Vietnam VAT refund for Tourist

How to get VAT refunds in Vietnam:

As of July 2012, foreigners are eligible to receive Value-Added Tax (VAT) sales refunds. A pilot programme has been implemented at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International airports which allows foreigners to receive VAT refund. The programme will run until 30 June 2014. Under this new plan, foreigners are entitled to obtain a refund that accounts for 85 percent of VAT on eligible goods that were purchased at VAT refund shops.

In other words, this is an opportunity for foreigners to get back some of that hard-earned cash by buying goods at shops that offer VAT refunds.

According to the Ministry of Finance, VAT refunded goods must meet these four requirements:

1. The purchased goods must be subject to VAT, unused and is allowed on aircraft

2. The purchase goods must not appear on the list of export prohibitions or restrictions

3. Purchased goods must have invoices and VAT refund declarations issued within 30 days of departure

4. The purchased goods must be bought from a single shop in a one day duration and must be a value of at least VND2.000.000.


To get the VAT refund, here is the procedure:

When purchasing the goods, you must submit your passport to the retailer so they can create the VAT refund declaration form. They will issue you an original copy but make sure to check that all your information is correct.

Once you are at the airport, head over to the VAT refund customs inspection office where you will need to present the goods you have purchased, your passport along with the invoices and VAT declaration form.

Once you’ve taken care of all the paperwork to get your declaration form, you will need to submit a boarding pass from an international flight and invoices along with your VAT declaration form to the VAT refund counter. This is where you will receive your refund. It will be in Vietnam Dong so you will have to head to a currency exchange. At Noi Bai, there is a Maritimebank and Vietcombank while you will find BIDV and VietinBank exchanges in Tan Son Nhat.

Local insight:Though manyshops in Ho Chi Minh City have applied for VAT refund status, only a few have been accepted. The ones that are eligible are mainly located in the Dong Khoi area.