Thailand rolls out new VAT refund for foreign tourists

By VNA   January 22, 2024 | 03:41 pm PT
Thailand rolls out new VAT refund for foreign tourists
Tourists ride a Hop-on Hop-off cruise boat along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, March 2023. Photo by AFP
The Thai government recently announced new regulations that make it easier for foreign visitors to claim value-added tax (VAT) refunds on goods purchased in Thailand.

The regulations, taking effect on Jan. 1 this year, expand the eligibility criteria for refunds and increase the maximum refund amount.

Earlier, visitors had to wait in a queue for a long time for claiming VAT refunds. With a view to handling the congestion at airports, the Revenue Department has adjusted the criteria to align with the current situation, providing a more suitable and appropriate VAT refund process for tourists.

Accordingly, the previous threshold of 5,000 baht (US$140) for goods to be declared to customs has been raised to 20,000 baht, which means tourists purchasing goods worth less than 20,000 baht can request a VAT refund directly from the Revenue Department without going through customs procedures.

Besides, the number of categories of goods requiring declaration to the Revenue Department has been increased to include such items as jewellery, golden ornaments, watches, eyeglasses, smartphones and laptops or tablets.

The value thresholds have been adjusted to 40,000 baht for certain items, and 100,000 baht for items that can be carried on board.

In addition to these adjustments, the conditions for tourists to request a VAT refund include taking the purchased goods outside Thailand within 60 days from the date of purchase, total purchased amount at least 2,000 baht (including VAT) on the same day from the same businesses displaying the "VAT Refund for Tourists" sign.

If the requested tax refund amount does not exceed 30,000 baht, tourists can choose to receive in cash (THB) as a draft or transferred to a credit card account.

However, if the refund amount exceed 30,000 baht, it is received in a draft or transfer to a credit card account.

go to top