|Foreign visitors claim a VAT refund at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City. Customs departments in Ha Noi and HCM City have been told to strengthen the supervision of goods that are eligible for value added tax refunds at the cities' international airports to avoid losses to the State budget. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI (VNS)— The General Department of Viet Nam Customs has instructed customs departments in Ha Noi and HCM City to strengthen the supervision of goods that are eligible for value added tax refunds at the cities' international airports to avoid losses to the State budget.
In a document sent to the two departments, deputy head of the general department, Vu Ngoc Anh, asked the customs units at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International Airports to inspect VAT-refunded goods that foreigners and travellers carried as they exited the country.
Anh said the HCM City Customs Department had uncovered a case that took advantage of the policy to cheat the system and make a profit. A French tourist was caught returning goods to sell in the domestic market after claiming VAT refunds on goods purchased in the country.
The cost of the goods she was trying to take back was nearly VND400 million ($18,860) and the VAT refund of the goods was VND33 million ($1,550).
The VAT refund policy for foreigners has been implemented from early July at four international airports and three international seaports. It aims to increase the number of foreign tourists coming to Viet Nam and promote the export of goods.
The airports are Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Da Nang and Cam Ranh airports.
The policy was first piloted at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat in 2012, and since then, the number of VAT refunds has increased.
Figures from the General Department of Viet Nam Customs showed that by the end of this February, more than 8,620 foreigners had received refunds on goods valued at more than VND425 billion ($20 million), equivalent to a kickback of VND32.9 billion ($1.5 million). — VNS