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Tourist Tax Refund Australia Guide [Updated 2024]

Traveling to Australia this year? Good news! You can now claim a portion of GST and WET for items purchased in Australia within 60 days of departure. Whether you are an international traveler or Australian citizen touring this wonderful country, you can claim a tourist tax refund under the TRS scheme. 

All You Need to Know About Australia tourist tax refund 

The Australian Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) is a government program which allows international travelers, including Australian residents, to reclaim the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) paid on specific goods bought within Australia. 

TRS is managed by the Department of Home Affairs and its operational body, the Australian Border Force (ABF). TRS simplifies the refund procedure for items purchased within the country.

Australia tourist tax refund Calculator

The GST refund amount can be calculated by dividing the total price of eligible goods by 11. This is because the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate in Australia is 10%. So, dividing by 11 will give you the GST portion of the total price paid.

You can use a simple formula to estimate your GST amount:

GST Refund Amount = Total Price of Goods / 11

However, please note that this calculation provides an estimate. The actual refund amount may vary slightly due to rounding or other factors. Additionally, not all items are eligible for a refund, and there are specific requirements and procedures to follow when claiming a refund under the TRS.

For Example:

Let’s say you purchased goods totaling AUD $550, including GST, and you want to calculate the GST refund amount using the formula provided earlier.

GST Refund Amount = Total Price of Goods / 11

Using the example:

Total Price of Goods = AUD $550

Now, plug the values into the formula:

GST Refund Amount = 550 / 11 = AUD $50

So, based on this calculation, the estimated GST refund amount for goods totaling AUD $550 would be AUD $50.

Which Purchases are Eligible for Tax Refund?

The scheme applies to goods purchased at prices that include GST or WET from a retailer with an Australian Business Number (ABN) registered for GST.

  • Goods purchased within 60 days of departure.
  • Items valued at AUD $300 or more (including GST) from a single business with the same Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • Goods for personal use, not for business purposes.
  • Items accompanied by original tax invoices containing specific details required by the TRS.
  • Purchases intended to be taken out of Australia as accompanied baggage.
  • Goods that are not prohibited or restricted items under the TRS guidelines.


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    Requirements for Tourist Tax Refund Invoices:

    • Personal Information:

    Your name (and only your name) as it appears in your passport if the invoice is $1,000 or more.

    • Description of Goods:

    Ensure the invoice includes a description of the goods that allows matching to the invoice.

    • Retailer Information:

    Include the retailer’s name, address, QR Code, and ABN (ACNs and ARNs not accepted).

    • Tax Details:

    State the amount of GST or WET paid (or total price including GST).

    Specify the date of purchase.

    The Tourist refund scheme (TRS) Claim Process:

    • Visit TRS Facility:

    Travelers must visit the TRS facility at the airport or seaport at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time (or 60 minutes if traveling on a cruise) to lodge their claim.

    • Document Verification: 

    ABF officers will verify the original tax invoices and other required documents provided by the traveler.

    • Refund Payment: 

    Refunds are typically paid via credit card (Amex, Diners, JCB, MasterCard, Union Pay, Visa), Australian bank account, or mailed cheque (not recommended).

    Additional Rules and Guidelines on TRS

    • You have the flexibility to make several purchases over several days to meet the AUD $300 threshold.
    • Verify that each invoice from the same retailer bears the same Australian Business Number (ABN), as different stores of the same business might have different ABNs.
    • Calculate the GST refund amount by dividing the total price by 11.
    • Calculate the allowable purchase window: subtract 60 days from the day of your scheduled departure.
    • Refunds are only paid to you or another person via:
      • Credit card (Amex, Diners, JCB, MasterCard, Union Pay, Visa).
      • Australian bank account.
      • Mailed cheque (not recommended).
    • Take your passport to ensure that the name on the passport matches the name on the tax invoice.
    • Claim your refund at your final port of departure from Australia, which may differ from your original boarding point.
    • Request your domestic airline to make your goods available to you before your international connection. For further details, refer to domestic procedures.
    • Enter your invoice details using My TRS Claim. Note: This action does not submit your claim but prepares it for submission.
    • As a military personnel passenger on a military transport, you’re eligible to claim a TRS refund.

    Can You Claim Refund on Items you are Taking With You When Traveling Back to Australia?

    When returning to Australia, travelers must declare any goods for which they’ve previously claimed a TRS refund. This declaration should be made by noting these items at question 3 on your incoming passenger card.

    If the value of the goods you’re bringing back, along with any other imported items not eligible for concessions, exceeds the passenger concession allowance, you may be required to pay GST. However, certain concessions, such as those for personal clothing (excluding furs), might apply in specific cases.

    What are Your Obligations as a Retailer Dealing with Tourists? 

    Before processing a tourist’s full refund request, retailers must check the customer’s invoice to verify if they have already claimed a refund under the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS). If the invoice has an ABF stamp, it means it has already been claimed. 

    Customers who have already received a TRS refund are not eligible for further refunds on the GST/WET portion of the invoice.

    Your customers must provide evidence that the GST/WET has been reimbursed when they declare the goods on their return to Australia in order to qualify for a refund.

    Failure to comply with TRS regulations, including the declaration of goods upon return to Australia, may result in penalties.

    TRS Restrictions:

    • Cash refunds are not available under the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS).
    • Only original invoices are accepted; photocopied, reprinted, or duplicate invoices are not valid for claiming refunds.
    • Goods must be taken with you; shipping goods separately is not permitted.

    You can Not Claim Tourist Tax Refund:

    • Less than 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time.
    • At domestic airports.
    • Online.
    • Before the day of departure.
    • After leaving Australia.
    • If you are operating an air or sea crew.
    • If purchasing goods for business purposes.
    • If the invoice has a name other than your own as the buyer.

    Certain items are not eligible for refunds, including:

    • Alcohol except wine with alcohol content less than 22%.
    • Tobacco and tobacco products.
    • Dangerous goods prohibited on aircraft or ships.
    • Goods wholly or partially consumed in Australia, such as food, drinks, and perfume.
    • Cosmetic enhancements that are permanently attached, including hair implants, dental work, hair extensions, and breast implants.
    • Gift cards and vouchers (unless all other TRS requirements are met).
    • Unaccompanied goods, unless exported to an External Australian Territory by a resident of that territory.
    • Goods purchased overseas and imported into Australia.
    • GST-free goods, including abalone, baby food, medications, medical aids and appliances, prescription spectacles, nebulisers, and CPAP breathing machines.
    • Services such as accommodation, taxis, tours, house plans, car rental, shipping/postage charges, warranties, labour charges, training, educational courses, and course documents/materials (physical or digital).

    The Bottomline

    The TRS facilitates eligible travelers in claiming refunds on GST and WET paid on qualifying goods purchased in Australia, subject to adherence to specified eligibility criteria and procedural requirements. Travelers and retailers are urged to familiarize themselves with the scheme’s guidelines to ensure compliance and smooth processing of refunds.

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    • Jaxon Rylah

      Jaxon Rylah, an Australian of diverse heritage, brings a wealth of expertise to his role as an Author at Taxly.ai. With over 5 years of experience in the field, Jaxon's deep understanding of accounting principles and regulations allows him to provide...


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