Saudi: Pilgrims, visitors to get VAT reimbursement

RIYADH — Haj and Umrah pilgrims and visitors from non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will be reimbursed the amount of money they paid as Value Added Tax (VAT) on purchases made in the Kingdom.

The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT), which is responsible for managing the implementation, administration and enforcement of VAT in Saudi Arabia, is working out the modalities to make reimbursements, business daily Al-Eqtisadiah reported on Sunday quoting an official source at the authority.

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“Visitors and Haj and Umrah pilgrims will have the VAT money reimbursed to them if they have already paid it on their purchases here,” according to Hamoud Al-Harbe, director of the authority’s VAT operations.

“GAZT is studying the possibility of opening VAT reimbursement offices at many places including airports, land borders with countries other than the GCC members,” he added.

Harbe said GAZT will issue a list of service providers so that visitors may contact them for VAT reimbursement.

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Visitors and pilgrims from non-GCC countries should submit their applications for VAT reimbursement.

He, however, clarified that visitors and pilgrims from GCC countries will not be exempt from VAT.

Harbe said that visitors and pilgrims must not use their purchases inside the Kingdom.

Harbe said that more than 83,000 establishments have so far registered in the VAT system.

He warned that companies which have not yet registered will be fined.

Source Credit: Saudi Gazette

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