Sri Lankan government opens value added tax refund counters for tourists at the Katunayake International Airport
The government of Sri Lanka has opened a value added tax (VAT) refund counter at the Katunayake International Airport as part of its efforts to make the country a competitive trading hub.
The Finance Ministry of Sri Lanka has stated that the country has a 15 percent VAT on most items and tourists can now reclaim the tax as they are leaving the country. A purchase made by a tourist is technically an export.
The Ministry has stated that so far 18 establishments selling clothes and other items to tourists have registered with the Department of Inland Revenue to make use of the facility.
“Any institution that wishes to make use of the facility can register at Inland Revenue,” the Finance Ministry has said in its statement.
Many countries in the world with a VAT regime already operate such counters at key airports.
The opening of VAT refund counters at the Katunayake International Airport to facilitate tourists to get refunds on monies spent at some Sri Lankan establishments would help the country become a competitive trading hub. This would be an additional feature that would please the tourists visiting the country. Sri Lanka has continuously recorded an increase in tourist arrivals and Sri Lanka’s move towards making the country a competitive trade hub in Asia would further boost the country’s tourism sector as well as trade.
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