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  • ThriceForgiven 57 posts

    Rather niche question, but has anyone here availed themselves of the Tax Free shopping at El Corte Ingles stores in Spain? It has been a while since I last did this, but the last time they had a relatively generous offer of tax free + 10% of your spend on a reward card (to be consumed in 5 days) for UK citizens.

    Specific questions I have:
    1) Statement says “Up to 15.7% savings in taxes” (https://www.elcorteingles.com/luxe/uk-tax-free-shopping). The % varies by category I presume; does anyone know what it would be for a baby stroller? I vaguely recall being deflated when getting a tax free statement for much lower but cannot recall how much it was.

    2) Are there categories for which you cannot obtain tax free prices? Theres a T&Cs page (https://www.luxe.elcorteingles.com/uk-tax-free-shopping/terms-and-conditions-uk) which excludes Baby Strollers, but it is unclear to me if this is only for the 10% gift card, or tax free savings.

    I’ve tried contacting El Corte Ingles, and it has been quite dire.

    Any input appreciated.

    tw33ty 187 posts

    It’s like global blue, you get the local vat or equivalent rate that is charged on that item, minus a cut for them for doing it. I use global blue as lot in Hamburg.

    El Corte wise, you can also earn 3avios per euro too on spend, you might even be able to get the cash back in store like global blue, all you need to do is give them credit card details, as you need to get the form for the claim or payment stamped at the airport on exit and return it to them, if you don’t return it, they take the cash refund from your card.

    For the exact amount you’ll get back, just google iva rate for Spain for the item your after.

    ChrisBCN 237 posts

    I would also check if you could buy what you want elsewhere – I find el corte ingles outrageously expensive for pretty much everything. Compare vs UK department stores, UK and Spanish amazon, etc etc

    Alex G 435 posts

    I’ve used the one in Lisbon a few times for gourmet foods. Tax free, plus 10pc discount.

    Cranzle 272 posts

    I would also check if you could buy what you want elsewhere – I find el corte ingles outrageously expensive for pretty much everything. Compare vs UK department stores, UK and Spanish amazon, etc etc

    Their discounts during sale periods are far better than UK department stores.

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    I’m planning a trip to the one near AGP on Monday (apparently the food hall is very nice), so will report back if we buy anything!

    tw33ty 187 posts

    The el Corte closest to agp is an outlet version, it may be different.

    The el Corte in the city next to the end of the line metro station is a nice one. It’s split between two building that you go between via an underground tunnel.

    redlilly 110 posts

    Can also confirm that the El Coroto Ingles in Porto has good deals. We always get products at better prices than competitor retailers.

    Re. savings, it completely depends on the product and the country.

    ThriceForgiven 57 posts

    [edit] Double post

    ThriceForgiven 57 posts

    I’m planning a trip to the one near AGP on Monday (apparently the food hall is very nice), so will report back if we buy anything!

    I’ve been to that one! Very jealous that you’re over there – I love that city.

    Apologies if this is overstepping somewhat, but if you have a few mins of downtime in that Corte Ingles, would you mind asking if a stroller would qualify for Tax Free, and per chance if they have an indicative %? You’d be saving Mrs Thrice and I quite a bit of hopeless calling! 🙂

    AJA 1,071 posts

    The el Corte closest to agp is an outlet version, it may be different.

    The el Corte in the city next to the end of the line metro station is a nice one. It’s split between two building that you go between via an underground tunnel.

    I agree the one in down town Malaga is very nice. Unfortunately I only got to wander around the store for about 15 minutes as my OH’s knee gave way walking down the stairs into the food hall – a meniscus tear resulting in their staying in bed for the rest of the holiday. 🙁

    Another el Cortes store that is very nice is the one in Lisbon.

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    @ThriceForgiven, apologies, we have been to Granada today and I have just seen this! We popped into El Corte Ingles in Malaga last night and just ended up buying a few foodie bits so didn’t ask about the tax, sorry!

    If we do end up in the outlet one tomorrow, I will ask!

    I also love Malaga, it’s a very underrated destination.

    tw33ty 187 posts

    If you love Malaga, you should check out a city in west of Madrid called Salamanca.

    LD27 171 posts

    Agree about Salamanca. We visited from Portugal as part of Druro river cruise. Loved it. On list of places to revisit.

    ThriceForgiven 57 posts

    So, tax free does apply to strollers. Not the 21% as advertised in Spain; more or less ~13% after Global Blue fees + FX fees (despite specifying a EUR account, they still chose to pay in GBP).

    In case anyone was wondering.

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    I definitely should visit Salamanca, my dad went to university there.

    I looked into claiming tax back when we went to the MacArthur Glen mall near AGP but it sounded a right faff, you had to get your receipt verified, then take it to a separate office at the mall and then finally claim back the money at the airport! They definitely seem to want to make it as difficult as possible 😂

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,100 posts

    I definitely should visit Salamanca, my dad went to university there.

    I looked into claiming tax back when we went to the MacArthur Glen mall near AGP but it sounded a right faff, you had to get your receipt verified, then take it to a separate office at the mall and then finally claim back the money at the airport! They definitely seem to want to make it as difficult as possible 😂

    I go into it seeing it like TCB as a perk that may or may not credit. I have the added complication of holding an EU passport. Which leads to utter incredulity from customs officers that I don’t hold any form of residency ID from the UK yet am allowed live there. I recall one time in Munich being told “You could just get off at Manchester and be flying on to Dublin and we wouldn’t know.” I pointed out that any British person could do the same since, shock horror, not everyone lives in the country of their citizenship. It all descended into farce when the customs agents decided the best way to judge if I lived in the UK was to zoom in on my alleged postcode on Google Maps and ask me questions about the locality. “What 5 star hotel would be closest?; If you were going to watch football, which would the nearest stadium be?; Where’s the nearest McDonalds?”

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    Do you mean solely an EU passport? I have Spanish and UK so use whichever will cause the least aggro! I am well-acquainted with Spanish bureaucracy and not sure it would be worth it, lol. I paid 1.50 euro to go into Malaga museum last year as I needed some change, however it is actually free for EU citizens. I don’t mind paying, but the Rottweiler Spanish lady at the ticket desk was so unpleasant that when we visited last month I just showed my Spanish passport, was greeted pleasantly and got in free. My hapless husband didn’t fare as well – when I said he was British she scowled and hissed “HE has to pay!” in Spanish.

    I may try and get my head around the tax thing next time, but Spain only recognises single nationality so I’ve no idea how that will play out …!

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,100 posts

    Do you mean solely an EU passport? I have Spanish and UK so use whichever will cause the least aggro! I am well-acquainted with Spanish bureaucracy and not sure it would be worth it, lol. I paid 1.50 euro to go into Malaga museum last year as I needed some change, however it is actually free for EU citizens. I don’t mind paying, but the Rottweiler Spanish lady at the ticket desk was so unpleasant that when we visited last month I just showed my Spanish passport, was greeted pleasantly and got in free. My hapless husband didn’t fare as well – when I said he was British she scowled and hissed “HE has to pay!” in Spanish.

    I may try and get my head around the tax thing next time, but Spain only recognises single nationality so I’ve no idea how that will play out …!

    Solely an EU passport. I have no inclination to apply for UK citizenship. Which means I can’t apply for Global Entry and Ireland shows no interest in joining up as it already offers pre-clearance.

    Colin MacKinnon 283 posts

    in Spanish.

    I may try and get my head around the tax thing next time, but Spain only recognises single nationality so I’ve no idea how that will play out …!

    You can have dual nationality in Spain now – thanks to the EU! But you have to declare within two or three years of getting your new one that you will be forever loyal to Madrid.

    Our son is off to the Spanish consulate this very morning to do this, since he only recently claimed his UK passport, even though he has legally been a uK citizen since birth.

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    I never had to do that. The way I understand it is that if you have dual citizenship through your parents, Spain will recognise the Spanish one but not the British one, but won’t ask you to make any declaration of loyalty to Spain, or relinquish your British nationality (which you can’t do anyway except through legal process).

    I “reclaimed” my Spanish nationality a couple of years ago – as the child of a Spanish father (it was the father who counted when I was born!), I was automatically a Spanish citizen until the age of 18 but it then lapsed until I formalised it years later. This was all done through a solicitor (to spare myself the bureaucracy!) and that’s how it was explained to me.

    I would urge anyone to get it formalised before they reached adulthood as the paperwork and bureaucracy involved beggar belief – every English document has to be translated by an official translator and notarised before the Spanish consulate will accept it, and they want enormous numbers of these relating to one’s parents.

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