Help with Value Added Tax in Israel
In planning your Christian Tour to Israel, you may have heard or read about a “value-added tax” (VAT) that Israel adds to the retail price of merchandise bought in the country. To help you save money during your travels, we’ve provided important information about this sales tax.
Tax Rate The VAT rate in Israel hovers around 16-20% of the total price of the item. The tax is usually included in the price rather than added on later at checkout. The specific rate depends on the kind of merchandise, higher for luxury items and a lower rate for basic items such as food.
VAT Refund In many cases, travelers who aren’t Israeli citizens can apply for a VAT refund on items they purchased on their travels. For tourists, the refund doesn’t apply to services such as hotel rooms or meals in restaurants. Remember to always ask the store if they participate in the VAT Refund Program.
Qualifying for a VAT Refund You’ll need to spend a minimum of $100 or the equivalent in local currency in a VAT refund certified store in a single transaction. Look for the “Tax Free Shopping” logo most retailers participating in the VAT refund often place on their doors for easy identification.
Getting Your Refund
To help you identify VAT refund stores and apply to receive your VAT refund, we’ve provided a helpful overview of the process:
- Shop in certified stores. Look for the green VAT REFUND logo stores posted for easy identification.
- Spend the minimum of $100 or the equivalent in local currency in a single transaction.
- Ask the retailer for the VAT form and be sure to keep your merchandise receipts.
- On the day of departure, you’ll need to show your purchases to a VAT representative at the airport’s Departure Hall before you reach the first security checkpoint–so have them handy in your carry-on luggage. Once the rep verifies your items and stamps the VAT forms, you can pack them in your luggage or carry-on bag.
- After passing all security checkpoints and passport control, show your stamped VAT refund forms at the VAT desk in the Duty Free hall.
- You’ll receive a VAT rebate on your purchases in your currency or shekels. Or you can choose to get your refund via credit card, keep in mind it can take up to three months before your card is credited.
- Depart for home with the items you purchased and the extra money from your VAT refund.
For more information please call one of our Reservation Coordinators at 800 247 1899, Monday through Friday between 8:30am-5:00pm, Pacific Time.