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I recently traveled out and back to Thailand and while at the airport, I spied a brochure pertaining to the procedures for claiming your VAT refunds for goods purchased in Thailand. I picked it up for my own benefit and post the information here so as to inform others. there is often confusion surrounding this whole matter so hopefully this will be helpful. This is "official" information from the brochure entitled "Get you VAT Refund" published by The Revenue Department of Thailand (www.rd.go.th/vrt).

Who Qualifies:

Any non-Thai visitor who is not an airline crew member and departs Thailand by air from an international airport. (These are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, U-Tapao, Hat Yai, and Phuket)

How to Shop and Get Your Refund:

1. Shop must display the "VAT Refund For Tourists" sign.

2. Total purchases must be at least B5000 per person (VAT included). [Not sure what they mean, if a family of 4 is traveling together, do they need at least B20,000 in purchases to qualify for refunds or if only one person in the group is claiming a refund on an item, he/she must have made at least B5000 in purchases during the trip?]

3. Spend minimum of B2000 (VAT included) per store per day.

4. Show passport and complete VAT Refund Application at the store on the date of purchase.

5. Attached the ORIGINAL TAX INVOICE

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I saw a lot of people getting VAT Refunds at Swampy, mostly Indians, and there were about 20 of them, shouting at the girls behind the counters as they were gonna be late for their flight.

Edited by beano2274
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True...but if you are a tourist or a resident who can take advantage of the refund, it would be cumulative. So the discount would be 14%...unless the member card discount is in lieu of the VAT refund scheme.

worldfun said:
Many shops/retail groups like Central have free membership cards for foreigners allowing tax free purchases on the spot (7% off regular prices) & thus a more hassle free way to avoid Thai VAT
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Have done this......pretty painless. Basically a 2 step process at the airport.

As stated you need to have the goods inspected and your VAT form stamped before going thru immigation.

Yes, you need to leave the Original Sales receipt with the refund office, so if you need a copy make one before hand.

The refund office is in the departures hall (where all the shops are), actually I think there may be at least 2 of them, the one I used was after a left turn leaving the immigration hall and security on my way to the gate.

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It is very important to do the VAT refund process especially yher customs inspection before checking in because they will need to see the goods.

If the goods are checked in the baggage and they ask to see the goods you can't get your bags back.

Also a VAT refund slip/invoice is a must. Can't just be a sales receipt but a VAT refund invoice which has to be asked for usually in customer service counters at bigger stores that have VAT refund available.

Edited by mdechgan
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I just recently went thought this process and it took all of 2 minutes. I bought a computer and had the forms filled out by the sales clerk at the computer store, all ready to go upon arrival at the airport. I was not asked to show what I bought. There is a 100 baht "administration" fee.

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  • 3 weeks later...

How strict are they with the 60 day rule?

How strict are they with needing to show the goods? Would they refuse to refund if you said that you packed them in the checked-in luggage? Some goods are too large to carry, like that bed that Donnyboy mentioned above.

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