Get your GST back when leaving Australia

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The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) allows you to get your GST back, more precisely you can get GST back on some goods you bought in Australia (not only electronics). The Tourist Refund Scheme allows for a full rebate of the 10% GST on goods. You will have to leave Australia with these goods and have them in your carry-on luggage when checking in for your flight unless the goods are oversized goods or liquids, aerosols and gels restricted to hold luggage for security reasons. You can ask for the refund at Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin and Coolangatta airports.

Conditions to get your GST back

To be able to claim your GST back a few conditions apply

  • You will need to have bought the goods in person in a period of 60 days before your departure date
  • The total amount of goods has to be $300 or more. Your purchases must be from a single business. It can be more than one items but only if they have been bought in the same shop. If you bought items from one business, even on separate invoices, that together total AUD 300, these items could be eligible for a tax refund.
  • You must have an original tax invoice for the goods. If you do not have an eligible tax invoice you cannot make a claim.
  • You need to have the goods with you, in your carry-on luggage when flying out.

Good to know : You can remove your goods from the packaging and use them. You do not need to bring the packaging to make your TRS claim.

You cannot claim a refund on these goods

  • Tobacco products 
  • Alcohol
  • Goods purchased over the Internet and imported into Australia
  • Services (Hotel rooms, car rentals, tours, etc)
  • GST-free goods where no GST was paid
  • Goods prohibited on aircraft for safety reasons (gas cylinders, fireworks, aerosol etc)
  • Product already used as perfume, however, you can claim GST on devices such as a computer, camera, Iphone, used during your stay

How to claim your GST

The refund is made at the airport, after the customs. Look for signs indicating Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS). To find the TRS facility, check the website of the airport where you will be flying.
There will be at least a 90 minutes wait. Can be more so anticipate and arrive in advance to make sure you don’t miss out.
The refund can be paid into an Australian bank account, to a credit card, or by cheque. The refund will be made within 60 days of the claim being lodged.
You will need to present:
– The goods
– Your passport
– The invoices (paper or electronic)
– Your boarding pass.

Good to know: Although the TRS counters at airports don’t have fixed opening hours, they are open when an international flight is scheduled.

Coming back to Australia with de-taxed goods

If you are bringing goods back into Australia for which you have claimed a TRS refund, know that you can bring up to AUD900 worth of goods.
Families travelling together can pool this allowance.
For example a couple can bring in a total of AUD900 x 2 = AUD1800 worth of goods into Australia without paying duty. This is called the passenger concession.

If the total value of the goods you are bringing back into Australia after claiming a refund is greater than your passenger concession:

  • you must declare the goods
  • you will need to repay the GST refund back on the goods you claimed under the TRS.

Use the TRS apps

To facilitate and accelerate the process, the Australian government has launched a special app: The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) app. It’s available for iPhone and Android.

After downloading, just type in the following:

  • Details of your trip
  • Details of the goods for tax refund
  • Preferred way of refund

After saving the information, you receive a Quick Response (QR) code, which you will need to present at the TRS counter when you leave Australia. You will still need to attend a TRS facility with your tax invoice. 

Online statements are available at the following international airports: Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. 

Contact info

If you need to contact the Tourist Refund Office (TRO) for a specific question, you can call them on 1300 555 043 or email trs@abf.gov.au.

From outside Australia you will need to call +61 2 6245 5499.

Updated on the 17/10/2019. First published on the 20/09/2016