Singaporeans spend around €1 billion in Europe annually but only 55 – 65% of tax refunds are generally received by tourists. However, this percentage can now be increased to up to 85% with the introduction of the UTU Direct application and service, a product of Singapore-based UTU, the only PCI certified VAT Refund operator in Europe.
The application serves as a platform for shoppers to receive their VAT refund from the consolidation of purchases to the tracking of transactions and receipt of the refund.
In a press release from UTU, it says, “To use UTU Direct, tourists simply need to bring the tax refund form issued by any tax free shopping operator to UTU Customer Service Counters at airports, city centres or UTU’s lounge at via Montenapoleone in Milan – all of which can be easily located using the UTU Tax Free app. Using this service to consolidate all tax refund forms from various operators offers tourists convenience to go directly to Customs and skip the queues at tax refund booths at major Italian airports.“
This is great news for someone like me as I’ll be heading to Europe for a vacation soon. Getting a VAT refund is not the easiest thing, especially when there are many forms involved and the long queues at the airports (had a nasty experience in Bangkok). Keeping my fingers crossed that this process will benefit many tourists and that the utilization of the app and service will be a straight-forward and swift experience!