Sales or Use In Germany, a 16% value-added tax (Mehrwertsteuer - MwSt) is already reflected in the prices of most goods and services; the MwSt rate on books is 7%. Tourists living outside the European Union are eligible for a refund for most of the tax paid on gifts or souvenirs. Make sure you get a Tax-Free form from the store at the time of your purchase. This form should be filled out with your receipt attached. At your final departure from the European Union you must show the completed forms and the items you purchased to customs authorities who will stamp the documents. (Do not put the corresponding items in your checked luggage.) You can then claim your refund immediately through the private company Europe Tax Free Shopping, which has offices at all airports, major road borders and ferry stations.
Typically, stores close around noon (12 or 12:30) and reopen about two hours later. Stores often close at 6:00 or 6:30 in the evening. On Saturday, most shops will close between noon and 1 pm. Just about everything is closed on Sunday. The exceptions to these hours are gas stations, restaurants and cafes, some of the very touristy shops.