Tax Free Shopping in Buenos Aires with Global Refund

Many stores in Buenos Aires, particularly those in the larger malls like Patio Bullrich, Alto Palermo and Galerias Pacífico, participate in the Global Refund program for tax free shopping.

When you make a qualifying purchase of over 70 pesos at one these stores you can request a Global Refund Cheque. This entitles you (a non-Argentine citizen) to a rebate of the VAT (value added tax) when you leave Argentina.

Stores that participate in the Global Refund program will display a “Tax Free Shopping” sticker in the window. The refund applies only to products manufactured in Argentina.

The refund amount is the VAT minus an administration fee. The VAT rate in Argentina is 21% or 17.35% of the final price shown on the price tag. (In Argentina, the VAT is included in the sticker price, not added on later at the cash register.)

You can collect your refund at the airport when you are leaving Argentina. First, make sure you get your Global Refund Cheque stamped at customs BEFORE you pass through security and head to your departure gate. Then take your check to a Global Refund booth.

On my last trip to Buenos Aires I made the mistake of taking to my refund check to the booth near my departure gate. Since I didn’t get it stamped at customs before entering the secured area, I couldn’t claim my refund. That’s 39 pesos I will never see again.

More information at the Global Refund Argentina website.

Filed under: Need To Know, Shopping


  1. Victoria Says:

    Hi there.

    I am really looking to buy a samsung camera in BA…..can i get the tax refund on this? And do you know any tax free electronics shops? Many Thanks!

  2. Jen Says:

    It would be helpful to know how you say it in spanish too. When I’ve said “Global Refund Cheque” most people don’t know what I’m saying.

  3. Catalina Says:

    Hi, im from Colombia and i was in Argentina 5 weeks ago and in the tax free ofice they made me fill a paper to send me the money to Colombia but i didnt recieve anything and im gonna travel so i really wants to know what hapen with my money.



  4. Rafael Says:

    Dear Catalina,
    I also was shopping in Buenos Aires and expecting to get my refund, but it didn’t came…
    According to The tax free also applies to purchases made with credit card. Before traveling back to Uruguay, I made all the paperwork needed, but after all this time, no money has been sent back to me in my credit card.

    Probably the customs guy kept the money, because he wouldnt give me any receipt after filling the papers…
    To avoid this, buy with cash and ask for the refund directly in the shop! Always ask for rebate when buying.
    If you want to get the money back before going back to your country, buy with cash and expect cash when going to customs office.

    Victoria, the refunds only apply for goods manufactured in Argentina.

    Jen, in spanish you can ask for: “descuento tax free”, they will probably understand that.


  5. Oli Says:

    The VAT can only be claimed on goods that are manufactured in Argentina AND purchased in a store that is affiliated with a refund scheme (Global Blue).

    Ask for a tax free receipt and take it to the booth. It’s pretty straight forward and I received the refund to my credit card.

    However, after purchasing two pairs of boots ($2000ARS each) from a store that wasn’t affiliated with the scheme, I learned that a receipt indicating the amount of tax paid on the boots isn’t sufficient to claim a refund.

    Also, there are no money exchange booths at EZE after clearing customs. So, spend all your pesos before arriving for your flight, unless you want to take them with you or spend them on overpriced duty free goods.

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