Vietnam mulls tax refund for foreigners

TN News

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Vietnam's finance ministry is considering a plan to start refunding value-added-tax payments to foreigners in an effort to boost the sale of local goods.


The ministry Friday asked concerned agencies to give their opinions on this issue, news website VnExpress said Monday.


Under the plan, foreigners making purchases at airports, tourism zones and several places in big cities can get the 10 percent VAT returned.


The ministry was asked by the Prime Minister to set up the project in July this year, in an effort to stimulate consumption of Vietnamese brands.


It will be first experimented with at places frequented by foreigners , like in several other countries.


These places would have to meet several requirements. They would have to be selling products usually bought by foreigners, like commercial centers in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, craft villages, and stops along the tours.


The Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International Airports might also be selected for the trial, the ministry said in the Saturday statement.


During the drafting of the project, most officials suggested that refund be given to all foreigners, no matter how long they stay in Vietnam or why they've come here, in order to increase foreign currency collection and encourage export.


But there were also some opinions that the refund should firstly apply only to people who come to Vietnam for tourism purposes and stay here for no more than six months.


According to the ministry, several countries in the world also have some requirements concerning tax refunds for foreigners.


For example, France gives tax refunds to people living in the country for no more than three months and Singapore gives it to those who have not lived there for more than a year.


The ministry has also suggested that foreigners would have to spend at least VND2 million (around US$100) per invoice to get the VAT refund.


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