When you’re in Bangkok, there are heaps of shopping centres where you can buy up big.
And, the great thing for tourists in Bangkok is… you may be able to get some of your hard earned money back from shopping.
Yet, there are some rules.
So, in this blog post I’ll run through this to get a vat refund in Bangkok at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
What Is The VAT Refund?
The VAT refund tourist scheme was set up to help encourage visitors to shop in Thailand… and get VAT (value added tax) back on certain items.
Thus, visitors entering Thailand on tourist visa… may be able to get refunds of up to 7% value of the VAT paid on goods purchased at certain stores.
Now, when you’re shopping in Bangkok, not every shopping center or every store entitles you to a VAT refund.
Generally, stores which have a sign like this, indicates that they offer the VAT refund tourist scheme…
Plus, the stores need to have a tax refund application form, which is a yellow document.
Then, before you leave Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport… you’ll need to give officers a completed VAT refund form, your passport, and receipts. Plus, for certain items will need to be shown to the officers.
Then, the refund may be in cash, or via a credit to your credit card, as an example.
Some Of The VAT Refund Bangkok Shopping Rules
So, getting a VAT refund in Bangkok has terms and conditions attached to it. And, here’s an example of some of those rules:
- A refund will only apply to products taken out of Thailand within 60 days after you’ve bought them.
- And, a refund can only be given to a non-Thai visitor who’s been in Thailand for less than 180 days in that calendar year.
- Plus, the minimum purchase must be at least 2,000 Thai baht per store, and per day.
- And, you have to show your passport to the sales assistant, so they can do the PP10 VAT refund form.
- Plus, you must have receipts from all your eligible purchases.
- Then, you must depart Thailand by air from an International Airport… including Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket.
So, one of the other rules says that the store must show the VAT Refund For Tourists sign. Yet, unless the signs were hidden somewhere… I’ve bought goods where I couldn’t see the sign showing.
So, before you even buy anything… it’s best to ask someone in the store to confirm if they do the VAT refund.
Then, once you’ve made your purchases, don’t leave the store yet!
There is some paperwork that needs to be done.
So, after making payment, the staff member will need your passport. And then, an official store receipt is being filled out.
Plus, you will need to have this critical yellow form, which is the PP10 VAT refund form I mentioned earlier.
So recently, I’ve only ever had to fill out my name, date and signature. Then, the store assistant completes the rest.
Then, once the yellow form is complete, they attach the receipt to the form… and it’s all done.
If you’ve bought goods where an individual item is over 5,000 baht per piece… you will need to show the VAT refund officer at the airport. So, best to have the items handy. For example, I’d bought a Macbook Pro laptop and iPhone 11. And, I had to show both of these to the officer.
VAT Refund At Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
So, when you’re at the Departures Level of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport… head on over to Entrance 10 as this is the closest. And, once you’re there it’s a short stroll to the VAT Refund office.
But, this isn’t where you’ll get your money.
So, here’s what you need to prepare for the VAT refund officer…
- Your passport
- And, any items that the officers need to inspect
- Then, the yellow PP10 VAT Refund Form, with the attached receipts
Then, one of the officers will direct you where to go when it’s your turn.
So, hand over your passport and yellow form to the officer. Then, they’ll request to see the items that are over 5,000 baht each.
Then, once that’s done… they put a stamp on the form and sign that the goods have been checked, like this…
So, make sure you double check that they’ve put the stamp on the yellow form. Otherwise you won’t get your money back.
And, after this step, you’ll need to go through immigration.
The VAT Refund Bangkok Airport Counter
Then, after immigration… there are signs pointing to 2 different VAT refund areas you can choose from.
So, we ended up going to the VAT refund office on the left hand side. And, in about 330 meters we were at the VAT refund office, near Gate D.
And, it was a first for us, as there was NO queue of people! So, we suspect that’s because of the corona virus, which has scared or stopped many people from traveling.
Then, at the counter I had to give the officer my passport, and yellow forms. Plus, this was something new… where I had to show my purchases to this officer.
So, sometimes the line can be excruciatingly long. One time I was waiting for 45 minutes. Thus, allow time to get your VAT refund.
IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIP:
So, as I was a member of The 1 Card Rewards Program, I had signed up using my old passport. And, I was presenting my 1 Card to get points on the products I would buy.
Yet, I forgot that I’d gotten a new passport. So, the receipts had my old passport number showing. Then, when I was at the VAT Refund counter at Suvarnabhumi Airport, she asked what the number was on my forms.
Then, I showed here my 1 Card and said that this had my old passport number! So, I was lucky she still gave me the refund, as the information wasn’t correct. Yet, she was nice enough to give me my money and a receipt back.
So, here are some of the rules listed on the back of the receipt, about why you may not get the refund…
So, there was one of my experiences of how to get the VAT refund at Suvarnabhumi Airport. And, make sure you’re aware of the terms and conditions, otherwise you may not get your refund.
Plus, allow yourself ample time at the airport to claim your money at the airport. And, make sure you have your goods ready to show the officers, if they’re over 5,000 baht each.
So, have a great time shopping in Bangkok and hopefully you can get some money back too!
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