The Revenue Department is set to raise the limit for value-added tax (VAT) refunds for tourists at downtown agents to 30,000 baht per traveller from 12,000 baht at present.
The tax-collecting agency plans to expand cash payment services for VAT refunds to tourists at 10 international airports nationwide instead of just Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, Pinsai Suraswadi, principal adviser on strategic tax administration, said without revealing when the new rules would be applied.
The additional eight airports are Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Krabi, Samui, U-tapao and Surat Thani.
The Revenue Department will also soon allow foreign tourists to claim VAT refunds by cash at downtown agents across the country, Mr Pinsai said.
The amended regulations will comply with economic ministers’ intention to provide more convenience for foreign visitors.
Ekniti Nitithanprapas, the director-general of the Revenue Department, said recently that the department might open applications for permanent downtown VAT refund agents after satisfactory outcomes during a trial run, with 10% higher sales from VAT-free shops to tourists.
During the one-year trial, which ended last month, each of the five agents (which include Counter Service, VAT Refund Centre Thailand and Thai VAT Refund) was allowed to open up to five locations in Bangkok for the service. Chinese, Singaporean and Taiwanese tourists were found to be the top three nationalities using downtown VAT refund services.
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