Foreign tourists will receive value added tax (VAT) refunds on goods they purchase in Vietnam when leaving the country via Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Under a decision issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the pilot VAT refund scheme will be implemented from July 2012 to June 30, 2014.
Under the pilot scheme, any foreigner leaving Vietnam with an invoice worth at least VND2 million from a shop on a day can claim VAT refunds at the two major terminals.
The net VAT refund will be the total VAT payment minus the VAT refund fee, which will be paid in the local currency, the dong. The fee will not exceed 15 per cent of the total VAT payment.
However, goods that overseas travelers claim refunds for must meet certain conditions. They should be new items, subject to VAT and eligible to be taken on flights under aviation safety rules. They are also subject to export regulations regarding banned or restricted products.
The receipt (also used as the VAT refund declaration form) must be issued within 30 days of the date the visitor leaves the country.
Commercial banks selected to handle the tax repayments will be allowed to charge a service fee of up to 15 per cent of the refund value. The refund will be paid in dong and can be converted to other currencies.