The Ministry of Finance is seeking government approval for a new circular to give VAT refunds to foreigners who leave Vietnam through many other airports and seaports rather than just the two largest terminals in the country as at present.
Foreigners leaving Vietnam via Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi are currently eligible to claim VAT refunds for the goods they have purchased in the country, under a pilot program implemented since July 2012.
The foreigners will receive 85 percent of the value-added tax imposed on their purchases whereas the remaining 15 percent is counted as service fees and given to two banks, one at each terminal, authorized to provide the refund, according to the finance ministry’s Circular No.58.
The program will end on June 30 and the ministry is seeking feedback from the government for a new circular with some amendments.
The finance ministry proposed in its draft new regulation that foreigners should also be eligible for VAT refunds when they exit Vietnam via the airports in Da Nang and Cam Ranh.
Cam Ranh International Airport is located in the south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa while Da Nang International Airport is based in the central hub of Da Nang.
Those who leave via international seaports in Vietnam should also be allowed to benefit from the program, the ministry suggested.
Under the current program, foreigners can only get the refund for goods purchased within 30 days from their exit date and the finance ministry wanted to double the time to 60 days.
Between July 1, 2012 and February 2, 2014, 8,628 turns of foreigners obtained VAT refunds worth VND32.9 billion (US$1.54 million) for more than VND425 billion ($20 million) worth of goods they purchased in the Southeast Asian nation, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.