UTU Tax Free FAQs

We've compiled a list of answers to common questions.

What is UTU Tax Free?

UTU Tax Free is the world’s first major mobile innovation in tax-free shopping. It introduces a brand new way of claiming your VAT Refund . Our App tracks all your refunds, saving you time queuing and filling forms. All from your fingertips! Most importantly, it offers you a higher refund on your overseas shopping.


What is UTU 100% Refund?

UTU 100% Refund is an instant refund given to you in the form of an eVoucher, in equal value of your VAT refund amount. You can redeem this eVoucher immediately for your next purchase in the store. There are no fees or charges applied.


How do I get a 100% refund?

When you shop at any of our selected UTU Partner stores, you’ll be prompted on the cashier’s device to opt for a 100% in-store eVoucher that is made available instantly on your mobile which you can then redeem immediately for your next purchase at the same store.


How do I claim a VAT refund?

Under EU regulations, international travellers can claim Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on goods they have purchased in the EU. To be eligible for tax-free shopping in any of the EU countries, you must reside permanently outside the EU or have a valid long-term visa (over 3 months) for a non-EU country.

At your last country of departure before leaving the EU, but before checking-in, you need to obtain a Customs stamp on all your VAT Refund forms at any Customs – airports, seaports and others. Prepare your duly-completed VAT Refund forms, receipts, and passport. The Customs officer may request to see your purchases before validating your forms.


Do I need my passport to do tax-free shopping with UTU?

Yes, you need your passport for tax free shopping when you make your purchases and when you submit your Tax Refund Form and proof of goods purchased to Customs to get export validation. You can save yourself some time and register your passport to the UTU App before you travel.


Where can I find the list of participating UTU Partners?

Go to ‘Shop’ section on the App and UTU Brand Partners are listed there. These are the shops that offer UTU 100% Refund in the form of an eVoucher.


Do I need my VAT refund forms validated at Customs?

We advise you to keep all your VAT refund forms and receipts as they need to be validated at Customs checkpoints.


What if I had forgotten to validate my VAT refund forms at Customs?

If you have claimed the 100% Refund eVoucher, you have 21 days from the date of issue of the eVoucher to validate your form at the Customs or you will be charged the full amount of the eVoucher plus 3% processing fees on the value of the eVoucher or €5, whichever is higher.  However, your VAT refund form is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. If you validate it after 21 days and within 90 days,  the full amount of eVoucher charged will be refunded to the selected Payment Channel excluding the processing fees.


What does Refund to Payment Channel on cashier’s device mean?

When you choose Refund to Payment Channel instead of 100% Refund eVoucher, your VAT is refunded to your choice of payment channel and you will receive up to 80% of your VAT refund amount, subject to your completion of due process of validating the refund forms at Customs.


Why was my VAT Refund form denied at Customs?

There could be many reasons why the forms may be denied including 1. Failure to provide the required information, and 2. Not meeting the minimum spend at a single retailer. Whatever the reasons may be, validation of the Forms fall under the jurisdiction of the Customs. We have no control. We advise you to contact the Customs for further clarifications.


How long does the VAT refund process take?

If you have completed all the paperwork and got the VAT refund forms stamped at the airport or seaport, mailed the documents and requested your VAT to be refunded to your credit card, you should receive your refunds within 21 working days.


Which are the mobile operating systems that UTU supports?

For iPhone, iOS version 7.1 and above

For Android, version 6.0 and above

How do I register for a UTU account?

  1. Download the UTU App available on App Store, Google Play, Mi Store, Huawei App Store, Baidu App Store
  2. Register your profile with your First Name and Last Name. (Ensure that the name you filled-in is in accordance to your Passport.)
  3. Enter your Mobile and Passport Number
  4. Enter your credit card details and proceed to verify the credit card with bank OTP process

Why do I need to enter my credit card information?

You will need to enter at least one credit card when you register so that all your VAT refunds will be credited to the choice of your payment channel. The fastest option is to scan your credit card so that we are able to capture the right information. Alternatively, enter the information manually. Ensure information entered is accurate, or delays in your VAT refund may result.


Am I able to edit my profile after I have registered?

You may open the UTU App > Menu > View and Edit Profile > Done


How can I update my credit card information?

You may remove a credit card by swiping left on your ‘My Cards’ screen and adding another.


What is the UTU ID?

When you register for a UTU account, UTU creates a unique ID associated to your account. Upon successful registration, the UTU ID appears on the bottom right of your App home page. Clicking on it will change your UTU ID into a QR Code; clicking it again will switch it to a Barcode.


Where can I view all my transactions and refunds?

Clicking on the arrow at the top of the navigation bar will display a summary of your transactions. At the bottom of this summary page is a ‘Statement’ button, and clicking on that will show all your transaction history, such as the eVouchers claimed, pending refunds, and total refunds.


How do I delete my UTU account?

To remove your Account, open your UTU App, select Menu > View and Edit Profile > Edit > Delete Profile.


Why am I unable to delete my UTU account?

A possible reason why your account cannot be deleted is due to pending amounts in your account. Simply contact UTU Support and we will assist you to clear the pending amounts and remove your account.

What is UTU Direct?

Bring us any VAT refund form issued by any tax refund operator and UTU Direct will give you 85% of your VAT Refund for your tax-free purchases in Italy versus the ~55-60% refund that you get today.


How does UTU Direct work?

Download the UTU Tax Free app, available on all major app stores. Ensure that you have signed up and registered with your payment card and passport details before you shop. Once you make a tax free purchase, take your Tax Free form(s) to the nearest UTU Service Counter or Lounge (please ensure you do not sign on the form, neither hand your credit card to the cashier nor opt in for any in-store instant refund offered. This is to avoid suffering penalty fees later on). Once your VAT Refund is processed, you will receive a notification on your UTU app and you’re free to cash back to your preferred payment channel.


Why should I not sign my Tax Free Form?

This is so that you won’t be charged any penalty fee or suffer a lower tax refund rate so remember to avoid putting your credit card information on the form or signing it. Simply take your forms to a UTU Service Counter or Lounge & we’ll do the rest.


Step 1: Ask for a Tax Free Form at the store

Inform the cashier that

  1. You do not want to use a credit card for your tax refund (so that you won’t be charged any penalty fee or suffer a lower tax refund rate)
  2. Leave the credit card field blank, and do not sign on the form

Step 2: Go to a UTU Service Counter or Lounge

Take your Tax Free form(s) to the nearest UTU service Counter or Lounge. With the help of our service agent, sign your form and get your Passport verified.


Step 3: Validate your Tax Free Forms

Remember to validate all of your UTU processed Tax Free forms with Customs, at the last point of departure before leaving the eurozone.


Step 4: Enclose and Mail

Put your validated forms in the pre-paid envelope (provided to you at the UTU Service Counters or Lounge) and mail them at a public mailbox (there is usually one located near Customs) before you leave the EU.

Remember: No Customs stamp, No refund. No need to queue up anywhere else.


Where can I find UTU service counters and Lounges?

You can find UTU Service Counters in 4 cities in Italy: Milan, Rome, Florence & Venice.


Visit our unique UTU Service Lounge in the heart of Montenapoleone! 

  • Milan – Via Borgospesso, 8, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

You may also visit the following Interchange locations in these cities to find a UTU Service Counter:

  • Rome – Via di Porta Angelica 37/39 00193-Roma
  • Rome – Piazza di Spagna 80 00187-Roma
  • Florence – Via Por Santa Maria, 35/R 50122 Firenze
  • Venice – Merceria San Salvador, 4840 30124-Venezia

What do I need to do at a UTU Service Counter or Lounge?

If you choose to shop in Italy, look for our UTU Service Counters and Lounge located in the heart of 4 cities: Milan, Rome, Florence & Venice. Inform the service staff that you’ll be choosing UTU Direct for your VAT refund. Present all your Tax Free forms, with supporting receipts at the counter. UTU staff will help finalize your UTU Direct submission. Your Tax Free forms will be labelled and verified by the QR Code stickers attached. Keep all your verified forms and pre-paid envelopes safely for Customs validation later.


Why do I need to download UTU Tax Free to use UTU Direct?

Being a UTU Member helps you have a rewarding shopping experience in Italy! You can add your passport and payment details and register before you shop. After carrying out the UTU Direct steps, you’ll get to track your spend and refund on your mobile. Once your UTU Direct refund(s) has been processed, you’ll receive an in-app notification and can then cash out your 85% refund to a preferred payment channel. You’ll also be able to use all of our solutions within one seamless App.

How does UTU 100% Refund work?

  1. Download UTU, register for UTU membership with your mobile number, email, and add your passport and payment channel details.
  2. Identify yourself as a UTU member at the cashier the moment you make a purchase at any UTU Partner store. You will be asked to scan your UTU Member ID from the cashier’s device and to select a refund option of your choice. Select your 100% Refund in the form of eVoucher which you can use instantly for your next purchase at the same UTU Partner store.
  3. Please ensure that you remember to validate your tax refund forms at Customs within 21 days of issue to avoid being charged the full amount of the 100% Refund (received in the form of an eVoucher on the app).
  4. Alternatively, you may choose Conventional Refund that offers you up to 80% of your VAT refund amount, credited directly to your preferred Payment Channel.

Do all eVoucher have an expiry?

Yes. All eVouchers issued at the UTU Partner store will have an expiry date. Terms and Conditions may vary from store to store.


Can I exchange my eVoucher for cash?

All eVoucher issued are subject to the UTU Partner’s terms and conditions. Please refer to the eVoucher terms and conditions on the UTU App.


Is there a minimum/maximum amount for conventional refund to Payment Card?

There is a minimum of 10 USD to be refunded as the conventional refund to Payment Card.

The app is not loading on my mobile device. What should I do?

Make sure that your mobile device is connected to WiFi or that your mobile data is activated on your mobile.


How is my information managed?

Your information is stored in the encrypted formats at secure servers. UTU is PCI compliant which means that we are verified to securely handle payment information.

Email: ututaxfree@utu.global
UTU App General Support: +44 (800) 0418174

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