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IRD Sri Lanka Tourist VAT Refund Scheme (TVRS)

Organisation : Sri Lanka Inland Revenue Department (IRD)
Scheme Name : Tourist VAT Refund Scheme (TVRS)
Country : Sri Lanka
Website :

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What is IRD Tourist VAT Refund Scheme?

Tourist VAT Refund system is introduced by Inland Revenue Department Sri Lanka (IRD), to refund VAT which is charged when purchasing goods, by Tourists who visit Sri Lanka. The ‘Tourist VAT Refund Scheme’ (TVRS) is implemented with effect from September 11, 2018, in terms under section 58A of the Value Added Tax Act, No. 14 of 2002 (Amended by Act) and by Gazette notifications of the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue and Minister of Finance accordingly.

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Eligibility For a Refund Under the TVRS

To eligible for TVRS Tourists have to fulfill the following criteria:
** Should be a Non-Citizen and Non-Resident of Sri Lanka.
** Visa type – Visitor Visa issued by the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka.
** Should be not less than eighteen years old as of the date you visit Sri Lanka.
** Should have stayed in Sri Lanka less than ninety days at the date of refund claim.

Conditions Applied For TVRS

** A Tourist required to have a minimum of LKR 50,000 worth of VAT liable purchases (exclusive of VAT) from any of the authorized retailers, consisting of a maximum of Three (3) commercial invoices issued on the same day by the same retailer and have to obtain a tourist VAT refund Invoice (TVRI) from the same authorized retailers by providing the commercial invoices along with passport.
** A Tourist should apply for VAT refund using a TVRS application form.
** Goods should be taken out of Sri Lanka either in baggage or hand luggage.
** Please note that the goods declared in the above invoices should be available for physical verification at the Customs point

Place To Purchase Goods

The goods must be purchased from Authorized Retailer, who registered under this scheme. To identify the shops, following logos will be displayed in their shops.

Goods Eligible To Claim Under TVRS

All goods on which VAT is charged (“Standard-Rated Goods”) are eligible for refund except;
** Goods that are prohibited on aircraft for safety reasons.(check with your airlines for prohibited items)
** Goods that are prohibited and restricted outwards under Sri Lanka Customs Ordinance Act.
** VAT exempted goods(where VAT was not paid)
** Goods that have been wholly / partly consumed in Sri Lanka.(for example: foods, Beverages)
** Services consumed.(for example: hotel Charges)
** Goods purchased online and taking out of Sri Lanka.
** Goods that are not presented for inspection with the required application form at the TVRS Counter.

Place to Claim Refund under TVRS

The TVRS Counter located at the departure lounge, Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake.

Additional Simplified Procedure

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of Sri Lanka offers a Tourist VAT Refund Scheme (TVRS) for visitors to the country.

Here’s a breakdown of the scheme:
** You must be a non-resident and non-citizen of Sri Lanka.
** You must have stayed in Sri Lanka for less than 90 days on a tourist visa.
** You must be 18 years or older.
** Your purchases must be from authorized retailers displaying the “Tax Free” shopping logo.

Minimum Spend:
** The total VAT amount on your purchases needs to be at least LKR 50,000 (Sri Lankan Rupees), excluding VAT itself.
** This can be accumulated through a maximum of three invoices issued on the same day by a single retailer.

Claiming the Refund:
** Obtain a Tourist VAT Refund Invoice (TVRI) from the authorized retailer along with your commercial invoices and passport.
** Fill out a TVRS application form for claiming the VAT refund.
** Ensure the goods you purchased are not consumed in Sri Lanka and are taken out of the country in your baggage or hand luggage.
** Present your goods, passport, TVRI, and completed TVRS application form to Customs officers for inspection before check-in at the departure airport.
** For luxury items exceeding LKR 10,000 in value (jewelry, watches, etc.), additional inspection by Revenue officers at the VAT Refund Office in the departure lounge may be required.
** Depending on the refund amount, you may receive it as cash, a cheque, or a transfer to your credit card account.

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