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Getting VAT Refund When Leaving Vietnam

Vietnam has officially adopted VAT refund policy following its Ministry of Finance’s Circular No.72/2014/TT-BTC. The value-added tax (VAT) refund is applied for purchases made in Vietnam by foreigners, overseas Vietnamese when leaving the country. This refund scheme for foreigners is being applied in many other countries around the world.

Accordingly, from 1 July 2014, the VAT refund is officially implemented in 7 international (air/sea) border gates:

  1. Noi Bai International Airport (Ha Noi)
  2. Da Nang International Airport (Da Nang City)
  3. Cam Ranh International Airport (Khanh Hoa Province)
  4. Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
  5. Da Nang International Seaport (Da Nang City)
  6. Nha Trang International Seaport (Khanh Hoa Province)
  7. Khanh Hoi International Seaport (Ho Chi Minh City)

The notes to get VAT refund:

  • Valid invoices at 1 store in 1 day with the total cost at least 2 million VND (can be a sum-up of multiple invoices from the same vendor)
  • Be subject to VAT, unused yet and allowed on aircraft by law on aviation security and safety;
  • Not in the list of export prohibitions or restrictions;
  • Invoice and VAT refund declaration form issued within 60 days from departure date;
  • VAT refund amount represents 85% of VAT amount of goods
  • VAT refund currency is VND (then you can convert to U$ also at exchange counter inside the airport)

Procedures for VAT refund payment to the foreigners on exit shall be conducted as follows:

a) When purchasing:

  • When purchasing goods in enterprises selected to implement VAT refund, visitors must present valid passport (original) in order to be provided invoice and instructed to fill in VAT refund declaration form;

b) At the airport when departing:

  • Before doing the procedures to check in luggage, visitors must present passport, invoice cum VAT refund declaration form (originals) and VAT refunded goods to customs authority at goods checking counters, so that customs official stamps “Checked”;
  • After the customs inspection on invoices cum VAT refund declaration and goods has been completed, foreign passengers shall present to the commercial banks at refunding counter the following documents:

– Original passport

– Boarding pass

– Invoices cum VAT refund declaration being checked, calculated the amount of money of VAT and stamped by customs officials (original copy).

c) Commercial banks shall:

  • Check the boarding pass; invoices cum VAT refund declaration inspected and stamped by Customs;
  • Write the number, date of flight/vessel in the invoices cum VAT refund declaration;
  • Refund tax to foreign passengers. This amount is accordance with the one calculated by customs officials in the invoices. Sign and stamp on the invoices to certify;
  • Return the boarding pass to foreign passenger;
  • File the required documents as regulated
  • The reimbursement is in Vietnam Dong; tourist can exchange into U$ right at all the airport

Reference from Vietnam Tourism

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