Taiwan offers tourists and visitors a 5% VAT refund on goods over NT$2,000. But they’ll charge you a 14% handling fee. Read this guide to learn how to claim your refund.
As someone whose been in Taiwan for over 4 years, I want to help travelers and digital nomads get the most out of their trip. Part of that starts with getting a small reimbursement on certain items.
Throughout this guide, I’ll cover the following information about Taiwan’s tourist tax refund:
- What is the refund?
- Refund requirements
- How to claim your tax refund
- Authorized stores
- Where to claim the refund
Let’s dive in.
What Is Taiwan’s Tourist Tax Refund? #
Any tourist staying in Taiwan for under 183 days can claim a 5% value-added tax (VAT) refund on large-ticket items. So long as they cost more than NT$2,000 ($62.75).
Goods bought from Shin Kong Mitsukoshi must be more than NT$3,000 ($95).
You’ll also have to pay a 14% handling fee .
I don’t want to risk presenting the wrong information. So here’s a screenshot of how Taiwan calculates its tax refund:
And you can’t claim accommodation bookings or meals under the tax refund. Unfortunate.
To get this refund, you’ll need to meet requirements and claim your refund at certain places. I’ll emphasize further in a second.
Taiwan VAT Refund Requirements #
Documents you’ll need for Taiwan’s tourist tax refund include:
- Travel documents: plane tickets, etc.
- Entry stamp: for those who entered without a visa
- Passport of your home country
- Visa: if that’s how you entered Taiwan
Let’s cover eligibility.
Taiwan VAT Eligibility Requirements
To participate in the Republic of China’s (Taiwan) VAT refund, you’ll need to meet these requirements:
- Stay in Taiwan for no more than 183 days in total
- Purchases of at least NT$2,000 ($62.75)
- Buy from stores with the ‘Taiwan Tax Refund’ label
- You must claim refund from shops within 90 days of your purchase
Goods that aren’t refundable under Taiwan’s VAT refund system include:
- Duty-free items
- Hotel stays
- Restaurant bills
- Things that go against the rules of items you can have in your airplane cabin
- Items that can’t go on ships or planes
Some items that you can’t bring on ships and planes include :
|Magnetic materials||Toxic substances||Explosives|
|Briefcases w/ alarms||Oxidizers||Radioactive substances|
Claiming refunds anywhere other than ports will induce limits. Check them out before going on a spending spree.
Taiwan VAT Refund Limits
If you’re claiming your refund anywhere else than an airport, you’ll encounter the following refund limits:
- Single store: purchases must fall under NT$48,000 ($1,506)
- Multiple visits: purchases must fall under NT$240,000 ($7,530)
- Single shopping center visit: purchases must fall under NT$120,000 ($3,765)
You’ll also have a NT$48,000 limit if you claim a refund at the Taipei Main Station Airport MRT service counter.
Purchases exceeding these limits will require you to use an E-VAT refund or VAT service centers at ports.
Speaking of Taipei Main Station, here’s what you’ll look for to find the refund counter and E-VAT machine there:
How Do I Claim My Taiwan Tourist Tax Refund? #
Here’s how to claim your Taiwan VAT refund at a store:
- Ask the store clerk for the Tax Refund Claim Form
- Present your passport
To deal with your tax refund at the airport, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Before checking in your luggage, visit an E-VAT Refund Machine or a VAT Refund Service Counter
- Present the following to the staff or machine:
- Purchased goods
- Tax Refund Form
- * The receipt (or digital invoice) for your goods
- Personal and travel documents: passport, visa, etc
- Choose a way to receive your reimbursement: check, credit card, cash, or debit card
- Obtain the Tax Refund Assessment Certificate for Eligible Goods Purchased by Foreign Travelers
- Get on your flight and go home
* If you use an e-invoice app, the shop assistant will have scanned your phone and sent the receipt to the cloud. You must open the receipt app and show them the cloud receipt.
If the VAT Refund Service Counter isn’t open, you’ll need to find an E-VAT Refund Machine. I’ll cover ports and airports you can find these machines later.
You’ll need to visit a Cash Counter if you receive your refund as cash. You’ll receive New Taiwan Dollars (NT$). So you’ll need to visit a currency exchange counter to get your home’s currency.
Want to visit Taiwan in the future? You may want to consider saving this cash for later.
Getting the refund as a check will require the staff to mail the check to your home.
Receiving a refund through a bank or credit card doesn’t require you to travel anywhere.
Here’s a video to “help” illustrate my point:
Where To Find Stores Authorized for the Tax Refund System in Taiwan #
Some retail stores you can claim VAT refunds include the Taipei 101 mall, Xinyi Shopping District, and Shin Kong Mitsukoshi.
Psst. Here’s a guide I wrote on Taipei 101.
The list of supported stores would require me to write a novel. Taiwan’s tax refund website lists every authorized store. You can filter supported shops by:
- Category of items: e.g., clothing
- Keyword: type a store’s name
- Nearby stores: uses your device’s location to find nearby stores
Upon finding a store in the search area, you’ll find the store’s name, address, phone number, and operating hours.
Each store or department store will have VAT claim counters in varying spots. Check out each mall’s map and find the counter.
Once you claim your tax-free form from the shop, you’ll need to present it when leaving a port or airport. The following section will show supported ports.
You 99.99% likely can’t claim tourist tax refunds from mom-and-pop shops selling souvenirs. But if you’re looking for gifts to buy for people back home, I recommend checking out a guide I wrote.
Where To Claim Taiwan VAT Tax Refunds #
The following sections will cover establishments and businesses where you can immediately claim your tax refund.
The following shopping centers in Taipei City will allow you to immediately claim your VAT refund:
- Taipei 101 mall: 1st floor service counter
- Shin Kong Mitsukoshi in Xinyi Shopping District: floor B1
- Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (Nanxi Store): 6th floor
Let’s go over ports and airports where you can claim your refund.
Here’s where to find the VAT refund counters at various airports:
Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1:
For some reason, the map’s in Chinese. But here’s a link to Taoyuan Airport’s map in case they update it.
Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 2:
The VAT refund counter is the only text that’s in Chinese. Here’s the page where I sourced this image.
Kaohsiung International Airport (3rd floor):
Here’s the official Kaohsiung airport map.
When claiming your refund at a port, ensure you arrive at the airport an hour early. Because you will have to likely wait in line to speak to the service assistant or to use the machine.
Then there are troubleshooting potential issues. Providing your information. Traveling to areas to claim cash refunds. And other factors.
Ship Ports With E-VAT Refund Kiosks
Here are airports and ship ports throughout Taiwan where you can find E-VAT kiosk machines:
|Taipei Songshan Airport||Terminal 1, Floor 1|
|Taoyuan International Airport (Terminal 1)||1st floor, departure hall|
|Taoyuan International Airport (Terminal 2)||2nd floor, Gift Boulevard (By Customs)|
|Taipei Main Station||Next to the in-town check-in counter at Level B1|
|Taichung International Airport||1st floor beside customs|
|Chiayi Airport||1st floor beside service counter|
|Tainan Airport||1st floor by customs|
|Kaohsiung International Airport||3rd floor departure hall|
|Hualien Airport||2nd floor|
|Taitung Airport||1st floor by the restroom|
|Magong Airport (Penghu)||1st floor by the FAT counter|
Ship ports with E-VAT refund kiosks include:
|Port of Shuitou||2nd floor in the tourist service center|
|Port of Magong||2nd floor in the tourist service center|
|Suao Port||Not specified|
|Port of Hualien||Inside tourist center|
|Port of Kaohsiung||By tourist center|
|Port of An-Ping||By tourist center|
|Port of Taichung||Dock or 1st floor by tourist center|
|Port of Taipei||1st floor by passenger waiting area|
|Keelung Harbor Terminal||2nd floor seating area|
So long as you meet the requirements to get a VAT refund, you can receive a bit of money back from pricey purchases you make at certain stores in Taiwan.
The process to claim your refund isn’t difficult, either. Buy your item, grab the form, don’t open it, and claim your refund.
If you’re traveling to Taiwan or plan on staying there a while, check out my other Taiwan travel and digital nomad guides.