Are you a tourist in Australia looking to buy a diamond? Or are you just overseas looking to make a purchase with us? Confused by all the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) mumbo jumbo? Well, we' re here to simplify what it means to make a purchase from an Australian retailer and how you can save your dollars while making a purchase in Australia as a tourist.
Travellers departing from Australia can claim their GST or WET to be refunded under the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS), which is administered by the Department of Home Affairs and its operational arm i.e. the Australian Border Force (ABF). This scheme applies to all goods purchased at prices that include any GST or WET from a retailer with an ABN and is registered for GST. However, you cannot claim TRS for services such as accommodation, travel, etc. This also means that no TRS claims can be made for products that are not inclusive of the GST i.e. no GST has been paid for the goods.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that crew members of an aircraft or ship are not covered under this scheme.
Now that we've cleared who and when you can claim TRS, let us understand the process better. While you can lodge a TRS claim, there are certain conditions you must meet in order to get approved.
Below are the main points that you will need to remember if you are considering a TRS claim:
1. The 60 Days Rule: The 60 days rule seems to be a topic of confusion amongst most of our travelling buyers. Most of the buyers want to know if the 60 days begin from the time you make a deposit to purchase a ring or if it starts from the day you pay for it in full and pick up the ring. Therefore, we decided to speak to the concerned authorities directly to understand the process clearly and have direct answers to our questions instead of relying on external sources. After talking to TRS they have confirmed that if the invoice clearly shows the final balance payment date and pick up date, the 60 days start from that date. This is because many custom-made designs take longer than 60 days to complete with the adjustments needed, so as long as you can clearly show the final balance was paid and goods picked up within 60 days of travel you are eligible for TRS claims.
2. The physical goods along with the original invoice MUST be produced at the airport at the TRS desk. The item will be checked to verify that it matches the product listed on the invoice.
3. There are usually two TRS desks at major Australian Airports, one located before the check-in and one located after passport control. Most travellers use the TRS desk before check-in for items they want to claim and then check-in with their check-in baggage. As you will most certainly want to carry your valuable jewellery with you the best place to make TRS claims for jewellery is the desk after passport control. Here you will need to show the item you are claiming along with the original invoice and any other paperwork associated with the sale.
4. Goods claimed through TRS CANNOT be brought back into Australia. Any items that have been processed by TRS that are brought back into Australia will be charged GST once again, and they MUST be declared upon entry. TRS claims are only applicable for goods leaving the country and staying out of the country.
5. Once approved for a TRS claim you will have three options on getting the GST refund. You can either ask to get the funds deposited into a nominated credit card, get funds deposited into your bank account or have a cheque sent out to you. The quickest way to get the GST back is to nominate the credit card option as this usually takes the least number of days (5 days or so).
6. You can also make an online claim first to speed up the refund process at the airport. Go to https://trs.border.gov.au/ to start your online claim.
For further details on the TRS scheme, click here or go to https://www.abf.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/tourist-refund-scheme/for-travellers .