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Russia Considers Offering VAT Refunds to Tourists
Комментирует Андрей Силантьев, партнер Департамента налогообложения и права компании «Делойт» в СНГ
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May 19 — The Russian government is considering kicking tourists' value-added tax back before the FIFA World Cup takes place in Russia in 2018.
Deputy Finance Minister Ilya Trunin said May 18 that the “tax free” system would return VAT to tourists when they leave the territory of Russia, Belarus or Kazakhstan, which together form the Customs Union.
Trunin said the government plans to come up with a final decision soon and the system would be launched in 2017-2018.
The main goal of introducing the tax-free mechanism is to boost retail sales that shrank in Russia due to the ongoing economic recession, said Andrey Silantiev, a partner at Deloitte CIS in Moscow.
The government is currently negotiating with two major tax-free operators, Global Blue and Premier Tax Free, which may take part in operating the system. If intermediaries are involved, tourists would be refunded less than the full sum of the VAT they had paid, as the operating companies will charge them a percentage of the tax refund amount, Silantiev said. Currently, VAT in Russia is 10 percent or 18 percent depending on the items purchased.
VAT refunds are available to tourists in the European Union, where all visitors leaving receive refunds once they submit the necessary paperwork. Within the Eurasian Economic Union, similar systems are implemented in Belarus and Armenia.
Источник: Bloomberg BNA