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Special counter for VAT refund at BIA


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Sri Lanka has introduced a procedure for repayment of 15% VAT to tourists upon their departure for goods purchased by them during their stay in Sri Lanka, which will be implemented from today.

A special counter will be opened at the departure terminal of the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake by Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday evening, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. 

This procedure, which was proposed by Budget 2018, is implemented by the Department of Inland Revenue (IRD) and business enterprises should register with IRD under this program for repayment of VAT to become eligible under this scheme.

Eighteen shops that sell goods including garments have already registered under the Department of Inland Revenue to become qualified under this procedure. Any enterprise that is willing to be stakeholders of this system can register under the Department of Inland Revenue based on their permanent VAT number.

The objective of this program is to attract more foreign tourists to Sri Lanka, transforming the country into a trading hub of Asia, in line with Budget 2018.

As per the global trend, with the initiation of this procedure for VAT repayment that is followed by most countries in the world, Sri Lanka will fall in line with global standards. Therefore it is expected that Sri Lanka’s economy will reach a significant milestone in its economic development through this procedure for tourist attraction.


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