Foreign tourists in Colombia will be able to enjoy the return of their VAT, the Colombian government announced, to the delight of local businesses.
The measure allows foreign tourists to recover the value added tax (VAT) they pay for their purchases while on trips in Colombian towns close to the country’s international borders.
In order to reclaim the VAT refund, the tourists must fill out a form, and show it along with their passport and the purchased merchandise at the airport custom office upon leaving the country. The repayment will be deposited in the tourists’ bank accounts or deducted from their credit card charges within three months.
Foreign residents in the country or Colombians with dual citizenship are not entitled to VAT refund.
Tourist can apply for the VAT refund on clothes, shoes, perfumes, leather products, CDs, crafts, food for human consumption, toys, emeralds, artisanal jewelry, and electric appliances in Colombian border. The minimum spent amount eligible for the refund is 237,630 pesos (approx. US$120).
The government announcement generated joy among the businesspeople in the border towns, especially in those close to Venezuela where the strains between the two countries has depressed trade.