Young Women with Shopping Bags

Madrid tax refund

The full guide step by step

How do I get a refund downtown or at the airport?

Spain is a paradise for shopping enthusiasts and also as in other European countries you can get tax refunds for shopping.
Unlike other countries where the tax refund process is complicated, Madrid’s one is simple and efficient and so we have provided you with the full guide for getting it done downtown or at the airport before heading back.

Tax free receipt

1. When purchasing at a store that has a “Tax free” arrangement, ask at the cashier desk for tax free receipt - you will need to present an original passport (in some places you can also present a photo). Once you have filled in the required details, they will put the Tax Free stamp on the receipts themselves.

2. Note that different shopping receipts on the same network can be consolidated into one tax-free form and thus save on forms as well as the return amount.

3. The VAT rate on shopping in Spain stands at 21% and the tax return on average is about 13%.

Refund downtown

4. At 16 Via Gran Street, there is a branch of "Western Union" which gives a refund on the spot if you leave a credit card for a deposit.

5. The process will be completed once you arrive at the airport where you will have to sign the local police / customs on receipt and seal the envelope in a dedicated box - if something does not work out, the credit card will be charged.


* The fee for each receipt is 3 Euros and therefore if you have many receipts it's worthy doing the refund process at the airport.

Refund at the airport

6. Upon arrival at the airport, the scanning machines must be accessed (at terminals 1,2,3 the scan position is on the first floor and in terminal 4 it's on the second floor near the check-in positions), scan each receipt separately (the barcode is on the bottom page).


* Please note that no receipt or note is issued at the end of the procedure - it is important to see that the green is marked after scanning each receipt.

7. Go through check-in, security check, passport control and after leaving the duty-free store there are VAT Refund or Global Blue positions where you will have to give the receipts and choose a cash refund in any currency or credit card refund. It is better to ask for a refund in Euros because the changing fee for another currency is very high.

* Please note that tax refund positions are open from 7:00 to 23:00.

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