Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, April 15, 2013

This past Friday, I got up earlier than usual in order to attend a private event at the Centre Pompidou.  The lovely Edna, thanks to her Irish connections, invited a group of us bloggers to be the guests of Premier Tax Free.  We had breakfast on the top level, overlooking the (rainy) roofs of Paris, while listening to a few informational speeches on French-Irish relationships.  Who knew there were so many ties between the two countries?

Then it was off for a guided tour of the Eileen Gray exhibit. I enjoyed the exhibit, but quickly took to chatting with others because I couldn't handle the guide's verbal tic - an extremely guttural 'Uhhhhh' every couple of words.  I'd recommend checking out the blogs of Jennyphoria or ParisImperfect if you want more info on her pieces - those two ladies are better bloggers than I am, and took a lot of notes.

I, on the other hand, was busy taking in the views and remembering that I live in a pretty amazing city.  I have been traveling so much lately that all I have seen is the inside of the CDG airport or the Montparnasse train station, and because I no longer have the fabulous view I had in my shoebox, it's easy for me to forget that I actually do live in Paris.  So the event left me with a renewed desire to leave the three-block radius of our apartment and get out and explore the city again.
I also wanted to give a small shout-out to Premier Tax Free, since they were kind enough to invite us. Their whole goal is to help tourists get VAT refunds for items they have purchased.  Within the EU, you have to be a non-EU resident in order to be eligible, but they also help tourists in many non-EU countries, including several in South America and Asia.

Something I didn't know is that the amount you need to spend in order to be eligible for the refund varies greatly by country - for example, in England, it's only 25£, or in Ireland, it's 30€.  Whereas France is 175€.  As a side note, these totals reference how much you need to spend on one purchase in one store in one day, and don't forget to ask the cashier for the refund form (though some of the bigger stores even have their own VAT refund desk that can help you out).  And then you just need to get your receipt stamped by airport customs, and then either drop it off and a VAT refund booth or mail it in.

I've never done it yet since I usually buy most of my big purchases in the US, but I do know several people who have gotten refunds on computers, phones, etc.  Considering that VAT taxes can go as a high as 25% in some of the countries, it can end up being a pretty nice chunk of change back in your pocket!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout-out! Though as you can see from my blog, my copious notes have not translated into a post yet (and any such post would be more about the views, too). The guide's tic was odd, uhhhh?

I'm feeling newly reenergized to take in more of Paris' views as well. Sightseeing for locals; we have to remember to do it!

Was great seeing you!

April 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM  

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