Ramy Youssef — Deputy Minister of Finance for Tax Policies and Chairperson of the Higher Committee for Follow-up on VAT Refunds for Foreign Departures — released a statement on Tuesday in which he listed the latest developments in Egypt’s taxation system when it comes to foreigners.
Youssef started off by affirming that The Ministry of Finance and the Egyptian Tax Authority are keen on facilitating tax refund procedures for non-resident tourists upon their departure.
He added that both institutions are taking several measures to educate non-resident tourists about the conditions and procedures for refunding the Value Added Tax (VAT) on any purchases they make during the 27th UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) being held in Sharm El-Sheikh.
To achieve this end, Youssed explained that informative signs in Arabic, English, French, Russian, and Spanish have been put up in various places in Sharm El-Sheikh’s airport, hotels, and markets pointing out the conditions and required steps for tax refunds for non-resident tourists.
Furthermore, certain shops in Sharm El-Sheikh have been marked with VAT refund stickers to make them easily identifiable for tourists.
Additionally, the authority has created a page on its website that includes the procedures and conditions for refunding the VAT for non-resident tourists in Arabic and English only at the following link: https://eta.gov.eg/en/tax-refund
Youssef also clarified that non-resident foreigners can refund the VAT on their purchases according to several conditions, which are as follows:
- Their stay does not exceed three months.
- The value of purchases included in the invoice or receipt is no less than EGP 1,500 Egyptian pounds.
- Their purchases are kept by them.
He also stated that this refund can be done through a bank card, noting that a non-resident tourist must follow several steps when purchasing in order to be able to refund the VAT, explaining that the tourist must ensure that the sellers have the VAT Refund label/ stamp and obtain an electronic receipt containing his/her passport number.
He also noted that the goods must be kept in the state in which they were upon purchase to be used in the tax refund process; thus, the departing tourist must go to the airport’s tax refund office in sufficient time, submit their receipts and passport for review, surrender their purchased good for inspection, and have a bank card available to transfer the refunded tax amount.
Finally, he explained that tourists can get in touch with the authorities call centre, which has agents that can answer all their tax-related questions in both English and French, on the hotline 16395, adding that all the relevant information is available on the website and other social media platforms.