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Mexico Gives Back


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Starting in June, in an effort to attract more American tourists, Mexico will reimburse the 15% VAT (value-added tax) charged on purchases totaling at least $115 (1,200 Mexican pesos) at stores and businesses throughout the country. Here's a look at the program's fine print:


1. Reimbursements are made to visitors who arrive by air and cruise ship and are available at kiosks at five major airports: Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta.


2. In order to qualify for the refund, purchases must have been made at approved stores and businesses with credit cards or debit cards issued outside of Mexico, or in cash.


3. Visitors must present their passports when making their purchases and obtain a receipt and an official refund form from the approved merchant.


4. The tax credit will apply to shopping, not to purchases on meals and lodging.


5. Visitors will be able to get half of the VAT in Mexican pesos, up to a maximum of $955 (10,000 Mexican pesos); the rest will be credited electronically to visitors' credit cards or bank accounts within 40 days.


Starting in 2009, the program will be phased in at other major airports as well as at cruise ports. We've always loved taking advantage of this VAT refund in Europe—now we can't wait to test it out in Mexico, where tourism is the country's third-largest source of income.


Info from Hideaways International

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