Creatrip: How to get a tax refund in Korea

How to get a tax refund in Korea

Updated in 2019! The updated methods for receiving a tax refund in Korea! How to get a tax refund from the airport and in the city

a month ago

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We proudly present you the latest, useful Korean travel information and tips every day.

You need to know how to file for a sales tax refund if you are planning to shop in Korea.

In this post, Creatrip will cover how to get a tax refund, which method to choose, and how much does it cost to file. 

There are two ways to get a refund - either from Incheon Airport or in Seoul.

2019 Korea Tax Refund:1.Instruction

If you read this chart for the first time, you might get confused. It doesn't matter. If you go over this chart several times, you will get the hang of it soon.

2019 Korea Tax Refund:2. Tax exemption for Duty-Free

Duty-Free price does not include the tariff on the import of goods. Two major duty-free shops in Korea are the ones in department stores and the airport. If you show your passport and the return flight ticket at the duty-free checkout, you are instantly eligible for a tax exemption. But did you know there is a restriction on spending at department store duty-free shops? 

Basically, the unit price of any item purchased from department store duty-free shops cannot exceed NT$20,000. If you spend more than the baseline, I would suggest you claim your goods at the customs (keep the receipt and invoice, and make sure the item is remaining sealed). Many people do not violate this regulation. Make sure you understand the rules before you spend.

2019 Korea Tax Refund:3. On-site exemption (return) Tax Free

On-site Tax Refund

  • Consumption Amount:₩30,000 to ₩300,000
  • During the time of entry to Korea, the total amount spent should be less than ₩1,000,000

On-site Tax Refund

  • The amount of spending exceeding ₩30,000 less than ₩300,000 can be refunded on-site. You need to show your passport to get an instant tax exemption.

Applicable places: some supermarkets, businesses, department stores.

On-site tax refund remarks

  • If the amount of the purchase is between ₩300,000 and ₩1,000,000 during your stay in Korea, you can only get the tax refund at the airport.

On-site tax refund explanation

  • Many articles on the Internet say that the maximum amount of tax exemption is only ₩200,000. Why do I say ₩300,000 in this article? This information was given by the official South Korean customs department in June. The on-site tax exemption amount is ₩300,000.
  • If you spend more than ₩300,000, ask the cashier about the specific tax refund instruction upon checkout. Or inquire within the airport tax refund center yourself.

2019 Korea Tax Refund:4. Airport (City) Tax Refund

Airport Tax Refund:1. Airport Machine Self-Service Tax Refund

  • The tax refund amount is less than ₩75,000 Goods do not need to go through the customs inspection

Airport Tax Refund:2. Airport Customs Inspection Tax Refund

  • The tax refund amount is greater than ₩75,000 Goods need to go through customs inspection

  • After going through the customs clearance, find customs tax rebate in the duty-free shop area.
  • Fill out the refund request form. After filing out the form, go to the customs for inspection.

City Tax Refund:1.  Restrictions and Areas

  • The tax refund amount is less than ₩75,000
  • Only in some parts of downtown
  • Tax-return documents should be submitted  at the airport
  • The credit card is required for a tax refund

The tax rebate in the city area of Korea is mainly available in the sightseeing places, and a credit card is required for a tax refund. Although the cash can be returned on the spot (the refund amount needs to be less than ₩75,000), the corresponding amount of tax refund amount will be held on your credit card temporarily (about 1.5 times).  After the confirmation is completed, the frozen amount in the credit card will be returned. 

The most important reminder: you must leave South Korea within 20 to 25 days after the tax return (You must not in the country when your tax rebate request form is processed by the customs department).

2019 Korea Tax Refund:5. Incheon Airport Tax Refund

Self-service tax refund for airport machines (refund amount less than ₩75,000)

  1. Tax refund machine, Checked baggage counters
  2. Incheon Airport Terminal 1:B, D, J, L
  3. Incheon Airport Terminal 2:C, D
  4. Customs clearance (passing security check, entering duty-free shops) 
  5. Those who have already received tax refunds in the city area must keep the stamped receipts. For the airport customs inspection refund (the refund amount is higher than ₩75,000), bring the items on board with you.

Airport Customs inspection refund (the refund amount is higher than ₩75,000)

  • Check items whether if they can be carried on board with you

  1. Tax refund machines and the checked baggage area 
  2. Customs clearance (passing the security check, entering duty-free shops)
  3. checking and receiving money at the customs counters

  • Check the items to see if they can be taken on board

  1. For the checked baggage and customs clearance inquiries, go to 
  2. Incheon Airport terminal 1 : D area, Check-in desk area
  3. Incheon Airport Terminal 2: D and E,  Check-in desk area (pass security check, enter duty-free shop area), receive the refund according to instruction

If you come to the customs counter out of the opening hours (for early morning and late night flights), please put the relevant tax refund materials into the refund box.

After a certain period of time, the refund amount will be remitted to your credit card or bank account (please fill in the relevant information carefully). However, there are no refund counters at Jeju and Busan Gimhae Airport if you visit the refund counters out of the opening hours. Please pay attention.

2019 Korea Tax Refund:6. Other airport tax refund

Orange Tax Free
₩30,000 to ₩49,999₩2,000
₩50,000 to ₩74,999₩3,000
₩75,000 to ₩99,999₩5,000
₩100,000 to ₩124,999₩7,000
₩125,000 to ₩149,999₩8,000
₩150,000 to ₩174,999₩9,000
₩175,000 to ₩199,999₩10,000
₩200,000 to ₩224,999₩12,000

Blue Tax Free
₩30,000 to ₩49,999₩1,500
₩50,000 to ₩74,999₩3,500
₩75,000 to ₩99,999₩5,000
₩100,000 to ₩124,999₩6,500
₩125,000 to ₩149,999₩8,000
₩150,000 to ₩174,999₩9,500
₩175,000 to ₩199,999₩11,000
₩200,000 to ₩224,999₩12,500

Red Tax Reward
₩30,000 to ₩49,999₩2,000
₩50,000 to ₩74,999₩3,000
₩75,000 to ₩99,999
₩100,000 to ₩124,999₩6,000
₩125,000 to ₩149,999₩8,000
₩150,000 to ₩174,999₩9,000
₩175,000 to ₩199,999₩10,000
₩200,000 to ₩224,999₩12,000

2019 Korea Tax Refund:7. Instruction

Korean tax rebate: duty free shop

Show your passport to checkout to get the item for a tax-free price, there is no after-tax refund
You must be note that the amount of the purchased item has reached the reporting standard.

Korean tax rebate: the tax refund amount is less than ₩75,000
Look for a self-service tax refund machine in the city.

Find: file for a tax refund, collect the money, exit the country and then receive the remaining reufund

1.  Receive a tax refund
2. File a refund on the tax refund machine in the city
3. Credit card guarantee
4. Receive a tax refund

5. Save the document to the airport and and prove your purchase again.

Make sure you keep all the documents, and show them at the airport to receive a refund

Korean tax rebate: the tax refund amount is higher than ₩75,000
Can't refund tax in the city areas, nor can you file for a refund at the airport

Items can be in a hand-carry bag: get the customs clearance after exiting the country
Items can only be in a checked-in bag: show your item at the tax refund counter before exiting the country, then put in the check-in bag

After the inspection, receive the corresponding refund tax after the departure.

I hope you find the above Korean tax rebate information helpful.

If you have any questions or you have found any errors, please leave us a comment. 

I will see you again in my next post.