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Belarus launches Tax Free system

Belarus started 2013 with the launching of the Tax Free system, according to the Law No.431-3 as of 26 October 2012 which introduced amendments and additions to the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus. The Law came into force on 1 January 2013, BelTA has learnt.

Belarus is the first among the countries of the Customs Union to launch the system of VAT refund for foreign citizens. Tax Free is a measure of state support aimed at boosting trade, small business servicing inbound tourism. The Tax Free system has been implemented due to the rising number of international events held in Belarus and for the sake of promoting cultural, educational, and recreational tourism.

The refund will be made through an operator of the Special Tax Free system providing the repayment for foreign visitors who buy goods worth at least Br800,000 (about €75) including VAT in in the outlet which is part of the Tax Free system whithin one day. The VAT will not be returned if the merchandise is subject to zero VAT or a reduced-rate VAT (for instance, food). To receive the refund, a foreigner shall produce a receipt at a border checkpoint while leaving the country. The VAT will be returned as cash if there is a bank office at the border checkpoint. If there is none, the money will be returned by a bank transfer.