GST: Foreign Tourists can soon claim GST refund on departure

GST Refund

Foreign tourists in India will soon be able to get the refund of GST paid by them for buying goods here. Work on the procedure and rules for GST refund to foreign tourists will be started soon and could be implemented early next year, according to sources. The move, once implemented, will promote tourism in India.

“While the Integrated GST Act has provided for GST refund to foreign tourists for local shopping that is taken out of the country, the rules and procedure have to be finalised. It is planned to be taken up shortly,” quoted a source familiar with the development.

The facility of tax refund is already available in many countries. Foreign visitors get these GST refunds at the airport at the time of their departure.

The long-pending proposal in India will be required to be presented before the GST Council and get its approval. The matter of GST refund for foreign tourists is one of the last issues that remain to be implemented.

Read also: CBIC Notified changes in GST Refund Rules: Notification No. 15/2021

Refund of IGST paid on goods leaving India to an international tourist will encourage foreign travellers to shop more, leading to increase of forex in the country, and will also give a boost to the domestic tourism and hospitality sector. Sufficient IT infrastructure also needs to be built to facilitate this refund.

In the 49th meeting last month, the GST Council, which is headed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprises representatives of all states and UTs, took several decisions. The Council agreed to reduce the GST rate on pencil sharpeners from 18 per cent to 12 per cent. It has also decided to reduce GST rate on liquid jaggery from 18 percent to nil or 5 percent, and also cut tax rate on certain tracking devices.

Read Also: GST Refund of Input tax Credit- Question and Answer

It has also rationalised the late fees on annual returns. Late fee for annual return up to 5 crore has been fixed at Rs 25 per day, subject to an maximum amount of 0.02 per cent of his turnover. For taxpayers having turnover of Rs 5 crore to Rs 20 crore, the late fee would be Rs 50 per day.

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