KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 (Bernama) -- Tourists who shopped in Malaysia during their stay will be able to claim the amount spent on Goods and Services Tax (GST) over items bought through the Tourism Refund Scheme (TRS) counters at eight main airports, beginning tomorrow.
Customs Department Deputy Director-General Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman said the opening of the counters would enable tourists to redeem for amount spent not less than RM300 at 700 registered TRS retailers nationwide before returning home to their country.
"The counters will be made available at the Senai, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Penang international airports, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), KLIA2, Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport, Kuantan Pahang and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang," he said at a press conference after the launch of Malaysia GST TRS here today.
Also present were IRIS Global Blue TRS Malaysia Sdn Bhd (IGB) director Datuk Hamdan Mohd Hassan, Global Blue South Asia Commercial head, Nigel Dasler and customs senior assistant director (Customs II) Sakenah Begum Md Nazir.
Abdul Rahman reminded tourists to obtain the tax-free form upon payment, before claiming the refund.
"When leaving Malaysia, they should take the purchased items, receipts and passport to the customs desk to get the tax free form validated.
"Then, take the validated tax free form, passport and credit card to the counter for redemption," he said.
Meanwhile, Sakenah Begum said only foreign tourists were allowed to claim tax refunds while Malaysian citizens, as well as permanent residents were not eligible for refund.
"Diplomats are also allowed a refund on condition they have finished their service in Malaysia," she added.
She said those who had not been working in Malaysia for at least three months before leaving the country were excluded from entitlement to a refund.
"The refund cannot be given to those who travelled by land or sea," she said.
Meanwhile, Dasler said IGB was given a 'three-plus-two-year' concession by the government to develop the software for the TRS counters at selected airports.
He said the customs department gave approval to operate the counters.
"It is not a contract where the government gives us a certain amount of money but we were given a 'three-plus-two-year' concession."
He said out of the six per cent of the GST refund claimed by a tourist, IGB would get 15 per cent of the refund value.