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Is your French a little rusty? Intimidated by boutique shopping? Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marche, Au Printemps department stores to the rescue. Most of the big designers are represented and price tags are right at your fingertips, no asking. Gourmet restaurants, historic architecture, special reductions for tourists, rooftop views come along with the package, a good place to spend your last day with the remainder of your euros and gift lists.

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Another advantage: gather your tax refunds all in one place. If you are a non-European Union resident, you are entitled to claim back the 12% tax paid on purchases made. You must meet the following criteria:
– Reside outside of the European Union and be over the age of 16
– Present a valid passport and original cash register receipts
– The tax refund form must be completed on the day of purchase without fail
– A 12% refund will be made on purchases over €175 made in the same store on the same day excluding foodand drink
– Purchases made at certain brands* cannot be combined with purchases made in the rest of the store. *Louis Vuitton, Rolex-Tudor, Chanel (excludes fragrances)
– You must be staying in Europe for less than 6 months
– Final date for exiting the EU is 3 months

Once you have made purchases over 175 Euros, make your way to the Tax Refund Desk with your original cash register receipts and passport
– Choose your preferred method of reimbursement
– The store will issue you with a tax refund form

On leaving the EU your tax refund form must be validated by Customs at the airport, train station or border point within 3 months of the purchase date

Before checking in your luggage, you should present your refund form with your purchases, passport and travel documents for inspection by Customs. Failure to adhere to these conditions will result in cancellation of the refund and a possible fine.

Once the refund form has been validated by Customs, if you have chosen to receive a cash refund, please make your way to the designated desk at the airport, station or border point. For all other methods of reimbursement you should post off the blue form signed by Customs in the pre-paid envelope provided within 6 months. You should retain the other copy as proof of purchase.

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For more shopping districts, consult your No Worries Paris guidebook.

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