I have searched this but couldn't find a satisfactory answer. I am an exchange student in Germany and go back home almost every month. I am non-EU so I am here on a Student Visa. Is it possible to get tax refund for the items I have purchased here?

  • Flagged for migration to Expats.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


The official web page explains the process quite clearly.

Your nationality seems to be irrelevant. What is important, however, is whether you have a residence permit or not. You should have already applied for it if you are staying in Germany for longer than 3 months. Without having a residence permit, VAT refunds are possible if you can prove that your place of residence is outside the EU, but if you have a residence permit for Germany, the you cannot get a tax refund. There are many conditions connected to a VAT tax refund, and you will need to check with the vendor before the sale that you will be issued the necessary documentation.

  • Where does it say that the applicant cannot be an EU national? It says that nationality is irrelevant, that place of residence is all that matters.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 23:04

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