Refundit application enables tourist visitors in Belgium to recover VAT
Share article:
Share article:

Refundit application enables tourist visitors in Belgium to recover VAT

Two businessmen, including Uri Levine, the former President of Waze (the navigation software application), have launched their application known as “Refundit” in Belgium.
It enables tourists visiting Belgium to use their mobile phone to be “easily” reimbursed VAT paid on goods purchased. Belgium has thus become the first country to offer an entirely digital solution to recover such monies.

Owing to bureaucracy and long queues, “…nearly 90% of the total VAT reimbursements due – €23 billion – are never returned to their rightful recipients,” said Ziv Tirosh, the co-founder of the system. Refundit operates with a 9% transaction commission.

Refundit “relieves both tourists and shopkeepers of queues and unproductive paperwork,” stressed the company’s communiqué.

Non-European tourist visitors in a European Union (EU) country are eligible for a VAT reimbursement (21%). The minimum reimbursement total is fixed at 50 euros.

Presently reimbursement involves tourists undertaking something of an obstacle course: long queues at a counter, acquainting themselves with complex administrative formalities and, “…ultimately, still not being sure of recovering the money due to them. The problem of VAT recovery stems from the absence of traceability in the process,” said Refundit.

In practical terms, it falls to tourists to apply for reimbursement using their mobile phone, which enables the relevant VAT administrators to approve the reimbursement entirely electronically. 

“Of all EU member states, Belgium was the fastest and the most innovative in the sphere,” says Mr Tirosh. A pilot project is currently underway at Brussels Airport. The next country to offer the application will be Slovakia.  


The Brussels Times

Latest news

Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The European Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...