26.07.2022: Foreign tourists may soon get GST refund for local shopping

The government will soon begin a pilot to refund goods and services tax (GST) paid by foreign tourists visiting India as a part of a move to implement a measure that is there in the statute.

The Integrated GST Act, enacted five years ago, provides for refund on goods, which are to be taken out of the country by a tourist, a person who is normally not a resident of India, and is in the country for not more than six months for non-immigrant purposes.

Several countries follow a system of GST or VAT refund for tourists for consumption outside the country as taxes are typically not exported, a principle that is followed in duty-free shops at airports as well. In these countries products above a threshold are eligible for refund of taxes, which can be claimed at the airport and the payment can be received there or often it is transferred to the buyer’s bank account.

Government sources said with the GST regime settling down, the Centre is discussing the possibility of a pilot, which will involve outlets such as the Cottage Industries Emporium and, based on the experience, it will be expanded.

Source: The Times of India


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