Three juristic entities apply to offer VAT refund service

Ekniti: Trying to circulate refunds

Three applicants have proposed to offer refund services for value-added tax (VAT) for foreign tourists, says the Revenue Department.

Stores registered as juristic entities submitted their applications from Sept 7-17 to become representatives of the Revenue Department in offering VAT refund services for foreign tourists, said Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director-general of the Revenue Department.

The essential criteria for applicants vying to offer VAT refund services is they must be registered as juristic entities with registered capital of at least 25 million baht. Applicants must also have service areas in Bangkok and metropolitan areas, together with a system that links to the Revenue Department’s system.

The department will assess the qualifications of the three applicants, said Mr Ekniti.

He did not mention the specific details of the nominees, but they are likely department store operators, as reported earlier.

Earlier, it was reported the department would allow five department stores to offer VAT refund services for foreign tourists as a pilot project, a move meant to offer convenience to international shoppers and encourage spending.

Thailand levies a 7% VAT for purchases of goods and services.

VAT refund services for foreign tourists at urban department stores will be launched from Oct 1 until the end of March next year to test service response, said Mr Ekniti.

The main objective of this move is for refunded money to be circulated in the domestic economic system, instead being spent externally when foreign tourists claim their VAT refunds at airports, he said.

Under the current VAT refund process, foreign tourists must present the tax refund forms obtained at customs offices, along with VAT receipts issued by participating shops and the items purchased, to customs officers to be checked and stamped upon departure from Thailand.

Tourists then submit the documents at the VAT refund booth inside the airport.

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