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30 Jun, 2015

Beijing, Shanghai to offer tax refunds to overseas tourists

BEIJING, (Xinhua) 2015-06-29 — Overseas tourists visiting Beijing and Shanghai will be able to obtain tax refunds on their purchases as of Wednesday, customs authority said Monday.

Beijing and Shanghai have both filed plans to Ministry of Finance (MOF), the General Administration of Customs (GAC) and State Administration of Taxation, the GAC said in a statement.

Foreign tourists and those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who stay in the Chinese mainland for no more than 183 days can receive a rebate of 11 percent on consumer goods purchased at designated department stores, according to an MOF statement earlier this year.

The minimum purchase for a tax refund is 500 yuan (about $82) at any one store in one day. The refund will be paid in renminbi in cash or transferred to the buyer’s bank account.

The rebate covers everything apart from items which are prohibited from taking overseas.

China started a pilot tax refund program in south island province of Hainan on Jan 1, 2011. The minimum purchase was 800 yuan and the program covered only 324 items.