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Tourists Can Claim VAT Refunds via Blockchain-based App this Month

Foreign tourists in Thailand can claim valued-added tax (VAT) refunds through a blockchain-based application from November 28, 2019. The name of the application has not yet been revealed. 

Thailand’s Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana says VAT refund processes can be expedited through the blockchain technology because all information of the tourists will be instantly shared with the Revenue Department and the Customs Department once vendors or sellers put the purchasing information in the system.

The application was announced during the signing of a memorandum of understanding on November 13, 2019 with between Krung Thai Bank Public Company Limited and the Revenue Department, the Customs Department, the Comptroller General’s Department, the Public Debt Management Office on the implementation of the project using blockchain technology to upgrade the architectural infrastructure to support the mission of government agencies in accordance with the MOF Digital Platform.

The tourists are required to identify which channel such as credit card or WeChat they want to receive the VAT refunds.  

Recent statistics reveal that at least 2 million foreign tourists purchase goods and services in Thailand, amounting to an average of 50 billion baht a year. Around 200,000 tourists a month claim a VAT refund. Seventy percent of them are Chinese who travel to the Kingdom and carry less cash.

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