Duty-free shopping

Why you should just keep on walkin'.
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03.Tourist refund scheme

If you’re travelling abroad, the government’s Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) can be a better shopping option than airport duty free, since it allows you to get the best price at a regular retail store and then claim a GST refund at the airport. But the refund only applies to things you wear or carry on the plane and excludes liquor (except wine). Changes to the scheme in April this year extended (from 30 to 60 days) the time frame during which you can shop before travelling and still qualify for a tax rebate. Here’s how it works: 

  • Spend $300 or more in a single store up to 60 days before leaving Australia and make sure you get a tax invoice. 
  • Bring the goods and tax invoice to a TRS facility along with your passport and boarding pass up to 30 minutes before your flight departs. The facilities are located beyond Customs and Immigration at the international terminals in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin and the Gold Coast. 
  • The GST rebate is calculated by dividing the GST-inclusive price by 11. (You’ll get $60 back from a $660 purchase). For wine, you’ll get a 14.5% refund.
  • You can’t drink the wine before you claim the refund (obviously), but you can wear or use most other goods beforehand. Only the person who actually bought the goods can make a claim.

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