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Mexico will refund tourists' 15% IVA / VAT taxes!

Mexico will refund tourists' 15% IVA / VAT taxes!

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Old May 25, 08, 8:49 am
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Exclamation Mexico will refund tourists' 15% IVA / VAT taxes!

According to syndicated columnist John Flinn (May 25, 2008,) Mexico's Tourist Department has announced has announced tourists arriving by air or sea will be able to recover the 15% IVA / Value Added Tax they spend on goods exceeding 1,200 MN / USD ~$115 as they depart the country. New kiosks are being set up at the international airports at Mexico City, Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara and San José de Los Cabos initially. This is all supposed to take effect beginning June 2008.

According to the article, goods must be purchased with credit or debit cards issued outside of Mexico, visitors must present passports at the time of purchase, and get a receipt and official VAT refund form from the store.

Taxes / IVA on hotel and restaurant spending will be ineligible, and visitors who cross the border by land will not be able to receive refunds.

For those who qualify, half the IVA will be refunded immediately in pesos, to a maximum of $10,000 MN / USD ~$995, and the balance will be credited to the credit card used "within 40 days."

In 2009, the program is to be extended to other airports and to cruise ports.

According to Benjamín Díaz, Departamento de Turismo spokesman, the purpose is to encourage working- and middle-class Americans to continue returning to Mexico by offering IVA rebates as an economic incentive.

IMO, the process will initially be a "pain in the como se llama" and stores will decry they do not have the forms, but in the end, it will be much like VAT refunds in other countries providing them. For big bucks / pesos purchases, 15% back will be worth it, and for small ones, possibly not. And if you can access to the forms, it may pay to beg and carry a couple with you for stores that may say "no tenemos" (we don't have any) for those larger purchases (silver jewelry, clothing, etc.)
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Old May 25, 08, 8:59 am
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Wonder if we have to have the object available to show or just the receipts?

With small pieces of jewelry, this is no problem, but people often buy larger pieces of art and ship them home. Are they just out of luck?
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Old May 25, 08, 9:03 am
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I think they will sort this all out over some time - after all, "mañana" does not mean "tomorrow" in Mexico... In the end, it will probably be paper-based, because some items will have to be packed away in luggage (clothes, art, crafts) or even shipped (furniture, plastic arts, etc.) as you say. But I haven't seen any official word yet.

Originally Posted by mshaikun View Post
Wonder if we have to have the object available to show or just the receipts?

With small pieces of jewelry, this is no problem, but people often buy larger pieces of art and ship them home. Are they just out of luck?
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