Only 34 foreign tourists have claimed value-added tax refunds at Tan Son Nhat International Airport after a month since the customs started a pilot programme to this effect to make local shopping more attractive to tourists.
Pham Tri Dung, a customs officer at the airport, said the VAT refunds totalled only VND67.5 million, and most of VAT refund claimants submitted bills of shopping at Duy Anh Company’s fashion outlets in the city.
The number of tourists asking for tax refunds is on the increase lately, however. Many visitors when polled said they were happy with the VAT refund programme.
Though the number of visitors asking for refunds is still modest, the programme is being known more to tourists, Dung said.
Dung said the number of local enterprises joining programme has also increased to 10 with 68 outlets.
Normally, it takes tourists five to ten minutes to obtain the refund, depending on the amount of goods they have purchased.
The customs office at the airport has open two counters at this gateway to facilitate visitors in finishing procedures for VAT refunds. Two local banks that join the programme, namely Vietinbank and BIDV, have also opened their own counters there.
The VAT refund programme was launched by the general Department of Customs on a trial basis, with counters set up in Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai airports only. All visitors with a bill showing the shopping value of VND2 million or more can claim for the tax refund.