tax refund sign

Your Israeli VAT refund guide for tourists!

Leaving Israel soon with a suitcase full of awesome memories and treasures? Did you know you can actually get some money back on that VAT you paid for your goodies? It’s like finding hidden shekels in your pockets!
This friendly guide will show you how to score that sweet VAT refund, so you can fuel your next falafel binge or bring home extra goodies for your loved ones.

Who can play?

  • You’ve got a B2, B3, or B4 visa stamped on your passport (aka, you’re here for the fun, not the work).
  • Your purchases add up to at least 125 shekels each, including VAT (think: awesome souvenirs, not that extra toothbrush).
  • You bought from a shop with the special “VAT refund for tourists” sticker

The rules of the game

  • Hold onto those tax invoices and the special form you get at each shop (all details of the goods and your details have to be properly filled out in the designated document and on the tax invoice) – they’re your golden tickets to refund land. Remember you may need to ask for the special form during checkout.
  • Many stores won’t give you a tax refund form unless you spend more than 400 NIS.
  • Make sure your goodies stay safe and un-opened until you leave Israel (no pre-wearing that fancy evening gown or fancy sandals!).
  • Jewelry worth over 20,000 shekels needs to stay in its original bag until you show it to the refund folks.
  • Eilat shoppers? You only get back VAT on jewelry costing more than US$200 (because that city’s already tax-free heaven!).

Where to claim your prize at Ben Gurion airport

  • Traveling with souvenirs in your checked baggage? Don’t forget to claim your VAT refund! Before checking in, visit the VAT counter on the 3rd floor near the information desk and present your documents and purchases. Get your form stamped there.
  • After clearing security, head to the VAT Refund desk in the Duty Free Hall, near the playground, to claim your refund. Don’t forget your stamped form!

Claiming your prize

  • Head to the Milgam VAT refund counter before you leaveMilgam operates VAT refunds
  • Flash your passport, goods, and documents, and let the refund magic happen.
    Choose your reward: cash, check, or bank transfer (cash and transfers come with small service fees, FYI).
  • A fee of 27 NIS is required for each designated document – this means that if you did not buy an expensive item don’t even bother.
  • Additional fees: on a cash refund – 1% and for a bank transfer 40 NIS

Scenario: Remember that awesome pair of sandals you bought in Israel? Turns out, they weren’t just fabulous footwear, they were also carrying some extra weight… in the form of VAT.

Here’s the lowdown:

Imagine: You snag those killer sandals for 400 NIS. Turns out, 68 NIS is just VAT chilling there, like a hidden sock in your new shoes.
Now you pay a fee of 27 NIS for requesting the VAT back leaving you with 41 NIS
You’d like cash back (so you will have cash for your next trip or to get a one more falafel before you leave) you are charged another 1% – so you walk away with 40.59NIS that will probably be rounded up to 40.6NIS (what a winner 1 more agora – YES!)

We recommend getting a VAT refund only for items costing 450 NIS or more.

Bonus points

  • Full list of refund spots at airports, ports, and border crossings: Ben-Gurion Airport – Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, Ramon Airport, Port of Ashdod, Port of Haifa, Port of Eilat, The Herzliya Marina Port, The Ashkelon Marina, Allenby Border Crossing, Jordan River Border Crossing, Taba Border Crossing, Arava Border Crossing, Ovda Border Crossing.
  • Remember, you can only claim your refund before you jet off, so don’t delay!

Who sits this one out?

  • B1 visa holders (you’re here to work, not shop!).
  • Israeli citizens with dual citizenship (sorry, rules are rules!).
  • Any goods you bought and left in Israel for friends or family.
  • Commercial quantities – please leave something for the locals.

There you have it! Now go forth, shop smart, and claim your well-deserved VAT refund.

Remember, this is just a friendly summary of the official info. For the full rules and regulations, check out the Following website. Happy shopping (and refunding)!

VAT refund for tourists on Israel Tax Authority site
Vat refund info on Ben Gurion Airport site