Effective January 1, 2016, Anhui, Fujian, Liaoning, Sichuan, and Tianjin will adopt a tax refund policy for foreign visitors and visitors from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. They join Beijing, Shanghai and Hainan who previously adopted the policy.
Under this policy a visitor is eligible for an 11% rebate when they spend at least CNY 500 at one tax-free store on a single day.
Details of Tax Refund in China
|Yangliuqing Painting Tax Free Store in Tianjin
|Chengdu Chunxi Road has many tax free stores
Why more and more regions are adopting the tax refund policy?
1. To encourage more inbound visitors’ to shop in China, hence contributing to growth in the economy and in local consumption.
2. To enhance China’s image as an open country and hot tourism destination. Many developed countries and hot tourist destinations currently have tax refund policies.
3. To help increase China brands leaving the country. As visitors purchase more Chinese products, they will become more popular and their demand at international markets will increase.
What have been the problems with the current tax refund policy?
It has been six months since the adoption of the tax rebate policy in Beijing and Shanghai. However, it achieved less than expected, and there are several problems to be solved according to experts.
1. Some inbound visitors do not know about the policy. Therefore, the government must strengthen publicity. This can be done by methods such as setting up ad boards at international airports, broadcasting, or distributing brochures on international flights to China.
2. The refund procedures need to be simplified. Currently, visitors need to allow an extra 40-60 minutes before departure to complete the refund procedures and many of the steps are done on paper. In other countries like Singapore, visitors can do it themselves at self-service counters; adopting this method would save time.
3. The tax must be applied for in the region where the purchase was made. For instance, if one has bought something in Shanghai, he/she can only get the rebate when leaving from Shanghai airports or ship port. If leaving from Beijing, he/she won’t be able to get the rebate.
We hope these problems will be solved soon and more regions will join in the policy, bringing more benefits to inbound visitors and letting the world know how amazing Chinese products are!