Write to Rishi over VAT cash back changes demands Global Blue

Rishi Sunak - UK Parliament official portraits 2017

Global Blue, a company that helps retailers and consumers make the most of tax-free shopping, is calling on government to scrap its plan to change rules over the reclaiming of VAT from January next year.

The Treasury is currently saying that VAT refunds for all overseas visitors will be stopped unless the goods are dispatched directly to their home countries.


VAT can currently be reclaimed at airports for any travellers heading back to countries outside the EU.

Global Blue says the change will lead to significant job losses across the retail and tourism sectors, hold back Britain’s economic recovery from Covid-19 and undermine Britain’s global appeal and competitiveness.

A consumer survey generated from Global Blue has received over 4,000 responses with 62% of international travellers saying they would be less likely to visit the UK if they could no longer claim back VAT on their purchases.

A staggering 93% said they would now not shop in the UK. Most said they would move their spending to France and Italy. “We have just handed a valuable part of our international visitor economy over to Paris, Milan and Rome,” Global Blue says.

“International visitors to the UK spend £26 billion a year across a wide range of goods and services. Tax-free shopping is a small part of that. The damage should we lose part of that spend will be significant,” Global Blue urges, while encouraging retailers and consumers to:

1. Contact your local MP (preferably by letter)

You can find your MP and contact details here https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP

2. Write to the Chancellor

Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ



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  1. I would rather Rishi take VAT off animal food, treats and drugs before any luxury items. To charge VAT on dog and cat food is all but criminal (in my opinion).
    Only then will I ask him to give visitors a tax break on luxury items.

  2. He is not aiming to stop VAT refund, he just wants to be sure that the ongoing fraud ist stopped and the goods are exported in real to the home destination of the tourist. This would make things also easier as lot of crowd at the airport to collect stamps on paper forms, all that completion work and data that is collected on paper that nobody can really check.
    As long as it is not digital and paperless it does not make sense to continue as is.


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