Tax Free Shopping in Stockholm with Global Blue

Tax Free shopping, not to be confused with Duty Free shopping, is a great way for visitors to save some money when shopping in Stockholm. I often get questions about this as it is a little confusing with the rules. Let's see if I can break it down for you. To start with, tax free shopping is basically where you can get the sales tax refunded for goods purchased in the country upon departing from said country. Sounds easy? Well, here come the rules...
Tax free shopping in Sweden is only for non-EU citizens (or if you have a 1 year residence permit in a non-EU country) and is for goods purchased at certain stores (look for the Global Blue sign in the store window or at the counter). Some stores might not have the sign visible, so ask the cashier to make sure. Remember, goods not services. For example, you cannot get a tax refund for a hotel or restaurant bill. At the store, when making your purchase, you need to ask for a Tax Free Form from the cashier. The goods purchased must remain unused (in original package) until you have departed the EU. Keep your receipts! Tax refund only for purchases more than 200 SEK.
Some examples of Global Blue signs displayed at stores.
To get your tax refund, present your goods (in original package), filled out tax free form, passport and receipts at the Global Blue counter in the departure hall at the airport. If Sweden isn't your last EU departure point, you need to go to Customs for your stamp. You then visit the Global Blue counter at the airport from which you depart the EU from (Paris, London, etc;) for stamp and refund. It perhaps goes without saying that you shouldn't pack your goods in your check-in luggage. After you get your tax free form stamped, check in for your flight and go through security... your refund is obtained at the Global Blue office on the other side of security (cash or credit). At Arlanda airport, the Global Blue offices are in the main international terminal (#5). If you are departing from the smaller international terminal (#2), you need to first visit terminal 5 for stamp and refund (in this case you get your refund credited to your credit card, not cash). Arlanda map.
Global Blue counter at Arlanda terminal 5.
Confusing? These are just the basics. There are other small print rules so make sure you read the full rules and regulations for Sweden and check the answers to the most common tax shopping questions. Don't be discouraged though... it is easier than it seems, just some follow the rules and you are good to go. If you are staying at the Rival Hotel and have any questions, come talk directly with me!


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