TOURIST REFUND SCHEME (TRS)
What is the Tourist Refund Scheme?
The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) allows Australians and overseas visitors to claim a refund (subject to certain conditions) of the goods and services tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) paid on goods bought in Australian and then taken out of Australia.
.As you leave the country, you must wear or carry the goods as hand luggage with you, unless the goods are oversized goods or liquids, aerosols and gels restricted to hold luggage for security reasons.
What are the conditions of the scheme?
You can claim a refund if:
· You purchased the goods in the 60 days before you leave Australia
· Your purchases are from a single business with the same Australian business number (ABN) and total AUD300 (GST inclusive) or more. For example, if you bought items from one business, even on separate invoices, that together total AUD300, these items could be eligible for a tax refund under the TRS
· You, as the travelling passenger, paid for the goods
· You have an original tax invoice for the goods, and you have a physical copy of this invoice with you at the time of claiming. If you do not have an eligible tax invoice you cannot make a claim. If you are unable to present a valid tax invoice for or present some or all of your goods to an officer on request, or cannot provide evidence that an ABF officer has signed your goods, some or all of your claim could be rejected.
Note: Compliance activities are conducted to ensure that goods that are checked in have been exported. When non-compliance of Tourist Refund Scheme occurs, penalties and prosecution action may apply.
What is a valid tax invoice?
A valid tax invoice must be in English and contain the following information:
· The document is intended to be a tax invoice
· The seller's identity
· The seller's Australian business number (ABN)
· The date the invoice was issued
· A brief description of the items sold, including the quantity (if applicable) and the price
· The GST amount (if any) payable – this can be shown separately or, if the GST amount is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, such as a statement which says 'Total price includes GST'
· The extent to which each sale on the invoice is a taxable sale (that is, the extent to which each sale includes GST).
In addition, tax invoices for sales of $1,000 or more must include the buyer’s identity (full name is sufficient and must match the travel document being used to lodge a claim.
Can I purchase goods from any retailer?
Yes, you can purchase goods from any retailer providing they have an ABN and are registered for GST in Australia.
Can I purchase goods from several retailers?
Yes, there is no limit to the number of retailers from which you can purchase goods, provided the purchase(s) made from each individual retailer (ABN) totals $300 or more (GST inclusive).
Can I purchase goods totalling $300 (GST inclusive) from the same retailer over several days within the 60 day period?
Yes, as long as all other TRS eligibility requirements are met.
Can I use the goods before departing Australia?
Yes, please see ‘What is NOT eligible for a refund’ for information on partially consumed goods.
Can I claim a refund on goods purchased by someone else?
No, the person making the TRS claim MUST have purchased the goods and must be travelling. You cannot make a TRS claim on behalf of someone else.
Can I claim a refund using an electronic tax invoice?
Yes, you can make a TRS claim with a valid electronic tax invoice. It is advisable to print a copy of your electronic tax invoice in case live claim processing is not available. Failure to have a printed copy of the invoice may delay finalising your claim
Can I put my refund on someone else’s credit card or bank account?
Yes, but ensure you have the correct banking details to avoid the bank rejecting the payment. If you provide incorrect payment details and the refund is paid to a wrong account, no further payments can be made.
What is not eligible for a refund?
A refund will not be paid on the following goods and services:
· Alcohol such as beer, brandy, fortified wines and spirits (travellers can claim wine under the TRS) and tobacco products (these goods can be purchased from duty-free shops)
· GST-free goods where no GST was paid
· Consumables wholly or partially consumed in Australia for example food
· Goods that are prohibited on aircraft or ships for safety reasons, including gas cylinders, fireworks and aerosol sprays (check with your airlines for prohibited items)
· Unaccompanied goods (including goods sent by cargo or international mail)
· Services such as accommodation, tours, car rental and labour charges
· Goods purchased over the Internet and imported into Australia
· Gift cards/vouchers (although goods purchased with gift cards/vouchers are eligible for a refund subject to all TRS requirements being met).
Where are the TRS facilities located?
TRS facilities are located after you go through outward immigration processing at international airports and major seaports. Please contact your cruise company to see whether TRS will be available.
Note: TRS claims on cruise ships MUST be made at the last departure from Australia. This must be considered when calculating the 60 day period.
Are TRS facilities open for early morning and/or late evening flight departures?
Yes, the TRS facility will be open for all flights departing from Australian international airports.
You will not be able to make a TRS claim 30 minutes or less before your flight scheduled departure time.
You should arrive at the TRS facility at least 90 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of your flight to ensure you have sufficient time to successfully lodge your TRS claim.
To find the location of the TRS facility, check the website of the airport from where you will depart Australia. This is the airport where you will clear outwards immigration formalities and not necessarily the airport where you check in your luggage.
Can I make a claim at a seaport?
Yes, but you can only make a claim at the last Australian port before departure for overseas. This could be a different port to where you originally boarded the ship. If you attempt to make a TRS claim at a port other than your last port of departure, ABF officers will be unable to process it.
You will not be able to make a TRS claim 60 minutes or less before your ship’s scheduled departure time.
Could claiming on liquids, aerosols or gels (LAGs) or oversized goods affect my TRS claim?
Yes, restrictions apply to the amounts of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) that can be carried on international flights as hand baggage. Please visit our website for further information on the limits applied.
If you want to make a TRS claim for LAGs or oversized goods (such as skis, snowboards and golf clubs etc) that you are not able to take on board because of these limits, take your goods to the ABF client services office for verification before you check in your luggage at your port of departure from Australia.
Returning to Australia with your TRS goods
If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring up to AUD 900 worth of goods into Australia duty-free, or AUD 450 if you are younger than 18. Families travelling together can pool this allowance (a couple with one child can bring in a total of AUD 900 + AUD 900 + AUD 450 = AUD 2250 worth of goods into Australia without paying duty or GST). This is called your passenger concession.
If the total value of the goods you are bringing into Australia that you purchased overseas or for which you have claimed a refund under TRS is greater than your passenger concession:
· You must declare all of the goods
· You will need to repay the GST refund back on the goods you claimed under the TRS
· Duty and GST will apply to all items purchased, not just goods over the limit of your passenger concession.
Penalties can apply if you don't declare that you have goods in excess of your passenger concession.
The mobile and web TRS applications (apps) allow you to store the information required to lodge a TRS claim at international airports only. The apps generate a Quick Response (QR) code to process your claim.
Using the apps you can enter:
· your travel details
· details of the goods you are claiming a refund of GST and WET
· how you prefer to receive your TRS refund.
The information will be stored in a QR code. This QR code is your TRS claim code. Using the app does not lodge your claim. You will still need to attend a TRS facility prior to your departure, with all of your original tax invoices and goods in order to lodge your claim.
How do I make a claim?
On the day of departure you must:
1. Present the following items to an officer at the TRS facility:
· International boarding pass
· Original tax invoice(s)
· The goods
2. Choose a refund payment option:
· Credit/charge card (Amex, Diners, JCB, MasterCard, Union Pay, Visa)
· Australian bank account (you will need your BSB and account number for this option)
When can I expect my refund?
Payments will be processed within 60 days of your claim being lodged at the TRS facility