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Procedures for Claiming a VAT Refund at the Airport

Effective January 1 2014 visitors leaving Seychelles can claim a refund on Value Added Tax (VAT) on certain taxable goods purchased during their stay in the Seychelles.

VAT is a consumption tax added on the price of goods and services. The standard VAT rate in the Seychelles is 15 %. It is this amount that can be claimed as a refund by visitors on certain taxable goods at the time of departure from the Country.

Who qualifies to a claim for a VAT refund?
A visitor can claim a VAT refund at the time on his /her departure from Seychelles on certain taxable goods purchased from a VAT registered vendor. A visitor is a person who is a non-resident holding a foreign passport and has a valid ticket to travel out of Seychelles to a foreign airport.
A claim for a refund must be by the person (Visitor) who is departing from Seychelles.

What are the goods on which a VAT refund can be claimed?
Visitors can claim a refund on certain taxable goods only as per the list below. The goods must not have been consumed or used and must be supported with proper VAT invoices.
  • Article or jewellery of precious metals
  • Precious or semi precious stones (natural or synthetic)
  • Article of natural or cultured (farming)
  • Carpets - silk, wooden, dhurries and chain stitch
  • Crafted artifacts, arts or sculpture
  • Manufactured fragrance or perfume
  • Manufactured toiletries or fashion accessories
  • Cosmetic Items
  • Accessories - hand bags, sunglasses, hats/caps, back packs and shoes
  • Technological and electronic devices (computers, laptop computers, tablets, mobile phones, music players, walkie talkies and storage devices.
Can VAT refunds be claimed on purchases from any shop in Seychelles?
To be able to claim a VAT refund it is important that visitors ensure that their purchase is made at a VAT registered vendor. All VAT registered vendors can be identified by a VAT certificate and sticker which are placed at a visible location at their business premises. If in doubt the visitor must check with the vendor to make sure that they are VAT registered. Non-VAT registered vendors cannot charge VAT on their sales and therefore no VAT refund can be claimed from purchases made from those vendors.

Visitors must always ensure they are issued with a proper VAT invoice when they purchase goods on which they intend to claim a VAT refund asno claim of VAT refund will be allowed without a proper VAT invoice. A proper VAT invoice is one that contains the following information:
  • The name, address and VAT registration number of the registered vendor;
  • The name of the buyer;
  • The individualised serial number and date on which the tax invoice is issued;
  • A description of the goods;
  • The quantity or volume of the good;
  • The price of the goods and the amount of VAT paid.
It is important that the invoice is addressed in the name on the person who will be claiming the refund.

What are the procedures for claiming a VAT refund?
At the airport, the visitor must present all his/her purchases to Customs for inspection whereby the Customs officer, once satisfied that the claim meets the conditions of a refund, will endorse all invoices with a stamp. This can be done before or after checking in depending on whether the goods on which VAT will be claimed will go as checked in luggage or as cabin luggage. It is important to note that goods must be readily available for inspection to avoid delay. The following must also be presented together with the goods to the Customs officer:
  • foreign passport;
  • flight ticket or valid boarding pass (if the goods are not to be checked in);
  • all VAT invoices for his/her purchases.
If the goods have not been inspected and the invoice has not been stamped by Customs, the visitor will not be able to claim the refund or continue to proceed with the VAT refund procedures inside the airport.

After endorsement of the invoice the visitor will need to proceed to theSeychelles Revenue Commission (SRC) Counter situated outside the Business Lounge inside the Airport to finalize the claim. The visitor must provide the endorsed invoices and his/her passport to the SRC officer to process with the refund. Thereafter the visitor will be given a receipt which he/she will have to sign. The same will then be stamped by the SRC officer and the visitor will be asked to present it to the payment counter for payment to be effected.

The refund will be made in foreign exchange cash in the three major currencies that is in United States Dollar, Euro or British pound depending on the choice of the visitor.

It is important to note that an administrative fee of SR150 is imposed per claim of a VAT refund. No claim will be allowed where the total amount is less or equal to the administrative fee of SR 150/-.

For more information
You can contact Seychelles Revenue Commission on 4293737 or email us at commissioner@src.gov.sc or contact us at the following address:
Seychelles Revenue Commission
P.O Box 50
Orion Mall
Victoria.

Website Published Date: 12 February 2014

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