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I came to Germany from the USA for my master's program. I have finished my degree and am planning on leaving Germany soon. I have deregistered my resident status and would like to know if I go buy something before leaving, would I be able to get tax refund since I am no longer a resident here (and have a one-way ticket back home).

Thanks in advance for any information.

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... if I go buy something before leaving, would I be able to get tax refund since I am no longer a resident here (and have a one-way ticket back home).

In theory yes, since you are no longer a resident and the product was bought after you deregistered.

You would have to show customs the product (in its original packaging) with reciept and the deregistration confirmation when leaving the European Union Customs Area.

It should be noted that such goods, depending on the jurisdiction, may not be considered household goods when returning to your home country (and thus are normally not taxed when importing).

For the European Union Customs Area, such goods must be owned and used by you for at least 6 months before departure.


COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1186/2009 of 16 November 2009 setting up a Community system of reliefs from customs duty
Article 4

The relief shall be limited to personal property which:
(a) except in special cases justified by the circumstances, has been in the possession of and, in the case of non-consumable goods, used by the person concerned at his former normal place of residence for a minimum of six months before the date on which he ceases to have his normal place of residence in the third country of departure;
...

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  • Thank you Mark for the info!!
    – KK Tort
    Commented Feb 3 at 7:47

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