The Federal Customs Service (FCS) of Russia has begun testing the system of processing electronic checks tax free. It is carried out on the basis of the customs of the Moscow aviation hub. The experiment started on October 1, 2019.
The customs authorities began testing their part of the technology for processing tax free checks in electronic form. In the framework of the “pilot”, when a citizen applies to the customs authority for tax free clearance, a mark is placed both on a paper check and on its electronic counterpart. At the same time, VAT refunds will be carried out using paper checks until the completion of software testing, including information exchange with the Federal Tax Service, the FCS explained.
When the system is fully launched, it will work according to the following scheme: a tourist purchases goods in a store, he is issued a tax free check with a special bar code. Information about the purchase and the issued check is automatically sent to a single electronic system of customs authorities.
Departing from Russia, a tourist, when passing through customs control, presents the goods and a tax free check to the customs officer. He scans the bar code, checks the correctness of the data and, if the information matches, affixes in electronic form marks on the export of goods from the territory of the EAEU. Further, information in electronic form is transmitted to the tax free operator and the Federal Tax Service, explained earlier the head of the FCS Vladimir Bulavin.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov commissioned the launch of the tax free electronic system. According to him, the process of VAT refunds on purchases made by foreigners in Russia should become as simple and convenient as possible, without the need to draw up paper documents. During the World Cup, which took place in our country, the tax free system proved to be excellent, the turnover of stores thanks to its launch increased by 25 percent. Now they want to expand its capabilities.
The tax free system began to operate in Russia in 2018. The first to launch it were Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi. Then the cities where the World Cup was held joined.
All foreigners can return VAT on purchases made in Russia, except for tourists from the EAEU countries. The system applies to goods, including equipment, food, clothing, jewelry, books, medicines purchased within one day in the amount of not less than 10 thousand rubles.
The most active tax free in Russia is issued by Chinese tourists. Every second foreigner applying for a tax refund in 2018 was a representative of the Celestial Empire. In second place are residents of the United States, in third – the Israelis. Such data were cited by the Federal Tax Service with reference to the information of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.