There is always a 7% Value Added Tax on all the goods bought in Thailand apart from the purchasing price. The good thing about this for tourists visiting Thailand is that they can get a refund for all the VAT before checking out of Thailand. But before you can get a VAT refund for every item bought as a tourist, you must have purchased from a Tourists' VAT Refund Scheme participating store.
HOW TO CLAIM A VAT REFUND
You must be sure to buy from a store with the inscription, 'VAT Refund for Tourists.' The Value Added Tax refund applies to only goods that are moved out of Thailand in sixty days of purchase.
The total worth of the purchased items must not be less than 5,000 baht (VAT inclusive), and the value of purchased items in a single daily transaction must not be less than 2,000 baht. At checkout point, you must present your international passport and request for VAT Refund Application for Tourists form (P.P.10) from the sales assistant, fill it and attach the original tax invoice to the form.
For every P.P.10 application form filled, the worth of the bought items must not be less than 2000 baht but can be more than value. Both the purchased goods and the filled P.P.10 form(s) must be presented to the Customs Officer before leaving for inspection.
Luxury items including jewellery, wrist watches, gold ornaments and so on must be inspected at the departure lounge by the revenue officers in the VAT Refund Office. Your claims can be handed over to the Revenue officers, dropped inside the boxes at the VAT Refund Office or mailed back to the Revenue Department of Thailand.
HOW WILL THE REFUND BE PAID
Refund on purchases that are not up to 30,000 baht and more than 30,000 baht is paid in cash through bank draft or credited into your credit card.
THERE ARE SOME FEES FOR REFUND
Meanwhile, there are some charges attached to every VAT refund;
100 Baht is charged on every refund paid in cash.
For every refund paid through bank draft, 100 Baht or more is charged at the bank rates including postal fees.
For every refund paid unto a credit card, there is an attached charge of 100 Baht in addition to money transfer charges at bank rates.
WHERE TO GET YOUR REFUND
The PP10 forms collected for purchased items at the purchasing stores must be presented including the original invoice to the customs officers. The forms will be stamped and signed before being returned to you. You will be informed if there is a need for the purchased items to be inspected. To get more information about the location of the Customs VAT inspection office is located, click this link.
Your baggage can then be checked-in after this step has been completed and you can then proceed to the passport control point to complete your immigration formalities. On getting to the duty-free area, you will notice a sign showing the directions to the VAT Refund office where you will have to go to one of the counters to present your signed and stamped PP10 forms for verification. After checking all the necessary things, your VAT refund will be refunded back to you after the deduction of the appropriate charges as discussed earlier.
You can as well drop your dully signed PP10 inside the available boxes meant for that purpose if you are transferring by DD or credit card. For more info about locating VAT Refund counters, click here.
THINGS TO NOTE WHEN CLAIMING REFUND
Goods to which you are claiming a VAT Refund for must have been bought from VAT Refund for Tourists Scheme participating stores in Thailand.
The purchased goods under VAT Refund must be moved out of Thailand not more than 60 days of purchase.
The VAT refunds scheme is only meant for visitors/tourists and not Thai citizens or those residing in Thailand on a permanent basis.
To claim a VAT Refund, you must show your original tax invoice. Keeping a duplicate copy of the tax invoice is good because the original copy will remain with the officials and will not be returned to you.
If the purchased items are under these categories; firearms or explosives, prohibited items and gemstones, there will no PP10 form for them.
If the total purchased items are less than 5,000 baht in value, you will not need to attach original tax invoice to the form filled for that.
You cannot move out purchased items out of Thailand on the same day of purchase.
You must not buy goods from stores that are not participating in the VAT Refund for Tourists scheme if you want to claim a refund for the purchased items.
The number of purchased goods on VAT Refund Application for Tourist form must be of the same with the quantity with the one on the original tax invoice.
The Customs officers/ Revenue officers must inspect all the goods before being moved out of the county.
The original tax invoices attached to the PP10 must be from the store for which the items were purchased, and the store must be a participating member-store of the Tourist VAT Refund Scheme.