Here in the U.S., states like New Hampshire and Oregon don’t collect sales tax. So, you don’t have to worry about the price changing once you get to the register.
However, that doesn’t necessarily apply to hotels, car rentals, or restaurants.
You can find lots of duty-free shopping in the Caribbean, like St. Thomas—where you can bring home up to $1,600 in goods—and the duty-free zones of Curaçao Harbor.
EU countries have a Value Added Tax that tacks on anywhere from 9 to 20 percent.
But, if you spend enough money in a store that participates in the VAT refund scheme, you may be eligible for a refund.
Again, that doesn’t apply to hotels or restaurants. But it does work in the cases of souvenir shopping. Ask the vendor to fill out any necessary paperwork and attach the receipt.
Then, on your way out of the EU, get those forms stamped at airport customs to collect your money.
For more information, visit the Money, Currency & Credit archives.
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