Tax Refund in Istanbul

if you're planning to travel via Istanbul Airport these days, you might be wondering if you can get a tax refund for your purchases. The good news is, yes, you can! Istanbul Airport offers a tax refund service that allows eligible travelers to reclaim the value-added tax (VAT) on their purchases. In this remaining guide, we're going to stroll you through the procedure of claiming your VAT refund at Istanbul Airport. From eligibility requirements to essential documents and even a few insider suggestions, we have got you protected. So, let's dive in and discover ways to make the most of your tax refund at Istanbul Airport.

The Basics of Istanbul Airport Tax Refund

Let's start with the fundamentals before going into the details. What is a tax refund at Istanbul Airport, and why is it valuable to travelers?

A tax refund pays you back for the VAT you paid on goods purchased during your trip. The usual VAT rate in Turkey is 20%. This can quickly pile up for travelers, especially when purchasing high-priced products like luxury goods or electronics. The tax refund program allows you to recoup some of that money, easing the financial strain of your purchases.

Who is Eligible for a VAT Refund at Istanbul Airport?

Non-resident foreign travelers who meet specific criteria can apply for a tax refund at Istanbul Airport. You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a tax refund:

  • Be a non-resident of Turkey, i.e., a foreign traveler.
  • Have a valid passport.
  • Make purchases from participating stores that offer tax-free shopping.
  • Travel from Istanbul Airport within 90 days of your purchases.
  • Spend a minimum amount on eligible goods on the same day of purchase, as specified by the regulations.

Where to Find Tax Refund Offices at Istanbul Airport?

Now that you've confirmed that you're qualified for a tax refund, the following step is to find the tax refund offices within Istanbul Airport. Tax refund offices are normally found after security checks in the international departures area. Look for the sign that reads "Tax-Free Shopping" or "Tax Refund."


istanbul ariport vat refund

Tax Refund Process 

Here's a step-by-step guide to claiming your tax refund at Istanbul Airport:

1. Shop at Participating Stores

To begin, shop at tax-free stores and receive a tax refund form (also known as a Tax Free Shopping Cheque or Global Blue Cheque) for your eligible purchases.

2. Have the Form Stamped

Before you board your flight, go to the airport's tax refund office. Provide the customs officer with your items, passport, and tax refund form for verification and stamping.

3. Drop Off the Form

Drop off the stamped tax refund form in the airport's designated drop-boxes after obtaining the customs stamp.

4. Receive Your VAT Refund

You can choose to receive your return in cash or have it credited back to your credit card, depending on the tax refund service you used.

Top Tips for a Smooth Tax Refund Process

  • Keep All Purchase Receipts.
  • Arrive Early at the Airport.
  • Be Aware of Purchase Limits in Istanbul.
  • Know the Refund Fees.
  • Choose the Right Service Type.


Our Advice on Tax Refund

  • Shop at Tax-Free Stores.
  • Claim the Refund in Cash
  • Group Your Purchases
  • Be aware that some Items are VAT Exempt
  • Check the Forms Carefully

istanbul airport vat refund

Exploring Istanbul: Tax-Free Shopping Havens

Istanbul Airport is more than simply a transportation hub; it's also a shopping choice location, with several tax-free stores selling a diverse range of products. Here are some of the top places to go tax-free shopping:

1. Grand Bazaar

Istanbul's popular Grand Bazaar provides an amazing shopping experience. Everything from luxurious jewelry to traditional rugs and spices may be found here. Many businesses in the Grand Bazaar are tax-free, making it a great place to buy and get your refund.

2. IstinyePark

IstinyePark, one of Istanbul's finest shopping malls, is the place to go for high-end shopping. This superior shopping center has designer stores and globally known brands. Don't forget to ask the cashier for tax-free shopping services while completing your purchases.

3. Taksim Square

Taksim Square is well-known for its lively environment and stylish clothing outlets. Shop for the newest trends in the fashion district. Many of the stores in this area also participate in the tax refund service.

4. Spice Bazaar

If you enjoy the cuisine, the Spice Bazaar is a must-see. While exploring this historic market, sample a variety of spices, dried fruits, and sweets. Check with the sellers regarding tax-free purchasing opportunities.

istanbul airport vat refund

Must Visit attractions in Istanbul

While in Istanbul, take advantage of the city's rich history and beautiful attractions. Here are some must-see locations that will make your trip genuinely unforgettable:

Istanbul Segway Tour

An Istanbul Segway Tour will take you on an exciting adventure through Istanbul's ancient streets. Explore prominent monuments and immerse yourself in the city's rich culture as you glide easily.

Hagia Sophia

Visit Hagia Sophia, a historic Byzantine church and Ottoman mosque that has been transformed into a museum. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its beautiful architecture and historical significance.

Topkapi Palace

Explore the beautiful Topkapi Palace, the Ottoman Sultans' former place of residence. Admire the priceless treasures and breathtaking gardens housed within this vast palace complex.

Blue Mosque

With its beautiful blue tiles, the Blue Mosque, officially referred to as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is an architectural wonder. When attending the mosque, remember to dress modestly.

Bosphorus Cruise

Take a Bosphorus Cruise to see the city's spectacular skyline and stunning vistas of Istanbul's prominent sites from the sea.

Istanbul Airport: Mastering Customs and Tax Refunds 

If you have nothing to pay taxes on when entering Turkey, you can go through the green line at customs.

Here's how much of certain things you can bring with you:

What Can I Bring to Istanbul Airport for Personal Use?

Wondering what you can take with you without coughing up extra cash at Istanbul Airport? No sweat! This guide has your back. We'll chat about stuff like cigarettes, booze, makeup, and munchies. Let's keep your journey nice and breezy!

Tobacco and Tobacco products at Istanbul Airport

  • 400 cigarettes (plus 200 more, according to a rule)
  • 100 small cigars (called cigarillos)
  • 50 big cigars
  • 250 grams of shredded tobacco
  • 250 grams of pipe tobacco
  • Up to 200 units of heated tobacco or cartridges, as long as they're less than 30 ml in total
  • Up to 10 disposable e-cigarettes
  • 1 regular e-cigarette

Alcoholic Beverages

  • Up to 1 liter of strong alcoholic drinks (over 22% alcohol)
  • Up to 2 liters of other alcoholic drinks (under 22% alcohol)

Cosmetics Products at Istanbul Airport 

  • Up to 5 skincare and makeup products, like cologne or lotion, as long as they're less than 600 ml in total.

Food Customs Rules at Istanbul Airport 

  • 1 kg of tea
  • 1 kg of instant coffee granules 
  • 1 kg of coffee beans 
  • 1 kg of chocolate (or a total of 2 kg of chocolate and candies) 
  • 1 kg of sugary food (or a total of 2 kg of chocolate and candies) 
  • Up to 5 kg of sealed seafood, canned goods, or processed animal products like sausages or pastrami
  • Up to 3 kg of fresh or dried fruits and veggies


  • maximum value of 430 euros for passengers
  • under the age of 15, the maximum value is 150 euros


  • Up to $15,000 in value

Tax Refund at Istanbul Airport

You can get some of your shopping money back at Istanbul Airport. It's true! Turkey offers a Value Added Tax (VAT) refund, or as they call it here, KDV. Wondering how to make it happen? Don't worry, it's pretty straightforward! With a bit of guidance and the right paperwork, you'll be saying goodbye to some of those shopping expenses in a breeze. Stick with us as we walk you through the simple process of claiming tax refunds at Istanbul Airport.

Are You Eligible to Refund Taxes at Istanbul Airport?

Are you eligible for a VAT refund in Turkey? if you're a foreigner and don't live in Turkey legally, leaving the country for good, you're likely to qualify to claim tax in Istanbul. This includes guests and foreign people who have been staying in Turkey temporarily. But  there are a few conditions to meet:

  • You are required to have a valid passport or a travel document that displays your entry and exit from Turkey.
  • Your purchases must be from a business registered for the VAT refunds to qualify for the VAT refunds. Look for a "Tax-Free Shopping" sign or just ask. 
  • The total value of your purchases, including VAT, should be above the minimum set by the Turkish government. As of September 2021, this minimum is 118.15 TL.

Guide About How Can Claim TAX (VAT) at Istanbul Airport

If you are eligible for a tax refund (VAT) in Turkey, then you receive it at the airport before you depart. Here's what you should to do claim your tax at Istanbul airport :

  • Collect Your Receipts: Please collect all your purchase receipts or invoices from when you were in Turkey. Such invoices should contain a VAT amount you have paid. 
  • Visit the Tax-Free Refund Office: Don't forget to make your way to the Tax-Free Refund Office after you have submitted your baggage at the check-in counter. The departure area is mostly the place where it is located. Take a look around or ask those around for directions.
  • Present Your Documents: Show your receipts and passport or travel document to a Tax-Free Refund Officer. They will see the things that you bought too, so do not forget them either.
  • Receipt Check: The police officer will have a look at your receipts to make sure they’re genuine. They'll figure out your VAT refund amount, which is the amount of VAT you paid minus the service fee.
  • Receive Your Refund: When all is well, you will be entitled to claim your VAT back.

By following these steps, you will have your VAT refund process done.

What Document Do You Need for a Refund Tax at Istanbul Airport?

To do the digital customs validation, you need three things: your passport, a tax-free form from the store where you bought things, and the items you bought. Your passport has to be valid, and you need to fill in personal information like your name and address. The Tax-Free Form should have your details, what you bought, and how much you paid in taxes. Make sure you have all of these when you leave Turkey, or you might not get your refund. Stores might have different rules for giving out tax-free forms, so it's good to check with them.