More than 3,700 turns of international tourists have been able to receive the value-added tax refund when leaving Vietnam in the first five months of this year, the government website reported.
The total taxes refunded are worth some VND12 billion (US$ 576,923).
The statistics were released 11 months after the VAT refund program was implemented, in fulfilling a decree issued by the Ministry of Finance that took effect on July 1.
The decree stipulates that foreigners who leave the country through the two major airports, Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City and Noi Bai in Hanoi, are eligible to receive a 10 percent refund from the goods they have purchased in the country.
According to the regulation, in order to qualify for the refund, foreigners must present receipts worth at least VND2 million (roughly $100) apiece.
Under the pilot program that is running until June 30, 2014, foreigners are required, upon purchase, to show their passport or immigration paper and in return, the retailer will provide them with a VAT refund declaration form that they then will check and sign.
When they arrive at the airport, they will be required to present the document to the customs office.
At the VAT refund counter, they will be required to submit the original copy of a boarding pass for an international flight and the original copies of invoices and the VAT refund declaration form with the Customs office “checked” seal to get the VAT returned.
According to the Ministry of Finance, foreigners and overseas Vietnamese are both eligible for VAT refund on purchases in local accredited stores with the “VAT Refund for Tourist” logo.