How to Get your VAT refunded in Vietnam

practicalities - Vietnam: May 23, 2014

If you purchase expensive products during your travel in Vietnam, it is very easy to get a VAT refund if you follow our instructions below.

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A pilot programme was implemented in 2012 at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International airports which allowed foreigners to receive VAT refunds in Vietnam. As of early March 2015, the VAT refund to foreigners programme has expanded to seven additional exit terminals.

New airports accepting VAT refunds added to the list include:

- Cam Ranh International Airport

- Da Nang International Airport and Da Nang port in central Da Nang City

- Nha Trang seaport in coastal Khanh Hoa Province

- Khanh Hoi International seaport in HCMC

- Phu Quoc International Airport.

- Ben Dam Con Dao Seaport

**VAT refunds are only applicable to goods brought along by foreigners when they exit. For the seaports, refund is only available if the ships go directly abroad from the ports. Keep in mind these ship voyages only occur 3 to 4 times a year.

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Foreigners are entitled to obtain a refund that accounts for 85 percent of VAT on eligible goods that were purchased at VAT refund shops during their travel in Vietnam. The remaining 15 percent will be counted as service fees. In other words, this is an opportunity for foreigners to get back some of that hard-earned cash by buying goods at shops that offer VAT refunds.

According to the Ministry of Finance, VAT refunded goods must meet these four requirements:

- The purchased goods must be subject to VAT, unused and allowed on an aircraft.

- The purchase goods must not appear on the list of export prohibitions or restrictions.

- Purchased goods must have invoices and VAT refund declarations issued within 30 days of departure.

- The purchased goods must be bought from a single shop in a one day duration and must be a value of at least VND2.000.000 (around US$100).

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To get the VAT refund, here is the procedure:

1) When purchasing goods, you must submit your passport to the retailer so they can create the VAT refund declaration form. They will issue you an original copy but make sure to check that all your information is correct.

2) Once you are at the airport, head over to the VAT refund customs inspection office where you will need to present the goods you have purchased, your passport along with the invoices and VAT declaration form.

3) Once you’ve taken care of all the paperwork to get your declaration form, you will need to submit a boarding pass from an international flight and invoices along with your VAT declaration form to the VAT refund counter. This is where you will receive your refund. It will be in Vietnamese Dong so you will have to head to a currency exchange. At Noi Bai, there is a Maritime bank and Vietcombank while you will find BIDV and VietinBank exchanges in Tan Son Nhat.

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