Third country nationals claiming VAT on large purchases bought while holidaying in Malta will now face fewer hurdles in applying for their refund, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said today.

The government this morning signed up for tax refund services from international service provider Fintrax Group. The company offers services to simplify the process by which non-EU nationals can apply for tax rebates on large purchases made while holidaying.

The Finance Ministry explained that third country nationals were already able to apply for rebates on the 18 per cent VAT spent on large purchases, however, the system was complicated and often put people off applying and in turn even making such purchases in the first place.

“Some may feel that encouraging refunds may chip away at government revenue, but there is another school of thought on this,” Prof Scicluna said.

A Fintrax Group spokesman later explained that the company would encourage Maltese vendors to sign up for free and hand them a simple form which customers making large purchases would be required to fill in. 

The forms would then be verified upon exiting the country and refunds would be provided from Fintrax desks upon departure.

The new system will replace the previous one whereby those applying for a refund would need to provide receipts and other documents only to receive a refund weeks after leaving the country.


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