Tourist Refund Scheme
The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) is part of the Australian Government's tax system.
The 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 paid on goods bought in Australia and then taken out of Australia in checked luggage or carry-on bags.
When making a claim you need to take your goods, original tax invoice(s), passport and boarding pass to the TRS facility. Different conditions apply for claiming a tax refund on liquids, aerosols, gels (LAGs) and oversized items. Oversized or LAGs goods must be verified at the Australian Border Force (ABF) client service office and then checked in with your baggage before you present the notated invoices to the TRS facility.
What can be claimed?
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 AUD $300 (GST inclusive) or more. For example, if you bought items from one business, even on separate invoices, that together total AUD $300, 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.
- If the shop has issued you with an electronic tax invoice you will need to provide this on your device when making a claim.
- you wear or carry the goods as hand luggage aboard the aircraft or ship as you leave Australia
- if the goods are liquids, aerosols or gels (LAGs), or oversized or bulky goods that the airline requires to be checked in as hold luggage you need to have these good verified at the ABF Client Service office before checking the goods in with your luggage. More information is available in the section ‘Claiming TRS on liquids, aerosols or gels, or oversized goods’.
Tax invoices of AUD $1000 or more in value must contain your identity (name, address, email or passport number). Contact the retailer and request a new tax invoice if this information is missing, as the tax invoice will be rejected at the TRS facility without this information.
What can’t be claimed?
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).
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 sighted your goods, some or all of your claim could be rejected.
Making a claim
You can make a claim for a tax refund by visiting the TRS facility in an international airport or at the cruise liner terminal at your final port of departure from Australia. The refund will be paid into an Australian bank account, to a credit card, or by cheque (in limited currencies), within 60 days of the claim being lodged.