Getting tax refund is surely something you will want to do when you go to Korea for a holiday or short term stay. As long as you are a foreigner, any receipt with more than 30000 KRW spending should be eligible for the refund. It’s like a cash back, so who wouldn’t want it?
In some stores, you will be able to get an immediate tax deduction from your receipt. To receive an immediate tax refund on purchases, you must give your passport to the cashier for scanning. The total purchase price, tax included, must be more than 30,000 KRW and less than 200,000 KRW and is limited to a total of less than 1,000,000 KRW for the duration of one’s trip in Korea. For purchases over these limits, you will need to apply for a tax refund at the airport or one of the certified refund booths throughout the country.
For the ones purchasing over the limit and for those purchases without immediate tax refund, the process is relatively simple and can be done in Incheon Internation Airport before your departure. As such, if you are planning to get a refund, be sure to come early. If you want to check-in at Seoul Station City Terminal, arriving at Incheon 2 hours before your flight would be sufficient. However, if you want to check-in directly at Incheon, come 3-4 hours ahead of schedule just in case the check-in and immigration queue is long.
Things to Prepare
Somethings you will need to prepare to get a refund are:
- The relevant receipts you are claiming for – make sure when you make a purchase of more than 30000 KRW, ask for a special tax refund receipt
- Your passport
- Your Boarding pass
How to Claim Tax Refund
There are differences in what you need to do to get your refund: generally, if your item doesn’t cost that much, the step will be simpler than if it’s a larger purchase.
Here’s the process if you are claiming less than 75000 KRW in total:
Step 1: After checking-in, find the tax refund machine near the check-in counters at Incheon airport. This step is done at the public area before the immigration.
Step 2: Follow the instructions on the machine and scan your passport and receipts that you wish to claim.
Step 3: After you have scanned all the receipts, click done and the machine will print out a summary receipt and tell you to go inside to the terminal to receive your refund.
Step 4: After going through immigration, proceed to the refund counter (4F Tax Refund Zone by Gate 27) inside the terminal to get your cash refund upon presenting your passport and summary receipt.
There are some items that will need an additional step, which is to receive a stamp from the customs office. What we did was we went to the customer center and asked for a stamp and they helped us get it. Alternatively, if you need help, go to the tax refund counters at the end of the check-in area to receive help.