Travel and shopping in France: Understanding and easy refund of your tax

IZIVAT is a tax refund company set up in 2019 by three former expatriates in Asia from the world of finance and tax refunds. It is by noting that the world of tax refunds had not changed its services in a satisfactory way for travelers that the trio decided to launch themselves by setting up IZIVAT. An application for a tax refund, approved by the French customs service, which helps foreigners living outside the EU – or travelers – with their tax refund.

In the midst of a health crisis, the company is also launching another hyper-innovative service that allows foreigners to not only shop online on French sites from abroad, but also take advantage of the tax refund. Our edition went to meet Thierry Chopard, one of the founders of IZIVAT.


Rachel Brunet for Le Petit Journal New York and Miami: What is the tax refund?

Thierry Chopard : The tax refund is the possibility for a non-tax resident in France to make purchases in a country, here, in this case, France, and to have the VAT refunded on the purchases made. In France, IZIVAT supports and digitizes the entire tax refund process to make it accessible and simple.

How does the tax refund technically work for a foreigner traveling to France and shopping there?

It is very simple, there are very few steps. The first is to download the IZIVAT app. The second is to register on this application with your passport, which takes two minutes, and this in a very interactive way. We work to strict standards as banks. Then, from the IZIVAT application, all you have to do is fill in your travel dates with reference from the airline as well as the departure and return airports. Once all this is done, the traveler is ready to shop anywhere in France, and even in e-commerce, on French websites, even before traveling to France. The important thing to take advantage of the tax refund is that the products are on the one hand justified; on the other hand, that they are in their packaging (eg a suit or pair of shoes must remain in its original packaging with label, without being worn) and finally the product must be in your luggage when you leave back to the United States. A maximum period of three months is also imposed between the date of purchase and return to the United States.

When you pay for the item in the store, you must request an invoice from the store. This invoice must be prepared for IZIVAT’s contact information. This is something very fast that traders are used to doing. In our application we have made a little help to show the grocery store, for e.g. a traveler who does not speak good French. Once the invoice is established, simply enter it into the application with a simple image of the latter.

All products are eligible for tax refunds, with the exception of fresh products as well as everything related to weapons, flammable products … In short, all products that are not accepted on an aircraft. The rules stipulate that the product must not be used in French territory, so it is absolutely necessary to store the product in the packaging with its label.

What is the size of the tax refund?

We refund 12% of the price including VAT paid in France for products that have 20% VAT. We offer a simulator on our site, to best support our customers.

What are the benefits?

The first benefit of using IZIVAT is to gain time and freedom. Sometimes the French take off a priori on the tax refund. An in-store VAT refund can in some cases take from 5 to 30 minutes before being repeated in each store. In total, the digital tax refund saves several hours.

It is true that the current paper process is tedious. With IZIVAT, everything is simplified and digitized. If you have any questions, the customer can contact us on the messaging system integrated in the application.

The other benefit is making money. All shopping in France becomes justified when it was not before. This is the case for online purchases, purchases under € 100 and purchases made in stores that do not offer VAT refunds. By downloading a simple invoice, the IZVAT service will refund you the VAT refund on all your purchases. We offer innovation, we return time, comfort, predictability because the customer knows he will be refunded. We are convinced to provide a real service to expatriates.

How is the customs clearance when the aliens return to the United States?

There are two waypoints. The first is the passage through customs, before registration, where you have to present what is called the “export sales slip”, which we give to all our customers, digitally, in the application and by mail. All you have to do is scan this note at the Pablo terminals – which are automatic terminals in the customs area -. There are two options, either everything is fine, you have nothing more to do and you can leave the customs area. Either there is a request for verification, in which case you should go to the customs officer who will check the purchased products, the passport and the transport ticket and then validate the VAT refund with the note. The second step is avoided with IZIVAT: it is the repayment of the tax refund in cash, which can take several hours. With our solution, customers are refunded via PayPal or bank transfer within 24 hours of customs validation.

You offer another service called Crossborder, what exactly is it?

The service is different in the sense that the customer is not a traveler but buys from the US on an e-commerce site in France. He receives one or more purchases delivered to IZIVAT in Paris.

In general, our customers order an average of 3 to 4 purchases. We then return everything, in a single package, to the customer based in the United States at the address provided by the latter to us. Once the customer has received his package, we will refund him the VAT, at the end of the process. Customers can thus order, from the USA, luxury products, clothes, shoes, books, etc. We are especially partners with Cultura and also with Comptoir de France, which are beautiful brands that are very popular among French people in the region. ‘foreign. Another benefit of our service is to aggregate shipping costs on multiple orders from different brands. This service is provided from our website.

You can also find them on Instagram @izivattaxrefund


Leave a Comment