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Friday, March 1, 2024

As a Tourist You Can’t Shop Tax-Free Anymore in the UK

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The tax-free allowance is the number of goods you can buy without paying UK VAT. It used to be that you could shop without paying UK VAT on the first £18,000 worth of goods (meaning your tax-free allowance was £3462.98). It was good news for everyone who loves shopping, especially in London and other cities.

But now Brexit has wiped out tax-free shopping for tourists in the UK, and it’s gone for good – or has it? During the referendum campaign last year, there was a lot of talk about eliminating VAT on items bought by overseas visitors to Britain to attract more tourists. But sadly, the plans were scrapped when it became apparent that consumers in the UK would not be happy with a tax rise.

It’s been suggested that the reason for its cancellation is that Theresa May is trying to protect British business and boost the economy after Brexit. It makes sense, as anyone who has visited Paris or Berlin knows they have no such restrictions on sales taxes. And they are full of shoppers every day of the week, while London’s Oxford Street, once one of Europe’s busiest shopping streets, has become a ghost town. But now the government has confirmed that it’s gone for good.

Browsing the shops in London is still a great experience, and many stores can choose from. As well as being an excellent destination for designer clothes shopping, there are plenty of fantastic value discount stores in London, such as TK Maxx and Zara. And after all, it’s still a great place to take your family shopping if you can put up with the big crowds and high prices.

There is still hope for tax-free shopping in the UK, as the plan has not been entirely scrapped. It’s just been put on hold until further notice. If you plan a holiday to Britain any time soon, you should still make sure you shop tax-free while there. The government will likely reinstate the tax-free allowance after Brexit, so you will have to pay UK VAT when you leave. But if you’re shopping for clothes rather than electronics and electrical items, it’s still worth taking advantage of the tax-free limit while it’s still in place.

As long as you stick to items listed separately on your Customs Declaration (such as clothes, shoes, and jewelry), you can save up to 20% on most purchases in the UK. It is excellent if you need to bring clothes and shoes with you from your own country to replace or supplement your luggage allowance. Even better, many shops will ask you to pay cash when you check out, so there are no additional charges for foreign cards.

If you plan to go abroad for a break or vacation this summer, why not consider visiting the UK? It’s one of the last great holiday destinations in Europe that still offers the opportunity to get a good deal on fashion bargains and other items while shopping tax-free.

Even if the tax-free shopping allowance is not reinstated, you will still be able to save on most non-electrical goods purchased in the UK. It’s a great way to add a little extra luxury to your holiday, and it’s just one more reason why the UK is still the place to be for shoppers worldwide.



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