Para VAT-free shopping: Jinggoy bats for tax refund for tourists

(POLITIKO) Estrada filed Senate Bill No. 2148, titled “An Act Creating a VAT Refund Mechanism for Non-Resident Tourists, adding for the purpose a new Section 112-A to the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.”

Under the bill, tourists can get a VAT refund on goods amounting at least P3,000 purchased from authorized retailers in the country, within 60 days from the date of purchase.

The secretary of the Department of Finance, upon the recommendation of the secretary of the Department of Tourism, and the commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, are authorized to adjust the threshold based on administrative costs of processing refunds, inflation, and other market conditions.

“Many studies have pointed out the multiplier effect of tourism. Direct spending may be a predominant contributor to GDP (gross domestic product), but indirect effects are also significant, suggesting a strong linkage with the local economy and in job generation,” Estrada noted.