Sri Lanka starts VAT refunds for tourists at airport

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has started a value added tax refund counter at Colombo Airport in Katunayake as part of efforts to make the island an competitive trading hub, the finance ministry said.

Sri Lanka has a 15 percent VAT on most items and tourists can reclaim the tax as they are leaving the country. A purchase made by a tourist is technically an export.

So far 18 establishments selling clothes and other items to tourists have registered with the Department of Inland Revenue to make use of the facility, the finance ministry said.

"Any institution that wishes to make use of the facility can register at Inland Revenue," the Finance Ministry said.

The counter will be operative from Tuesday, September 11.

Many countries in the world with a VAT regime already operate such counters at key airports. There are also service agents who help tourists claim VAT.  (Colombo/Sept11/2018)

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