can claim back sales taxes on purchases made in Ireland.  

Value Added Tax or VAT, a form of sales tax, which is added to almost all goods for sale in Ireland, is only payable by those who live in the EU.

Since Ireland’s VAT rate is high, 21% on most items, claiming VAT back is equivalent to getting a reduction of 17.36% on the displayed price of items in stores – a very worthwhile reduction indeed.

However there is some effort involved on your part in claiming back the tax, and the process can be complicated, this guide will help you to understand what you need to do.

The following points are important:

  • VAT is already added to the price of goods you see in stores in Ireland, it is not added afterwards at the till, unlike for example sales taxes in the USA.
  • VAT is only refunded for the purchase of goods, not services, so you cannot claim back any VAT you paid for accommodation, entrance charges, meals, guides, car hire etc.
  • Some goods in Ireland are sold free of vat, for example children’s clothing and footwear, books and food (excluding things like chocolates or other confectionery).
    Since you pay no VAT when purchasing these, you obviously cannot claim any back!
  • There are NO refund desks in Ireland other than at Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports, so if you leave at another airport or by sea, it is more difficult to claim a refund.
  • There is no minimum or maximum amount you can claim.

THE GOLDEN RULE!

Keep all the forms you are issued with when you purchase goods. Store them carefully. Without them you cannot claim your money back. Refunds will not be made on store receipts.

How to Shop Tax-Free in Ireland

Method 1: Ship Your Purchases Home

Many stores will offer to pack and mail your purchases home for you, and if you opt for this service you will not be charged VAT when you pay for them. You will have to pay the cost of shipping.

  • Pros: Convenient, and unlike the methods below usually goes very smoothly.
  • Cons: Shipping can be expensive, possibly more expensive than just paying the tax! Not all stores will offer this service.

Method 2: Claim Tax Back

Using this method you will pay VAT when you make purchases, then claim it back when you are leaving Ireland.

Global Blue

 Where you see either of the global blue symbols in shop windows or at the cash desk you can avail of the Global Blue tax-back system to reclaim VAT.

You do not have to register in advance to use the Global Blue system.

Horizon

horizon-cardfexcoThe Horizon Card is issued by Fexco, and is the most common system used and the most widely available in shops.

You do not need to register in advance or to do anything before you travel in order to use Horizon.

NOTE: While Global Blue is an international company offering tax-back to visitors to many countries, in Ireland their system is operated on the ground by Fexco, the issuer of the Horizon card. So in effect, no matter which method you choose, you are dealing with Fexco.

How Tax Back Works

A. Make a Purchase

When you make a purchase in a store displaying a tax-back symbol ask for a Tax Refund Cheque. The store will issue you with a check, made out for the total amount of VAT on your purchases. You will need to fill in the following details on each check you receive:

  • Your name and address
  • Arrival and departure dates
  • Passport number

B. Have your Checks stamped by Customs

If a single purchase exceeds €2,000, you must have Customs verification prior to departure. Take your checks, your purchases, all receipts and your passport to the customs desk in the Airport to have them stamped and validated. Obviously you need to do this before checking in, so it’s important to get to the airport on time.

If no single purchase exceeded €2000, you can skip this step.

C. Claim Your Refund

You have two options for doing this:

  1. Get a refund at the Airport
    Take the stamped Tax Refund Checks to the Global Blue/Horizon desk or Self-service kiosk at Shannon, Cork or Dublin Airport (see details below) and you will be given the option of either receiving your refund in cash, having it mailed to you or having it refunded to your credit card. This is the best method .
  2. Claim your Refund by Mail
    When you return home, mail your Tax Refund Checks to Fexco, using a prepaid envelope (provided in stores). You can opt to have them mail you your refund or to refund your credit card.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • You get your money back with relatively little fuss if it all goes smoothly.
  • The system is widely available in may stores in all parts of Ireland

Cons

  • You pay a fee of about 2% of the total value of goods purchased; thus your refund will amount to around 15% of the ticket price of goods.
  • Not all stores are part of the tax-back scheme.

Method 3: The ‘Money Back’ System

Also known as the Vat Off system, this is also run by Fexco but the difference is you do not pay the VAT at all at the time of purchase, it is deducted at point of sale by the retailer, less a 2% service charge.

In theory this is a much better method – you simply shop tax free wherever you see the Horizon or Global Blue symbol. Done. Except not quite.

There are some important points to be aware of when availing of this system:

  • In order to avail of this system you must pay for your goods by credit card
  • You will be given a form as a record of your purchase.
  • These forms may be handed in at the tax-back desk/kiosk in the airport or mailed to Fexco within a defined period (usually 60 days)
  • If you fail to return your form, the VAT will be charged to your credit card.

Obviously it is very important that you retain and return the forms you receive.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It’s very convenient.

Cons

  • Not available in all stores.
  • You must remember to return your forms at the airport.

Useful tips

When claiming a refund at the airport, it will only be issued to the person named on the check. So if you are travelling as a couple or in a family group, have all checks made out to one person, so that only that person has to line up to claim the refund. It will save a lot of time.

When claiming a refund in the airport, you can opt to have it paid in one of several currencies. This may seem a good idea but you will pay a €1 additional charge and will probably also get a very poor exchange rate. It is usually better to accept the refund in Euro and change it later, or to have the money refunded to your credit card.

If you forget or are unable to complete these steps at the airport, don’t panic! You can have your tax-back checks or forms authorised by a Notary Public or similar on your return home, and then submit a claim to Fexco. But remember – checks are only valid for 90 days after they have been issued.

BIG IMPORTANT MESSAGE

Read the comments below this article. If you do not return your forms, you will be hit out of the blue with credit card charges long after you have returned home and, probably, discarded all your receipts and forms.

This can also happen it seems if the store where you made the purchase do not correctly complete their paperwork.

Who to contact if it all goes wrong

Since both the Horizon and Global Blue systems are run by Fexco, they are the people you need to contact. However the sad truth is that if you are hit with credit card charges it means your checks/forms are now out of date and your chances of being able to reclaim the money are between slim and none.

PLEASE do not contact me – as lots of people have in the past. I just write this stuff, I have NOTHING to do with the workings  of the tax-back system and am not in a position to assist you.

Fexco Contact Details

FEXCO Tax Free
Spiddal Industrial Estate,
Spiddal
Co. Galway
Ireland

 

Tel: +353 91 553 258
Fax: +353 91 553 403
Email:info@shoptaxfree.com

Tax-back Offices in Ireland

Dublin Airport
Terminal 1
: Self service kiosk in Pier B, towards gates 301 – 313, adjacent to the Dixon retail unit.
Terminal 2: Self service kiosks in the departures area of T2, follow generic signage to VAT RETURNS.

Shannon Airport
Self service kiosks adjacent to the office in the Departures area.

Cork Airport
Self service kiosk in the departure gates area

Visit the Horizon Website

 

 

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41 Comments

  1. I have lost my faith in the Irish VAT refund process.  I submitted all of the required information on purchases we made last fall and as of February I have not received any refund.  The first time I emailed the “moneyback” website, I was told that the refund would be issued in about 2 weeks. That was several months ago!!!  Now, when I try to contact “moneyback” I get no reply at all.  I believe that with the dire straits of the Irish economy, they have simply shut down this refund program completely.  A very sad situation.  You really cannot count on anything in this world.
     
    Joel Neilsen-Ohio USA

  2. We always request “May I get a VAT Back form, please?” when making any purchase.  (99% of the time it’s Global Refund but sometimes it’s TaxBack form.)  I simply fill it them out at the end of each shopping day and store them together in the special Important Documents pouch we bring with us.  At the end of our trip everything is ready to go and it’s no big deal to line up.  You do NOT need to turn in your receipt those often time they are stapled to the forms… the VAT folks simply remove and hand them back to you. 

    The easiest and best way, IMO, is to have the money returned to your credit card.  If you are in a hurry you can just drop off the filled out forms in the Drop Box and go – no standing in line.  But I like to stand in line anyway to be sure I know approximately how much will be put back on to the card. We’ve never had any problems this way.

  3. Had the refund stamp at the Dublin Airport on 5/30/2010 and was told to expect the credit card refund in 10-14 days, well, it is now the middle of July and I haven’t seen anything yet.  Not sure if i should trust that the refund would ever show up.  Anyone who actually receive a credit card refund?

  4. I am upset because I have just received 2 charges on my credit card for $18.01 and $35.40 for “unrtnd sales tax form kerry irl”.  I made purchases in Dublin and Kilkenny and filled out the forms.  I hated giving up my privacy by putting both my credit card number and passport number on the form, but I did it.  I was told that when I took the ferry to England, there would be a place for me to drop off these forms.  There was not!  The people on the boat told me that when I left the EU I could turn the forms in.  I flew out of Heathrow.  There was no place to deposit the forms before entering security.  After going through security, the refund people told me that I had to mail the forms to Ireland.  They provided me with an envelope and told me I needed to buy a stamp.  So I waited in line at a store, bought a stamp and put the forms in the mail.  Stamps came in packets of 5 so when I gave my extra stamps to the refund people so that someone else in my situation would have a stamp, they asked me if I had put 2 stamps on it.   I had not as they had used the singular form of stamp.  It was too late.  My envelope was in the mail box.  Obviously my forms never reached their destination and are in mail limbo somewhere, because the charges were put on my credit card.
    The EU desperately needs to come up with a logical and uniform system.  What myself and others have experienced is ridiculous!!!

    • Interesting, i also just received (2) $18.06 charges on my card. i was clueless at first, except now i realize this must have something to do with my wifes trip to ireland. i would like to know if the charges will continue and what i have to do to make them stop. also why am i being charged?? and how do i fix the proplem other then calling my credit card company and disputting the charges (which i just did). i am not a happy camper!  

  5. I recently visited Ireland and was introduced to the Horizon card in Avoca operated by FEXCO.  I shoud of known that this would be too good to be true.  I was not happy in providing all my credit card details at the time and now i no why.  Nowhere was i informed that if a vat off transaction was made you still had to register the card, print a get refund form and get it signed by a notary public, justice of the peace or a police officer and return to them.  When i tried to hand my card in at Dublin airport i was told that i had to apply for the VAT refund online.  I did this and received an email asking me to complete and send the form.  my VAT refund amount was EUR 3.25 – it was going to cost me more than this to send it from Saudi Arabia so on this basis i cut my losses and decided to forget about it.  I then received a charge on my credit card for unreturned tax form.  When i enquired i found that the info@shoptaxfree.com emal address does not exist.  i finally managed to get an email to them and was advised that i had been fined because i did not complete a form for a refund done in Aovca where the VAT was taken off at the time of purchase.  There is no mention of that this needs to be done on any of the marketing material.  In my opinion, FEXCO are knowing stealing from tourists and making a lot of money from it.  They need to be stopped.  I advise anyone out there thinking that the FEXCO / Horizon scheme is a good one not to fall for the it – its a con.

  6. I think it is better just to forget about VAT refunds. The system of refunds in Ireland is flawed and probably designed that way to inhibit refunds.
    Just don’t buy goods and pay the VAT on the services like hotels and food etc for which you can not get a refund anyway.
    I walked around the Dublin airport only to eventually find  a closed office and I didn’t feel like leaving the personal information. So I just gave up and I think that’s what they want anyway!

  7. I travelled in October, 2009 and have never received my VAT tax refund. I too was reluctant to give my debit card number, but they insisted that was the only way to receive my refund.

    Here I am… going on 2yrs later… still out my money. All the places I e-mailed either didn’t respond or said they couldn’t help me. Of course my travel partner got HIS $2. I wish that’s all I was due or I’d feel a lot better about writing it off.

  8. Ireland has good reason to be totally ashamed of its service re return on VAT on sales at the Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street in Dublin.

    I returned my forms at a drop box at Dublin Airport because there was no employee at the office there when my flight was leaving Dublin in April 2011. It is now July 20, 2011, and I have heard nothing from them ………. except, today, I get a charge of $30.10 to my credit card, with notation ‘UNRTRND SALES TAX FORM KERRY’

    Another example of WASTE BY BIG GOVERNMENT.

    Thanks a lot, Kerry.

  9. If I return to Ireland I will not purchase any goods from the country. This is a scam.

  10. Donnelly, I had the same experience. I made purchase at the Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street in Dublin in May.

    I just found a debit on my checking account for $26.94 with notation ‘UNRTRND SALES TAX FORM KERRY’

    I WILL be calling my credit card company.

    • Debbie and others,
      I also found a charge on my Capitol One credit card by UNRTRND SALES TAX FORM KERRY, IRL for $59.62. I called Capitol One and they could not find any follow up information on this charge, i.e. phone number or email address. I choose not to dispute it for now, but had them make a note on my account until I could look into it further. I guess I’ll be calling them back and disputing it. Still don’t know what it is.

      As for our VAT refund, I did not send anything in and figured I was just out the tax. I never figured I’d be charged for not sending in the form.

      Denny

    • I just discovered a similar charge on my debit card this morning. I plan to discuss this with my bank, but I am not at all optimistic. Thank you for posting this though, since now I know I’m not the only one.

  11. Hello
    My wife and I enjoyed our visit to Ireland from Canada in May 2011, and hope to return.
    I was hesitant to put personal information such as our passport number and credit card number, however I went ahead and deposited the “required” VAT refund/exemption receipt forms with a bored clerk at a desk in the Shannon airport. She placed the forms on a small mountain of similar papers, and dismissed 1 of our receipts due to it being filled out by hand by the merchant because the computer system/network was down at time of purchase. It was not a large purchase ($67.00 Cdn) – no big deal. The rest of the forms were accepted. It is now August and our credit card was charged $30.31 in July and August (total $60.62) “unreturned tax form-Kerry”. I have cancelled my credit card to prevent further charges and have lodge an investigation for un-authorize merchant charge with my credit card provider. Needless to say, we are not impressed. Government? 3rd party provider? I’m not sure who I have to chase after and I do not have any of the original forms left at the airport as I didn’t plan to make photocopies of forms when I am on vacation in an unfamiliar country.

  12. I am honestly quite shocked at the number of people who seem to be having difficulty with this, and who are ending up with their cards being charged. I’ve had quite a few emails as well as the comments here.

    I am going to do my best over the next few days to try to follow up on what is happening with this system, and to find out who or where people should contact when it goes wrong. I’ll post whatever information I can get here as soon as I have anything worthwhile.

  13. Digging further, we found this site [http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/vat/leaflets/tax-free-shopping-tourist.html#section8] that explains the process. Having left our documents at the Dublin Airport, we think the very important step of getting a receipt or some sort of proof of submission was omitted. We are also going to notify the Revenue Commissioners office with as much information as we do currently have (ie purchase receipts). Any information you can find, Katherine, would be helpful. Thanks!

    Revenue Commissioners
    Indirect Taxes Division
    VAT Interpretation Branch
    Stamping Building
    Dublin Castle
    Dublin 2
    Ireland
    Tel:+353 (0)1 6475000
    Homepage:http://www.revenue.ie

  14. We also are getting charges on our credit card.. We did not do the paperwork so I guess this is what happens. people need to be aware that it is a real pain and just pay the tax and forget it. They get you one way or the other……

  15. We live in Brazil. Dropped the form in the drop box but my wife forgot to sign it. She left her e mail details on it along with credit card and we e mailed Dublin Airport to see if we could get a form to sign to complete the process. Needless to say we are still awaiting a response after several e mails and several weeks. Pathetic Irish service appears to have ruined the day yet again. Complacency, apathy and unahsamed ignorance are the order of the day at Dublin Airport’s tax back office. Will never try to claim again and will never buy anything of value in Dublin again. Who are they paying to “work” in that excuse for an office/service?????? What a WASTE of space, time and money. Pathetic! A sad indictment of Ireland’s lame and unimaginative approach to tourism.

    One seriously unsatisfied customer. Ash

  16. Have one of these bogus unreturned tax charges for $31. I was told I could put the forms in on the way out but there was no facility at the ferry. The system is some form of scam. My reaction is, next time I come I won’t spend any discretionary money…

  17. Also have two of these charges dated Aug 29 for US$29 and US$49.52..
    My daughter did do some shopping in Dublin…Has anyone figured out if these charges are bogus or are really coming from the government? I have filed a dispute with the credit card co. but in my experience unless you have some sort of documentation the disputed charge can go back to your card.

  18. A friend of mine live in Dublin and she is going on holiday oversea this month,she bought a handbag ,so can she get vat refund back at the airport?

    Thank u..

  19. Having returned from a trip to Ireland in Sept. I tried to claim the VAT refund on the internet. The shop girls at the store told me to do it via the web and it would be easier, but when I tried to do that it refused my VAT number (as invalid) and I was forced to mail it in. Just today I noticed 2 debits on my credit card (instead of credits) to my Capital One acct. I phoned Capital One and they can’t seem to track down the info on this debiting. Looks like this is happening to lots of people and Ireland is getting a double tax from its visitors. This will teach me a lesson about purchases in Ireland.  

  20. This happened to us coming back from Rome to Ireland where we bought a bottle of whiskey in Duty Free.
    Just got charged the tax on our VISA. I also sent this feed back link to the Irish Tourist Board to see their response about other tourists to Ireland who have sufffered the same fate. How discouraging for tourists!

  21. shopper seeking VAT REFUNDDecember 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I OBTAINED FILLED IN VAT DOCUMENTS IN IRELAND AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE AND HAVE NOW RETURNED TO SYDNEY. HOW SHOULD I RECLAIM VAT?

  22. I am going to Ireland in May.  I don’t plan on making any major purchases, but would like to buy a few things.  Would I be better off just paying the taxes at the time of purchase and not bothering to try and get a tax refund? And not filling out any paperwork.

  23. If the VAT is added to all goods for sale and is basically paid for at the point of sale, can you explain why there then is another charge to the credit card “UNRTRND SALES TAX FORM KERRY, IRL” I sort of feel as though I paid the VAT at the point of sale and now again with this card to my card.  I don’t understand it.  I did the forms after my first visit and only received such a small sum returned, I decided it was not worth it on this trip.  I now have a $20.09 charge on the credit card.  I hope it is the only one!  Please try and explain it.  I’m confused on it.  I thought the forms were to get the tax back that was paid at the time of purchase. 

  24. If the VAT is added to all goods for sale and is basically paid for at the point of sale, can you explain why there then is another charge to the credit card “UNRTRND SALES TAX FORM KERRY, IRL” I sort of feel as though I paid the VAT at the point of sale and now again with this card to my card.  I don’t understand it.  I did the forms after my first visit and only received such a small sum returned, I decided it was not worth it on this trip.  I now have a $20.09 charge on the credit card.  I hope it is the only one!  Please try and explain it.  I’m confused on it.  I thought the forms were to get the tax back that was paid at the time of purchase. 

  25. Visited Ireland and several other countries in Europe. Left Europe through the airport in Belfast. Dropped the form for refund of VAT on one purchase at a box at the airport. A dedicated phone hotline available nearby for refund questions would only give “the party is not available right now”. Just got a charge for the infamous “unrtrnd tax form” in my credit card, which I immediately disputed.
    Did anyone figure out something about this charge? Did those affected get it reversed?

    Cheers,

    • In addition to the purchase in Belfast for which we received the form for VAT refund and dropped at the airport (still no refund after 6 months), my wife also made a large purchase in Dublin (we drove there from Belfast) at a store where the clerk said he had a “card that every turist should have that allowed to not pay VAT”. I wasn’t with her. She said he swiped the card followed by our credit card, and the purchase was made VAT free. The clerk did not give my wife any card, therefore there was nothing to present upon departure.

      I’m reading about a FEXCO card that you can order and register, which seems to do exactly that, BUT and a big BUT, you must stop by their counter at an airport in Ireland (which we were not going to use, as we flew in/out from Belfast/UK) and process the VAT exemption, and the penalty for not doing this so is to be charged the VAT back (on your credit card) added by a fee of EU$1.5 (read the fifth bullet on  https://www.shoptaxfree.com/tourists/terms-conditions/) 60 days later. As I’m getting this charge in my credit card almost exactly 60 days after the purchase in Dublin, I’m starting to think that this could explain it. My wife does remember that the card the clerk swiped was red in color, which matches this FEXCO card.

    • Editing my last reply: still no refund on the form dropped at the airport after 2 months (60 days).

  26. 2012and this is still happening.  Did anyone find out if this is legit at all? Have just lodged dispute with credit card company?  They don’t really explain thetax thing well at all to tourists, especially in the tourist shops. So the Irish gov has got theshelves up the creek and now they are screwing over tourists… Nice one, makes me want to go back and visit.

  27. I have the same issue as Caroline Bell. I too went to Avoca and got given a Horizon Card and got told to fill out a form to retrieve the tax back. I am from Ireland but have lived and worked in Australia and I was on holiday in Ireland.

    I too went to the tax return desk in which I got told there was nothing I could do with the receipts that they only accepted tax invoices. 

    I have been charged $34.22 twice however I have only made one purchase. I am currently disputing it with my back and they are looking into the “UNRTRND Sales Tax Form Kerry” 

    I need to know the steps to take to get my money back.

    Avoca cannot promise you a refund in tax and not explain in detail what steps to take to follow through with it.

    I also believe this is a scam and the charges are not explained and there was no notification to say that this would occur.

    I still have my Horizon Card and if anyone has any information how I can take this further I will gladly listen. I don’t believe the charge is even the correct about, as far as I remember it was only a couple of euro off and certainly not worth this hassle. 

    I am very annoyed at this Irish system that is put in place. And it is not doing Irish Tourism any favours! 

  28. patricia cantwellNovember 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I dropped my documentation and receipts and Horiozen card in the dropbox at Dublin airport 2 months ago.. how can i check on my  refund..is there an email  address?

  29. Hi,

    I need to know how to contact this UNRTRND SALES TAZ FORM KERRY this company has taken money from my account three times. $34.22, £34.22 and then $30.88 all on the same day the 2nd of October 2012. I have my bank currently looking into it.

    If thia ia got to do with my purchase at avoca and the card I received from the cashier HORIZON well the money that has been taken from my account amounts to the price I paid for the product when I was at Avoca.

    My purchase was 114.90euro and the tax was 13.01. I wish I never took the card and got sucked into this mess. I have now been charge nearly $100 from this Tax company, I didn’t even spend that much it’s absolutely ridiculous and a complete scam!!!

    If anyone has any information on how I can get in contact with this company so I can demand a refund and an explanation on how this happened. My next step is to cancel my card!!

    This is an absolute outrage!! 

  30. I just got dinged too! I didn’t bother with the VAT refund, the amount we spent in Ireland wasn’t worth the hassle of applying. But I just got dinged for “unreturned sales tax form” on my credit card! Guess next time I’ll only use cash in Ireland, or not spend my money there at all! They’ve now gotten tax from me twice!

  31. Having been insulted by that Scam company in Kerry two years ago – after spending almost €1000 – with two “rebates” of 1.64 and .69 cents, here I am now thinking the Horizon card may work efficiently …even honestly. However, here we go again, it is accepted only here and there in the shops – ok in Donegal not in Ballybofey. Now I read all these complaints and I am worried charges wii be applied to my credit card when I return to Australia.
    i intend Now to complain about Fexco Horizon to the Irish Tax office. I should not hold my breath ! Perhaps I should not purchase any more…just to be safe.

  32. Once again today I have received an email from someone who had money unexpectedly removed from her account. I get these emails very regularly, mainly because either people who’ve been hit by charges, or on occasion their banks, find this page and mistakenly believe I’ve something to do with the tax system.

    Over the last three years or more I have tried many, many times to get some answers from the companies involved, and have contacted the tax authorities on a number of occasions. I have gotten precisely nowhere.

    This system is patently broken, and I and others who want so much for people to leave with only happy memories of Ireland am both embarrassed and appalled by it.

    I’ll keep trying.

  33. I was in Ireland in September 2013. I turned in a VAT refund form at the airport for items I bought without using a VAT exemption card. Three months later, at the end of December 2013, an unexplained “Unrtrnd Sales Tax Form” charge of over $30 showed up on my VISA statement. I spent over an hour on the phone with my credit card company. They have no way to trace this charge back so that I can dispute the charge. During one of my sessions on hold with the credit card company, I found this and other discussions about the FEXCO scam online. Makes me furious. And very, very sorry that I spent any money at all in Ireland if this is the kind of scam they feel justified in pulling.
    Have we no recourse? Mind-boggling that they can get away with this… How can a credit card company accept charges from a vendor that provides no contact information? Seems to me that, for that reason, VISA is complicit in this.

  34. I too have fallen foul of the dreaded “UNRTRND SALES TAX FORM KERRY” curse. I’m a British expat living in Canada and visited Ireland on holiday to see some relatives. I bought a few items on the red Horizon card and now suddenly they’re trying to take $56.12 off me!

    However, in the interests of fairness I would like to point out to the people in this thread that FEXCO — the perpetrators of this scam — are NOT the Irish government and have NOTHING to do with the official customs of Ireland. They are a PRIVATE company that works with the retailers to claim YOUR refund (supposedly on your behalf) and then keeps a portion of it as an “administration fee”. The retailers allow this because they also get a “rebate” from FEXCO based on your sales. Basically, they apply for your FULL refund from the Irish government, and then only pay you half of it and keep the rest for themselves. This is also why they are able to place charges on credit cards and keep getting away with it – a government wouldn’t be able to abuse small print to rip people off like this.

    • You are absolutely right. I’ve not let this sit and have recently been speaking with some people about it. I’ll have a MAJOR update to this article soon.

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