If you are a foreign tourist not resident in Colombia, you should know that for the purchase of encumbered assets in the national territory you are entitled to the refund of 100% of the value added tax (VAT, IVA in Spanish) paid on some goods.

But, what is the process you must follow to obtain this benefit?

Here we explain what products or goods may be included, places enabled to perform the procedure and the requirements that must be taken into account.

All foreign tourists not resident in Colombia have the right to this return, as well as foreign visitors in border transit who do not reside in Colombia for the purchase of encumbered assets made in the Special Units of Border Development.

This benefit will be made on confection goods, compact discs, lingerie, emeralds, footwear, handicrafts, appliances, perfumes, toys, jewelry in general and ironmongery articles.


Important aspects regarding the options to receive an IVA refund

At this point it is important to clarify two things, the first of which is that Colombian nationals who hold dual nationality do not consider themselves foreign tourists or foreign visitors, not residents of Colombia, and therefore, do not have the right to the refund of tax on sales

Second, this benefit will only be effective when the amount of purchases, including IVA, is equal to or greater than ten (10) Tax Value Units (UVT, in Spanish), which for the current year of $ 331,560. In this way, the maximum amount to be returned will be up to a value equivalent to one hundred (100) Tax Value Units (UVT, in Spanish), which for 2018 is $ 3,315,600.

Finally, if you meet all these conditions, you must prove the status of tourist or foreign visitor not resident in Colombia, before the competent Sectional Direction through the following papers.

How to request an IVA refund if you are a foreign tourist?

The purchase of the encumbered assets must be made in person via the dataphone, by credit card and / or international debit issued outside the country, must be made to merchants registered in the common system of sales tax and be backed with invoices sales that contain the discrimination of sales tax and must effectively leave the national territory.

Likewise, as a requisite, it is essential to provide a copy of the document that proves your immigration status, sales invoice (s) in which the applicant of the return appears as the owner, with the corresponding payment receipt that does not exceed six months after being issued.

Finally, you must complete the form 1344, as well as present the application personally at the time of departure from the country and before the respective check with the carrier and display original passport, entry and stay permit, immigration card or any other document of income that proves your immigration status.