There is good news if you enjoy shopping and will be indulging in some retail therapy during your holiday in Thailand. Tourists are able to claim back the Value Added Tax (VAT) on purchases. Follow the steps below and save money on your next trip to Thailand.
What goods can I claim VAT back on?
Look for stores displaying the “VAT refund for tourists” sign. You will see these at a number of major stores in Thailand including department stores like Central World and Robinsons and brand name shops including Apple. To qualify for the VAT refund scheme, the minimum spend is 2,000 baht.
Tax refund form
When you pay for your purchase, shop staff will usually ask you if you would like to claim a VAT refund. If they don’t ask you, let them know you would like to claim the VAT refund. They will then help you fill out the simple refund form (known as PP10). The store will need to see your passport (not a photocopy or screenshot) including your arrival stamp. Once the PP10 form is complete, one part will be given to you together with the original tax invoice.
When you depart Thailand and staff at the airport process your refund, they will keep the original tax invoice. If you’d like to keep a copy as a receipt, scan it on your smartphone or get a hardcopy beforehand. Officials at the airport will not give you a photocopy.
At the airport
The VAT refund scheme is only available for tourists departing Thailand’s international airports. For the majority of travellers, that will be Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport. But the process is the same at all airports.
Before you check in for your flight, go to the customs inspection counter and show your passport, PP10 form and the original tax invoice for your purchase. The officer may ask to see your purchase before stamping your form.
Once that’s done, check in for your flight and clear security and passport control. When you are airside, follow the signs to the VAT refund office. It is here where your refund will be made.
For luxury goods where the value is more than 10,000 Baht (e.g. jewellery, gold ornaments, laptops etc.), keep them in your hand luggage. The VAT refund office may ask to recheck these items.
If the VAT tax refund is under 30,000 baht, the office at the airport can refund you in cash (Thai baht), bankers draft or to your credit card account.
For cash refunds, a 100 baht processing fee will be deducted . If the VAT refund is over 30,000 baht, payment will be made by bank draft or credit card account.
The VAT refund process at the airport is usually quick and efficient. But there are alternative ways to get a refund including using the VRT application or by post.
The VAT refund scheme is only available for tourists; it is not open for Thai citizens or people residing permanently in Thailand. The goods must be taken out of Thailand within 60 days of the purchase date.
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