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Thu 28 Dec 2017 11:48 AM

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Saudi Arabia to return VAT to tourists

Expat tourists who live in the GCC will not be included in the system

Saudi Arabia to return VAT to tourists

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) has announced they are working on a mechanism that will allow for the return of value-added tax (VAT) to tourists, according to local media reports.

“According to executive regulations, it is possible for companies to return the VAT to tourists on products they are taking to their countries,” Hamoud Al-Harbi, director of the GAZT’s VAT operations centre told Arab News.

“The mechanism will be decided later as we are still working on the process, mechanisms, rules and payment. Some countries, for example, specify what amount to return; if it is less than €100 ($134) it won’t be returned,” he added.

In a statement, Al-Harbi added that the implementation of the tax-free system for tourist purchases won’t be applied in early January, when VAT is widely adopted across the kingdom.

Additionally, he noted that expat tourists who live in GCC will not be included in the system. All other tourists will have to submit an application to have their VAT returned during their trip in Saudi Arabia.

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