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Parliamentary questions
13 December 2016
E-009373-16
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE)

 Subject:  VAT refund in airport duty-free shops
 Answer(s) 

According to a report in a British newspaper(1), duty-free shops at European airports have potentially been committing large-scale fraud in connection with VAT refunds. These establishments ask to see the boarding cards of all customers in order to then process VAT refunds for those travelling outside the EU, but they do not refund the amounts recuperated to the customers. Instead, the money is kept by the companies which operate the shops. As this money should be going elsewhere, i.e. to the people making the purchases, we do not know whether it shows up in the companies’ operating accounts or how it is taxed.

1. Is the Commission aware of this practice? If so, does it consider it to be legal? 2. Does the Commission intend to take action to inform consumers of their right to receive these refunds? 3. What information does the Commission have about how this revenue is recorded in the shops and how it is taxed?

(1) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/retailers-told-to-come-clean-after-being-accused-of-pocketing-millions-from-vat-discounts-on-airport-10446111.html

Original language of question: ES 
Last updated: 10 January 2017Legal notice