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Get your GST back when leaving Australia

Get your GST back when leaving Australia

If you have made purchases during your stay in Australia, you can claim a refund on the GST paid during your stay, thanks to the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS). Indeed, the Tourist Refund Scheme allows for a full rebate of the 10% GST (goods and services tax). You will have to leave Australia with these goods and have them in your carry-on luggage when checking in for your flight, unless they are oversized goods or liquids, aerosols and gels restricted to hold luggage for security reasons. You can request your refund at Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin, Gold Coast, Canberra and Hobart international airports. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to get your GST back when leaving Australia, ensuring you leave with not just memories but possibly some extra cash in hand.

What is the Goods and Services Tax (GST) ?

In the UK, VAT (Value Added Tax) applies to all products and services purchased. The rate of VAT is variable, but 20% is the most common rate for purchases in the country.

The Australian GST is its equivalent. The rate is 10% of the price of the product or service. It applies to all goods and services purchased in Australia. For example, if you buy a $1,000 camera, you will pay $100 in tax.

If you are a tourist and therefore do not live in Australia permanently, you can request a refund of this tax when you leave the country. The TRS allows travelers to claim a refund of the GST (10%) paid on goods bought in Australia within 60 days before departure. This scheme is applicable only to goods that are taken out of Australia in the traveler’s personal luggage or carry-on.

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 cost of the goods has to be at least $300. Your purchases must be from a single business. They can be more than one item, 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 $300, these items could be eligible for a tax refund.


You must have an original paper tax invoice for the goods. If you have an electronic invoice, remember to print it out before you go to the TRS counter. The invoice must include the shop’s Australian Business Number (ABN), the date of purchase, the description of the goods and the amount of GST paid. If you do not have an eligible tax invoice, you cannot make a claim. Present the original tax invoice, goods, passport, and boarding pass to the TRS facility.


You need to have the goods with you in your carry-on luggage when flying out of Australia. For oversized and restricted goods, they must be seen by ABF Client services before checking in and you will have to take the stamped invoices to the TRS Facility on your day of departure.

You cannot claim a refund on these goods:

  • Tobacco products 
  • Alcohol except wine with alcohol content less than 22%
  • 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)
  • Products which have already been partially consumed, such as food and drinks or an open bottle of perfume. (However, you can claim GST on devices such as a laptop, camera or iPhone which have been used during your stay.)

💡 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.

Claiming Your GST Refund

1. Keep Your Receipts: Save all tax invoices for purchases over AUD 300 from a single retailer, as you’ll need these for your claim.

2. Pack Smart: Ensure that the goods you’re claiming a refund on are easily accessible in your carry-on luggage, as you may need to show them at the TRS counter.

3. Early Arrival: Arrive at the airport with enough time to process your TRS claim before your flight. The TRS counters can be found in the international terminals of Australian airports.

4. Use the TRS App: The Australian Border Force (ABF) offers a TRS app that allows you to enter your claim details before reaching the airport. This can save time and streamline the process at the TRS counter.

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
– 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 to depart.

Processing Your Refund

Once at the TRS counter, present your completed TRS claim (either via the app or on a provided form), along with the necessary documents and purchased goods. The refund can be paid into an Australian bank account, credited to an Australian credit card, or received by cheque. Some locations may offer immediate refunds to credit cards.

Use the TRS apps to prepare your application

To facilitate and accelerate the process of getting your GST refund, you can use The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) app. It allows you to get a head start by registering your personal details and uploading your receipts in advance. Then all you have to do is go to the TRS desk, which is located in the Duty Free area of the airport (where you find the shops). The Tourist Refund Scheme has a website and a free app available for iOS and Android. The only downside of the app is that it does not work in all airports! You can only use the app if you are travelling from the following airports: Sydney (NSW), Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns (QLD), Darwin (NT), Melbourne (VIC), Adelaide (SA) or Perth (WA).

How does the app work?

After downloading the app, type in the following:

  • Details of your trip
  • Details of the goods and invoices
  • Preferred way to receive your refund

After saving the information, you will receive a Quick Response (QR) code that you can find in the “Present My Claim” section of the app. Once at the airport, you will need to present at the TRS counter. You will still need to attend a TRS facility with your tax invoice. This does not submit your claim.

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

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 without having to pay customs duties or GST. If you are a minor (under the age of 18), the amount you can bring in is $450. This is called your passenger concession.

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.

If the total value of the goods you are bringing back into Australia after claiming a refund is greater than your passenger concession (AUD$900):

  • you must declare the goods
  • you will need to repay the GST refund back on the goods you claimed under the TRS.
  • customs duties and GST will apply to all items purchased, not just goods over your passenger concession limit ($900).
GST Refund - Récupérer les taxes de ses achats en Australie

Tips for a Smooth TRS Experience

  • Bulky Goods: For items that are too large to carry as hand luggage, you can show your goods to a TRS officer at the check-in area or customs before checking in the items.
  • Group Claims: Families or groups traveling together can combine receipts to meet the minimum spend requirement but must present the claim together at the TRS counter.
  • Exclusions: Note that some goods, such as consumables fully or partly consumed in Australia, are not eligible for a GST refund.

Contact info

If you need to contact the Tourist Refund Office (TRO) for a specific question, you can call them:

From within Australia: 1300 555 043
From outside Australia: +61 2 6245 5499.

You can also contact the TRO via email trs@abf.gov.au or their enquiry form.


Does a receipt need to be in my name for me to claim GST back?

Yes, it must be the same as the name on your passport. You can’t claim a refund if the invoice has a name other than your own as the buyer.

Can I claim GST back on goods if I have a return ticket for Australia?

Yes, you should be able to, as long as you respect the conditions mentioned above. Note that if you are bringing goods back into Australia for which you have claimed a TRS refund, you can only bring up to AUD900 worth of goods without having to pay customs duties or GST. 

Do I have to make all my purchases from the same store on the same day?

No, you can make several purchases over several days. If you have bought items from the same retailer but at different stores, check that each invoice has the same Australian Business Number (ABN). The same business might have different ABNs for each store.

Can I request a GST refund after I leave Australia?

No, you must do it at the TRS desk at your airport of departure at least 30 minutes before your flight.

Do I get my GST refund in cash or credit?

You cannot get a cash refund for your GST. You can only get refunds paid to you or another person by credit card (Amex, Diners, JCB, MasterCard, Union Pay, Visa), Australian bank account or mailed cheque (not recommended).

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