Check your fees and taxes so you don’t pay twice: TPG UK staff success story

Mar 8, 2020

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We’ve been asking to hear your travel success and mistake stories to both celebrate and help our TPG U.K. community.

This week, it’s my turn to share how some quick thinking and checking my airline ticket saved me from paying the same tax twice.

“I booked a redemption flight to Mexico City (MEX), and then after a few weeks in Mexico, I made my way down to Belize, where I caught a ferry from Chetumal to Caye Caulker. When booking the ferry, my partner realised we would have to pay the Mexico Tourist Tax before we could exit the country and I initially assumed all passengers paid this on departure.

But further research by my partner revealed that some airlines charge this as part of their fees and taxes for flights into Mexico, and if you can show that you have already paid it, then you don’t have to pay it twice. So we looked at the breakdown of our airline ticket, going line by line through the airport fees, International Safety and Security charges and fuel surcharges. Buried in the taxes was a ‘UK2’ line item charge of around £22. While this didn’t sound like a Mexico charge, we worked out that oddly, this was the abbreviation of the Mexico Tourist Tax.

Expecting a drawn out negotiation with immigration officials to try and convince them we already paid, we printed out our tickets with the fees and taxes breakdown and highlighted the date we entered the country, which matched to our passport stamp, our names and the specific line item of the fees and taxes. As we exited the country, we handed over the printout, pointed to the highlighted sections and the were not charged the fee.

While we waited for the ferry to board to Belize, we observed many stressed tourists madly trying to work out if they had already paid the tax and then seemingly to resign themselves to paying it anyway as they either couldn’t find their airline e-ticket in the country, or if they could, they could not understand if it included the tax or not.”

When you are travelling to a foreign country, it’s always a good idea to research if there are any arrival or departure taxes payable and then how and when you pay them. This will avoid you potentially paying a tax twice and always put your mind at ease as you enter or exit a particular destination.

Featured image by Max Effect via Flickr.

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