Getting the Value Added Tax (V.A.T.) Back
Vacationing in Israel is truly an exciting experience, where a person can actually take home a piece of Israel by shopping in any one of the country’s outstanding museum gift shops, amazing Judaic stores, shuks (open marketplaces), or any one of the other unique stores in the country. Even the gift shops in most of the hotels in Israel offer a wide range of unique items. What you should know, though, is that tourists can receive money back on each purchase. How is this done? Read below and you’ll find out how to get money on your purchases.
Value Added Tax (V.A.T.)
Value added tax is similar to sales tax in the States. In the States, if you purchase a suit for $200, you’ll end up spending $200 plus the particular State’s sales tax (roughly 10%). So instead of paying the price tag of $200, you’ll end up paying $220. It’s similar in Israel, except instead of the sales tax, there’s the value added tax (V.A.T.). The other main difference is that the V.A.T. is already added to the price tag. For instance, if you were to buy that same suit in one of the hotels in Israel, the price tag would be marked $230. This would already include the 15.5% V.A.T. added to the amount of the suit ($200). Hotels in Israel, however, do not charge V.A.T. to tourists on their hotel bills.
Getting the V.A.T. back
Each and every time you make a purchase, whether it’s artwork at a museum, a menorah at a Judaic store, or jewelry at a shop at one of the hotels in Israel, ask for a receipt showing the V.A.T. amount paid. (Tourists, however, don’t pay V.A.T. on hotel rooms or rental cars). Purchases have to be more than $50 in a foreign currency and shops have to have a special Ministry of Tourism emblem on its premises. The receipt also has to have the Ministry of Tourism insignia. The invoice must remain with the goods purchased and be packed in your hand luggage upon departure. If these conditions are not met, you won’t receive a refund. However, if you do abide by these simple rules, you can end up receiving quite a big refund with all of your Israeli purchases – money you can save for your next stay in one of the hotels in Israel.