Reimbursement of IVA at Airport is Up and Running

6/4/2008.-As of last Monday, the International Airport of Puerto Vallarta Gustavo Díaz Ordaz has a booth which is reimbursing the Value Added Tax (VAT) to foreign tourists that have made purchases in the country.


The booth is owned by the Mexican company Yvesam Retornos Mundiales S.A de C.V, who obtained a ten year concession to administer the reimbursement of the tax to those foreign tourists who can show a minimum purchase of 1,200 pesos (including the VAT) in Mexico and that they are returning to their country either via airplane or ship.


This booth has three people to attend to the customers and right now is open from 8:00 am to 8:00p.m. and soon will maintain the house of 7:00 am to 10:00 pm


The manager of operations of the booth, Uriel Miranda Zavala, indicated in an interview with the media, “the response of the businesses and the tourists has been scarce because of a lack of information on this new policy. We need to begin, both the government, the businesses and we ourselves, to spread the word that this is a benefit that will help tourism and obviously increase income to small and medium sized businesses from the consumption that the tourists make in those affiliated businesses.  At the same time, he revealed “that very few tourists have come by since they think it is a money exchange – all this due to misinformation that exists, and in fact, many businesses in Mexico still do not realize that they are returning the VAT to the foreign tourists here just like they do in other countries.”

It is important to note that the reimbursement of IVA to those foreigners in Mexico as tourists is only done in the event they have acquired products or services in one of the businesses or stores that are affiliated with the concessionaires authorized by the tax authority, in the case of Puerto Vallarta, the one currently operating is Yvesam Retornos Mundiales S.A de C.V.


Nevertheless, due to misinformation and lack of interest from Vallarta businesses, only two companies have become affiliated, (Optica Alvarez and No Name Boutique) even though affiliating costs nothing to the affiliating business; on the contrary, the affiliates shall actually have a “benefit” as the tourists will have a distinct advantage with merchandise that they acquire since they have the possibility of the reimbursement of the VAT.  It is also important to note that this benefit does not include services, such as hotel and restaurant, just as in other parts of the world.

The tax authority (SAT) granted concessions to three companies for operation.  These companies are Premier Tax Free, Global Refund México and YVESAM Retornos Mundiales S.A de C.V, who will be responsible for the administration of the return of the tax to foreign tourists that can show a minimum purchase of $1,200 pesos (including VAT) in Mexico and that they are returning to their country either via airplane or ship.


The Procedure


As part of the procedure, which shall be completed bit by bit throughout the country, purchases made by international tourists must be paid by credit card of debit card or in cash if less than $3,000 pesos.  Purchases may be made in those stores or businesses that have been affiliated with a concessionaire who is duly authorized by the tax authority.  For the reimbursement, the tourist shall have the right to receive up to 50% of the net reimbursable amount back in cash, as long as said amount is not more than $10,000 pesos, and the balance shall be sent electronically within 40 days.  The airports which are going to begin operation this summer, in the first phase, are the airports of Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta; this because they have an large influx of international visitors.

In the second phase, in the next six months, booths will be set up in the airports of Monterrey, Cozumel, El Bajío, Mazatlán and Morelia; finally this will occur in the rest of the airports in Mexico and ports such as Acapulco, La Paz, Huatulco, among others.


(original, in spanish