The Value Added Tax (similar to sales tax) in Spain is called IVA (Impuesto Sobre el ValorAñadido). It is applied on services such as hotels and restaurants, and consumer products.
If in doubt about whether tax is included, ask if IVA is included; this information should by norm be indicated as it is a mandatory notice. The VAT rate for hotels and restaurants is 10%. The food menus usually indicate so at the bottom of the list whether tax is included (IVA incluido) or not (plus 7% VAT). While the basic and staple food are taxed at the lowest rate, most consumer goods are taxed at 21%. In stores displaying the duty free shopping label, citizens outside the EU can request a Tax-Free chèque for the purchase of goods of a minimum of €90.16.
This chèque must be stamped at customs at the airport. Once this is done, you will have to submit this at one of the offices of either the “Caixa” or “Bank of Spain” that you will find at the airport. The bank will issue a certified chèque or will credit the amount to your credit card.
Global Refund is a service extended throughout Europe with 225,000 affiliated stores and more than 700 refund counters at major airports and border crossings. This form of reimbursement, called Tax-Free chèque, is the most common throughout Europe.
This may be requested at the company’s main office, located in the departure hall of Terminal 1 of the airport of El Prat de Barcelona. It is open daily from 7:00 am to 11 pm. Please note that Global Refund charges a processing fee for your refund.
Global Refund (800/5669828. www.globalrefund.com)