How to request Airvat invoices for tax-free shopping
To be able to claim a VAT refund via our app and benefit from our low commission, you must first obtain from the retailer an invoice in the name of Airvat. The information required to issue an invoice is listed below, depending on your shopping destination:
|France||Northern Ireland (UK)|
10 rue de Penthièvre,
SIRET 90084709600014 (optional)
TVA FR 50900847096 (optional)
20-22 Wenlock Road
London, N1 7GU
VAT no. 312092250
Shop’s own VAT refund forms, cash register or credit card receipts are not acceptable. Don’t ask for VAT refund forms or mention “tax-free” to avoid confusion. Instead, you will need to request an invoice (or “facture” in French) in the name of Airvat.
In the app you will find a handy invoice request screen to show to the sales assistant. This will make it easier for you to communicate the information. Show the screen and simply ask “Please could I have an invoice / facture?”.
We strongly recommend asking the shop assistant for the invoice before making a purchase to avoid any disappointment after you have made a payment.
Most shops will be able to issue an invoice instantly at the checkout by entering Airvat’s company details into their cash register system.
You do not need to justify yourself when asking for an Airvat invoice. Shops have a legal obligation to issue invoices if requested.
What does an invoice look like
There is no set format for an invoice and, in fact, the document does not even need to say “invoice” to qualify as one. However, it must contain the following required details about the purchase:
- State Airvat as the buyer/customer;
- Retailer’s name, address, and VAT number;
- Invoice date and number;
- Goods description and quantity;
- VAT rate and the paid amount.
Note that each invoice can be of any value, however, the total value of your shopping must reach at least €100.01 before you can qualify for a VAT refund in France.
I'm having difficulties getting an invoice
Occasionally you might experience difficulties getting an invoice in the name of Airvat.
Some shops may have older cash registers that are not capable of issuing instant invoices. Instead the retailer’s back-office would have to process your request, which may take several days.
There is also a chance of the sales assistant just not being familiar with their internal invoicing procedure. In this case ask to talk to the manager, or try another branch of the same retailer where the staff might be more helpful.
Other shops, in particular the well-known luxury brands, may misleadingly insist that they can’t issue an Airvat invoice or that they don't sell to companies. This is usually because they are incentivised to promote their affiliated tax refund operator by receiving a sizable commission from your transaction.
While shops can’t legally stop you from using your preferred tax refund operator, they might make it extra hard or confusing for you. Hopefully we have provided enough information to help you assert your consumer rights and unlock extra savings by using the Airvat app for your tax-free shopping.
Remember that ultimately the shop wants to make a sale! If you are insistent on getting an Airvat invoice and prepared to walk away, a good sales assistant will always find a way to meet your demands!
If you, however, decide to take the shop’s own tax refund form, you will not be able to enjoy Airvat’s low-commission digital service for that particular purchase. Learn more here about how to calculate your VAT refund and understand all the charges involved.
Why is the invoice in the name of Airvat required
An invoice is the official document stating the amount of tax paid on each purchase. In order to refund VAT to you, we need to recover the same amount from the tax authority, which is why the invoices must be issued in Airvat’s name.
The invoice together with the corresponding tax-free form authorised by customs are the two main documents required by Airvat to complete the formal VAT reclaim process and pass on the refund to you.
What is the difference between an invoice and tax-free form
An invoice is a tax document providing the details for the sale of goods. If you use our app, the invoice would be issued by the retailer, mentioning Airvat as the purchaser.
After you upload this invoice into the Airvat app, we will generate an entirely separate document, commonly known as a “tax-free form”. The tax-free form will collate all your approved purchases from different retailers.
The tax-free form is actually an export document that contains some officially required information about you as well as a list of your tax-free purchases.
You will need to get your Airvat tax-free form validated by customs to prove that the goods have left the country, which is a key requirement to qualify for a tax refund.
Can I file my own VAT refund
You might be wondering if you can complete the VAT refund procedure by yourself without involving a tax refund company in an attempt to avoid paying any commission.
Unfortunately, there is no such a thing as a “DIY” tax refund because only pre-authorised VAT refund agents can legally carry out the procedure. Enjoy your shopping and leave the complicated paperwork to us!