Thailand to pilot VAT refunds at shopping points hinh anh 1Visitors to a temple in Bangkok (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Revenue Department of Thailand will pilot a value-added tax (VAT) refund service for foreign tourists at five department stores, aiming to attract more tourists to the country.

Initially, the tax refund service will be provided at five Central Department Stores and will be expanded to other shopping places in the future.

Thailand levies a 7 percent VAT for purchases of goods and services. 

The Revenue Department gives 5 percent of VAT back to foreign tourists who claim tax refunds, while the remaining 2 percent is deducted for the department's processing fee.

Foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand grew by nearly 15 percent year on year to 7.11 million between January and February. Income from their spending was estimated at 348 billion baht (more than 12.3 billion USD). 

In February alone, the number of tourist arrivals reached 3.56 million, up 19.3 percent from the same time last year.

China has been the largest source of international visitors to Thailand, sending 9.8 million tourists in 2017, representing 28 percent of total arrivals. That figure is expected to exceed 10 million this year and pass 12 million in 2019.-VNA