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Duty Free Shopping in Sydney

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by Samantha Singer (subscribe)
A marketing coordinator that enjoys reviewing in her spare time. Living in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney - on the brink of something fabulous!
Published October 19th 2011
Duty Free Shopping has definitely lost excitement since the introduction of the GST and the increased popularity of online shopping.

Now, you can compare prices online and often discover that the perfume you stocked up on every two years as you passed through the airport can be bought any time through international sellers and shipped directly to your door, and is often cheaper than duty free prices - plus you don't need to fly out of the country to be eligible to buy it.

Using the airport's duty free you can run online comparisons for your make up, perfume and electronics and find the best price before you buy. This way, you're not faced with it at the airport and tricked into believing you're getting the best deal, when in fact you could have bought it for the same price elsewhere and saved yourself having to lug it around during your holiday.

The best tip for duty free shopping however is the buy before you travel rule. If you have expensive products that you want to buy (over $300 dollars) and you know you have a trip coming up, start shopping around for the best price. Then once you're within the 30 day period before travel, buy your item from any retailer and obtain a tax invoice. Then, take your item and take invoice to the tax refund centre at the airport (after check in) and have your tax refunded. This way, you are sure to get a competitive price, you can buy from any convenient retailer (which is handy for warranty and issues with the product), and you're still able to take advantage of 'duty free' shopping.

The need to knows for TRS (tax refunds at the airport):

TRS facilities are located after you go through outward immigration processing at international airports.

Visit Customs and Border Protection's website www.customs.gov. au for maps showing the location of the TRS facilities within each international airport.

TRS facilities are also available at cruise liner terminals at Sydney's Circular Quay and Darling Harbour.

You can purchase goods from any retailer who can give you a
valid tax invoice.

There is no limit to the number of retailers you can purchase
goods from, provided that each retailer's tax invoice totals $300
or more (GST inclusive).

- There is a difference between a tax invoice and a receipt;
A valid tax invoice includes the:
words 'tax invoice'
Australian Business Number (ABN) of the retailer
name of the retailer
purchase price of the goods, including the GST paid
description of the goods
date the purchase was made
Tax invoices for $1,000 or more must also show the name and
address of the purchaser.

- You must ask the retailer for a tax invoice when you make a
purchase. This provides the evidence needed by Customs and
Border Protection to verify the purchase.

- You are able to use the goods before departing Australia, however you cannot consume or partly consume goods such
as chocolate or perfume. (Remember, goods need to be produced at the TRS office)

- You cannot claim a refund on goods purchased by
someone else. The person claiming a refund must be the same person who purchased and paid GST on the goods.

You cannot claim a refund on:
GST-free goods
Services such as accommodation, car rental, tours and labour charges.
Beer, spirits, tobacco and tobacco products

Enjoy your tax refunds and happy shopping.

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Why? To claim tax back on your shopping
When: 30 days before you travel
Where: Sydney Airport and Cruise Liner Terminals
Cost: less GST
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