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Global Refund Adds Four Cash-Refund Locations In Tokyo.

World's Largest VAT-Refund Service Makes Refunds for Tourists Easier

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Refund, the world's largest provider of value-added tax (VAT) refunds to travelers, announced today the addition of three new cash-refund offices at Tokyo's heavily traveled Narita International Airport and one in downtown Tokyo. The new locations will enable Japanese tourists traveling abroad to secure more easily the VAT refunds to which they are entitled on purchases they bring home.

"Our more than 400 cash-refund refund offices around the world make it extremely convenient for travelers to reclaim -- in cash -- the taxes paid on purchases made abroad," said Julia Ryan, director of U.S. marketing for Global Refund. "This move reflects our continuing global expansion and our efforts to provide easier VAT refunds for our customers worldwide. Here in the U.S., we have cash-refund offices in JFK airport."

Of the seventeen million Japanese people travelling abroad every year, more than 75 percent use Narita. In Japan, Global Refund already operates a cash-refund office at Osaka's Kansai International Airport.

Global Refund, formerly known as Europe Tax-free Shopping, provides a simple, convenient way for shoppers to reclaim VAT or Goods and Services Taxes (GST). Those taxes are charged like a sales tax in more than 70 countries, including most European nations. Tourists bringing purchases home are generally entitled to a refund.

To reclaim their refund, tourists first ask for a Global Refund Cheque when making a purchase at one of the more than 125,000 stores bearing the 'TAX-FREE SHOPPING' logo. Next, when leaving the country or European Union, the Cheques should be validated by Customs. Step three is to cash the Cheques at any of the Cash Refund offices Global Refund operates near Customs booths at airports and other major departure points.

Global Refund estimates that $50 million in VAT went unclaimed by American tourists in 1997. VAT must be paid by all shoppers and is usually not itemized on receipts. Travelers are entitled to a refund of the tax on purchases taken back to their home country. The minimum purchase requirement varies by country, as does the VAT content rate, which can range from 3% to 24% of an item's purchase price.

Global Refund is in the midst of a multiyear campaign to educate Europe-bound American shoppers about the existence of VAT. A recent survey showed that as many as two-thirds of American travelers in Europe are unaware of VAT and therefore do not reclaim it on purchases they make.

Global Refund

Global Refund is the only worldwide company to provide immediate VAT refunds in cash. Travelers can also choose to receive their refunds in the form of a charge-card credit, or in the form of a check by mail. Global Refund currently provides VAT refunds in Canada and Singapore as well as 22 European countries, including top destinations such as Italy, France, England, and Germany.

Those seeking information on reclaiming VAT can call (800) 566-9828 or visit Global Refund's Web site at Global Refund is a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD), the world's premier provider of consumer and business services. Headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., the company has more than 40,000 employees and operates in over 100 countries.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 8, 1998
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