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VAT Refund Thailand - For Tourists

VAT Refund Thailand - New Bangkok Airport VAT refund Thailand office - VAT refunds for tourists in Thailand - Our tips on claiming VAT refunds after shopping in Thailand

VAT Refund Thailand for TouristsMany countries around the world allow tourists to claim back the VAT that is paid on goods that are bought in their country as long as those goods are to be permanently used or 'enjoyed' outside of that country. Thailand is, as a shopping hot spot, no different in that fact and are used to refunding the VAT to tourists. Each country, including Thailand refund VAT, though has its own rules and regulations, stating what can and can't be claimed back and the process of how the VAT refund should be made.

Until recently it appeared that the process was an elaborate PR operation with many unseen pitfalls that would prevent you from actually obtaining your VAT refund but the scheme has been streamlined and actually works very well if you know how to use it.

VAT Refund Thailand for TouristsAs a tourist you can claim the VAT refund on single purchases of 2,000 THB or more, totaling a minimum threshold level of 5,000 THB inclusive of VAT from a store or stores participating in the "VAT Refund for Tourists" scheme. These stores are required to display the red, white and blue, “VAT Refund for Tourists" sign.

The information below should help you to understand the Thai VAT refund process.

You can not claim VAT refunds for prohibited items, firearms, explosive, any similar items or gem stones.

Eligible persons who can claim VAT refunds are:

a. non Thai visitors who have been in Thailand less than 180 days in any calendar year,

b. non Thai visitors who are not a crew members of an airline, or

c. non Thai visitors who departs Thailand by air from an International airport.

VAT Refund Thailand for TouristsA valid claim for a VAT refund will only apply if the goods purchased are taken out of Thailand within 60 days of their purchase from participating shops that display a "VAT Refund for Tourists" sign. The single item purchased from participating shops must not be less than 2,000 THB including VAT, however you can only claim for multiple items, with a minimum combined value of 5,000 THB including VAT, or a single item of this or higher value.

At the point of purchase of the goods you must request an original tax invoice and a completed VAT refund form, Form P.P.10. You must attach the original tax invoices to that form. Remember each P.P.10 must show a value of 2,000 THB or more. You will also need to know the method or refund you would prefer, and write that on the P.P.10 form. You are required to show your passport to the sales assistant when you purchase the goods, to allow details to be entered on the form at point of sale.

Your claim will be processed at the airport - VAT Refund Desk - on departure. Make sure you allow yourself adequate time at the airport to fulfill all the necessary procedures.

At the airport before requesting the refund, the goods must be declared and allowed to be inspected by Thai Customs officers prior to check in. Show these customs officers the P.P.10 and original tax invoices.

The VAT refund Thailand will be paid in THB,

a. for cash, less a cash refund a fee of 100 THB

b. for a bank draft, less a 100 THB fee plus a bank draft issuing fee at the rate charged by banks and postage fees,

c. for a credit to your credit card, less a 100 THB fee plus money transfer fee at the rates charged by banks, if the refund does not exceed 10,000 THB.

If the refund total does exceed 10,000 THB then, refunds will only be made by either draft or a credit to your credit card less a 100 THB fee plus money transfer fee at the rates charged by banks. Refunds to credit cards can take up to 3 months!

If you have any further questions on VAT refunds, please contact the VAT refund office at Bangkok International Airport on 02-535 6576-79 or VAT Refund for Tourist Office at the Thailand Revenue Department in Bangkok on 02- 272 9387-8 or 02-272 8195-8.

Remember this when thinking about the VAT Refund Thailand scheme - it does not apply to, International aircrew and those visitors who have stayed in Thailand for more than 180 days in total in the previous 12 months.

Also, your minimum single purchase per store participating must be at least 2000 THB, Your total purchase invoices must be over 5,000 THB and the goods must be taken out of Thailand within 60 days of purchase and the claims can only be made at a Thailand International Airport - Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, or Hat Yai.

Most important, when you purchase your goods, it must be from an authorised "VAT Refund for Tourists" store capable of giving you a PP10 VAT refund form. You must have your passport with you to get this. Keep the original tax receipts and credit card vouchers as well as your purchases, store tax receipt, and PP10 form which have to be inspected and approved at the airport before you check in. There are customs offices clearly marked where this is done. Without a stamp applied here, you cannot get a refund. If you go "Airside" it is not too late, at least in Bangkok airport. You can now go back out, get your form stamped, and go back through immigration, but there are usually long queues here and you will have to ensure you have enough time.

You get your refund processed in the airport, and you must have your purchases with you in your hand baggage.

We know this sounds a bit complicated, but we are told it is far easier now than when it was first introduced and the staff are fast efficient and friendly.

VAT Refund ThailandBecause of the hand luggage weight limits we would suggest that you use this VAT Refund Thailand scheme for the purchase of luxury items such as jewelry, small ornaments, spectacles and pens etc.


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