Guide To GST Refund In Australia

Australia is a lovely place to spend your holiday. It’s hot, it’s relaxing and the big cities are beautiful. There are beaches, food and shopping centers. If you’re hunting for designer bags, make sure you apply for GST refund before going back to your country. You can shop Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Celine and get the tax back. We’re going to tell you how.

Tax refund guide per country

What is GST?

GST is goods and services tax. It’s a tax imposed on the price of the goods. The system works the same like VAT in Europe and GST in Singapore. Australia has a GST refund program, so tourists can claim the tax back at the end of their trip. The GST rate in Australia is now 10%.

Who can apply for Tax Refund?

People with permanent resident outside Australia and tourist.

Minimum purchase

You have to purchase at least $300 AUD (GST included) from one single business with the same Australian business number (ABN). So what does this mean? It means that if you buy $200 AUD worth of goods from Louis Vuitton, you will not be eligible for GST refund. But if you buy in total $300 USD worth of goods from Louis Vuitton, at one or more of their stores, you can apply for GST refund.

If you buy $200 AUD worth of goods in Chanel, then buy $1000 AUD worth of goods in Louis Vuitton. You are eligible to get your tax back from Louis Vuiton, but not from Chanel. The reason is that you need to buy at least $300 AUD worth of goods from one single business.

tax-refund-australia

Time limit for Customs Approval

Starting at the day when you’ve purchased the goods, it needs to leave the country within 60 days in order to get your GST back.

The TRS System

It can be time-consuming to process the GST refund, so Australia created the TRS system. Now this is how the system works:

Before you go to the airport and apply for GST refund, use the TRS mobile app or web app to enter the information that’s necessary to lodge a TRS claim (GST claim). The information you’ve entered will be stored in a QR code. You need to present this code to an officer at the TRS counter.

The TRS app is only available for passengers travelling on international flight and cruises.

“There is no Tax Refund Form to fill in, in Australia, it’s all about the receipts.”

How To claim your Tax Refund? Here’s a step-by-step instruction:

1. At the store: keep the receipts

When you’ve purchased the goods, make sure you get the receipts. Keep the receipts save because without them, you will not be able to claim GST back.

Any tax invoice with more than $1000 AUD in value is required to include your identity like your name, address, email or passport number. Without these details, you will not be able to apply for the GST Refund.

2. At the airport: are you going to use the TRS system or not?

It’s almost the end of your journey in Aussie (= Australia), you are about to leave the country. You have bought a lot of Chanel and other high fashion goods and you want your tax back. You can go in two ways:
– use the TRS system so your Tax Refund process is quicker
– or not use the TRS system

If you decide to use the TRS system, go to 2a.

If you are not going to use the TRS system, go to 2b.

Also, here’s a checklist what you need bring:

  • Your purchased goods
  • Original receipts
  • Passport
  • Boarding pass or international travel ticket
  • QR code (if you use the TRS system)
Also, here’s a checklist what you need bring:

  • Your purchased goods
  • Original receipts
  • Passport
  • Boarding pass or international travel ticket
  • QR code (if you use the TRS system)

2a. You’ve decided to use the TRS system, now how to process your Tax Refund?

The TRS system makes the GST refund process quicker because you’ve already entered the necessary information beforehand. After you’ve presented the QR code, the custom can work faster.

The TRS App: I have maximum 10 invoices

Using the TRS app if you have maximum 10 invoices: download the ‘TRS app’ via your mobile. Follow the instructions and enter the necessary information. The information will be stored in a QR code, present this to the officer at the TRS facility.

The Web App: I have more than 10 invoices

The TRS mobile app can only store 10 invoices while the TRS web can store more. So if you have more than 10 invoices, use TRS web. Go to http://trs.border.gov.au/ and fill in the information. Everything will be stored in a QR code, now present this to the TRS facility.

2b. You’re not going to use the TRS system, how should I apply for tax refund then?

If you don’t use the TRS system, then just go to the TRS facility with all your invoices. There can be a long waiting line, so be prepared.

“Just in case, make sure you’re at least 90 minutes at the Airport before your departure time, because processing the GST refund can take some time.”

4. Find the TRS Facility

Locate the TRS facility and show the TRS officer your purchases and invoices. If you have a QR code, show them this code to make the process faster. The customs might want to inspect your goods before aproving your GST refund claim.

5. GST Refund options

At the end of your GST refund process, you have two options to get your money back. You can either choose credit card or by cheque. If you choose credit card, then the payment will be transferred within 60 days of the claim.

GST refund overview in Australia

ValueGST Refund in $GST Refund in %
$500 AUD$45 AUD9.09%
$1000 AUD$91 AUD9.09%
$2000 AUD$182 AUD9.09%
$4000 AUD$364 AUD9.09%
$6000 AUD$545 AUD9.09%
$8000 AUD$727 AUD9.09%
$10000 AUD$909 AUD9.09%
$12000 AUD$1091 AUD9.09%
$14000 AUD$1273 AUD9.09%
$16000 AUD$1455 AUD9.09%
$18000 AUD$1636 AUD9.09%
$20000 AUD$1818 AUD9.09%

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