Relevant authorities and businesses gathered in the capital on Wednesday to prepare a pilot value-added tax (VAT) refund scheme for foreigners and overseas Vietnamese passing through the country’s two biggest airports in July.
Under the project, foreigners and overseas Vietnamese who buy goods in Vietnam and leave via Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi or Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City will be reimbursed 85 per cent of the VAT they have paid. The remaining 15 per cent of the refund value will be used as service fees to pay banks that handle tax repayments.
Addressing the meeting, which was held by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), VCCI vice Chair Pham Gia Tuc said that many countries worldwide had applied such a tax refund due to its interests.
He said that besides boosting cultural exchange among nations and helping attract foreign tourists to Vietnam, the refund would also give domestic retailers a chance to raise their sales and advertise their products to foreign markets without having to go overseas.
Director of the MoF’s Import and Export Tax Management Department Lo Thi Nhu said that it was indispensable to streamline current VAT policies to ease the scheme’s implementation.
“Ways to refund the tax must be in accordance with international rules and procedures for it to be simple, clear and transparent,” said Nhu, adding that regulations should also detail the rights and responsibilities of people and agencies taking part in the scheme.
Attendees also suggested the general Department of Taxation and the general Department of Customs build a website that provides international tourist companies a list of retailers taking part in the initiative.
They also suggested that the same logo or emblem be regulated for all retailers taking part in the scheme to ease buyers.
According to the general Department of Taxation, 83 retailers in Hanoi and another 71 in HCM City have so far qualified to participate in the project, intended to run from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014. Only retailers that sell VAT refund goods in HCM City, Hanoi or handicraft villages are eligible to take part.
To get the refund, foreigners are required to have a valid invoice with a value of at least VND2 million ($95) and a tax claim form.