Slovakia is the first country to test a new VAT refund app

Getting money back for buying souvenirs in Slovakia will be easier - there will be an app.

Illustrative Stock PhotoIllustrative Stock Photo (Source: Jozef Jakubčo, SME)

Bratislava, Košice, the High Tatras, Slovak Paradise, Orava Castle, Spiš Castle and many more. Slovakia's attractions are luring more and more tourists every year. Developers of a new app want to make life easier for tourists in getting their taxes back after they return home.

When buying souvenirs or other goods, value-added tax (VAT) is automatically included in the price. In Europe, the VAT on clothing, electronics, toys, etc. ranges between 17 percent to 27 percent. Not everyone knows that tourists may claim the VAT back once they leave the country.

Altogether in the EU around 90 percent of VAT refunds, some €23 billion, never makes it back to tourists’ pockets. The reason is the complicated process of VAT refunding and people often give up in advance.

A new app, Refundit, aims to change that and make VAT return easier. The co-founder of the globally known navigation app, Waze Uri Levine and Ziv Tirosh, Stockton co-founder came up with the idea.

“We want to make sure they get what’s rightfully theirs,” Uri Levine from Refundit talks about the idea behind the app.

Testing in Slovakia

The core innovation is the fully digitised process that allows tax authorities to approve the refund online. Slovakia is the first country to test the digital platform.

“We are excited by the opportunity of launching the service here,” Ziv Tirosh, co-founder of Refundit and CEO, told The Slovak Spectator.

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