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Tax-free Shopping in Krakow 

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Shopping Tax-free in Krakow 

All prices in Krakow’s shops include the value-added tax (VAT) that usually amounts to as much as 23 percent with few exceptions (see details at our page on taxes in Poland). Yet buyers with permanent residency outside the European Union may claim tax refund for goods bought in Poland and taken permanently out of the EU within three months from the date of purchase.  

Many shops in Krakow, notably the downtown ones and stores situated in Krakow shopping malls, help customers to reclaim VAT levied on their purchases. They usually display a square sticker that reads ‘Tax Free Shopping’ in black capitals. 


How it works in Krakow shops. 

Visitors without permanent residency in the EU may claim the refund of the VAT either directly from a shop or through a specialized agency. In order to reclaim the tax directly they often need to come back to Poland, visit the store again, and produce either the original VAT invoice ("faktura VAT") or the cash-register receipt ("paragon" in Poilish) together with a relevant certificate - Tax Free document - issued previously by the seller and stamped by the customs officers at a border crossing or at an airport on leaving the territory of the European Union. The shop should refund the full amount of VAT stated in the invoice.  

A foreign visitor from a non-EU country may count on a refund when he/she spends in the shop at least 200 zlotys (i.e. an equivalent of roughly 50 euro) for goods that will be taken abroad in his/her personal luggage within three months.


How to get most of the VAT refund through an agency

There are companies that refund VAT paid on purchases made at affiliated shops. They process Tax Free documents in the place of the seller and refund most of the VAT tax to the customer after deducting a handling fee of 10 to 30 percent from the due sum.

What one should do to pocket the VAT refund on Krakow purchases?

  • When you pay in a Krakow shop anything above 200 zlotys for goods you want to take home, ask whether it participates in the Tax Free system and if they can issue a Tax Free document. Some personal information will be needed so better have your passport at hand since you may be requested to present an ID etc. 

  • Take the goods - intact - out of the European Union not later than the last day of the 3rd month following the month of the purchase.

  • While declaring your purchase at Polish customs or other EU country's upon leaving the European Union, present the VAT invoice or the receipt together with the respective Tax Free document to the officer and have it stamped. 

  • Claim the VAT refund from the shop or a specialized agency according to the arrangement the shop employs.

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