GST Q&A - Tourists
You can claim your refund by:
- Payment through a credit card;
- Payment in cash (for amount not exceeding RM300.00); or
- Payment through a bank cheque as a contingency approach if neither of the above refund options is feasible.
TRS only applies to goods that are taken out with you when you leave Malaysia. The TRS does not apply to services (car hire, accommodation, tours, etc.) or goods consumed or partly consumed in Malaysia such as drinks, chocolates or perfume.
GST is a more comprehensive, effective, transparent, and business-friendly tax system. GST can overcome the various weaknesses inherent in the present consumption tax system. The inherent weaknesses under the present tax system are the cascading tax, double tax and pyramiding tax, tax erosion and leakages through transfer pricing and other means. Besides that, GST is expected to increase tax compliance and is easier to administer in view of its self-policing method. In addition, businesses are required only to submit simplified tax returns based on prescribed formats. All records and documents relating to the relevant transaction are required to be kept in the business premises for audit by the GST auditor.
A tax invoice contains information such as invoice number, the amount of GST paid and provides all the evidence needed by Royal Malaysia Customs Department (RMCD) to verify the sale, identify the goods and support the payment of the GST refund. Merchants who have been designated by RMCD as an Approved Outlet will provide normal shop receipts as their tax invoices. Tourists must ask the Approved Outlet operator for a tax invoice when making a purchase. A tax invoice must contain the following information:
- The tax invoice in serial number
- The word tax invoice stated prominentlyv
- The date of issue of the tax invoice
- The name ,address and GST identification number of the Approved Outlet
- The customer¡¯s name and address
- Description of each and every eligible good purchased
- Any discount offered
- The total amount payable excluding GST, the rate of tax and total tax chargeable shown as a separate amount
- The GST inclusive price of the eligible goods
No. You can claim any amount of GST refund under the TRS.
No. To make our exports more competitive, GST on exports will be zero-rated and the exporter can recover all the input tax incurred in the course of his business.
At the GST Refund Verification Counter, you will need to present the following documents:
- The original tax invoice or receipt (GST inclusive) from the Approved Outlet
- The original Refund Form issued by the Approved Outlet
- Your original valid international passport
- Your international boarding pass, confirmed air ticket or other proof of travel
- The eligible goods, if requested by the RMCD officer (to prove you are taking the goods out of Malaysia and to confirm those are the goods described in the original tax invoice or receipt)
In order to claim a refund of GST, the eligible goods must be exported as accompanied baggage (carry-on) or unaccompanied luggage (checked-in) not later than 3 months from the date of purchase.
Non consumable goods such as clothing, cameras and watches can be used before leaving Malaysia. Consumable goods such as drinks, perfume and chocolate are not eligible for GST refund if already used/consumed in Malaysia.
Regardless of how you made your purchases, you may choose to have the refund paid by cash, paid to your credit card account or paid by bank cheque (if cash or credit card is not feasible).
Yes you may, provided you make your claim within 2 months from date of endorsement of your export by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.
The differences between a Duty Free Shop and an Approved Outlet are:
- Duty Free purchases can only be made from a selected number of Duty Free Shops at International Airports, Port and border Duty Free Shops and the range of goods supplied is limited.
- Under the Tourist Refund Scheme, a much larger range of goods (e.g. clothing, electronics) purchased from an Approved Outlet are eligible for GST refunds.
A warranty is a type of service and not goods that can be exported from Malaysia. A purchased warranty is therefore not eligible for GST refund under the TRS.
Student pass holders are treated as normal foreign tourists and therefore are eligible to claim a GST refund under the TRS if they have fulfilled all conditions of the TRS.
No. If you are leaving Malaysia in the course of your employment as a crew member of an aircraft, you are not eligible to claim a GST refund under the TRS. However, if you are traveling as a passenger, you are eligible to claim a GST refund provided that you meet all of the other requirements under the TRS.
All standard-rated goods are eligible for a refund under the Tourist Refund Scheme with the exception of the following:
- Wine, spirits, beer and malt liquor
- Tobacco and tobacco products
- Precious metal and gem stones (jewellery made thereof is allowed refund under TRS)
- Goods wholly or partially consumed in Malaysia (except for clothing/tax invoices to be maintained)
- Goods which are prohibited from export under the written law
- Goods which are not taken out as accompanied or unaccompanied luggage
The conditions for a GST refund under the TRS are:
- The customer (who is an eligible foreign tourist) must take the eligible goods out of Malaysia via an International Airport within 3 months of purchase. The tourist must take these goods out with them either in hand-carried luggage (accompanied luggage) or checked-in luggage (unaccompanied luggage) through air mode.
- To qualify for a GST refund, the tourist must spend at least three-hundred Malaysian Ringgit (MYR300) (inclusive of GST). Accumulation of tax invoices is allowed to meet the three-hundred Malaysian Ringgit (MYR300) threshold for purchases made on different days from the same Approved Outlet.
- The tourist must be eligible to claim GST Refund.
When a foreign tourist purchases eligible goods from an Approved Outlet, the Approved Outlet shall issue a tax invoice or receipt with GST at the prevailing tax rate along with a GST refund form. The sales assistant/cashier at the Approved Outlet also needs to:
- Request the tourist¡¯s own original valid international passport to verify their eligibility for a GST refund under the TRS.
- Remind the tourist to take the goods out of Malaysia via air mode within 3 months from date of purchase and confirm that it is their intention to do so.
- Issue a GST refund form to the tourist using the online issuing solutions provided for this purpose and ensure that the fields that are mandatory at the point of sale are completed.
- Ensure that the tourist understands that s/he must complete all remaining fields including any required personal details prior to presenting the GST refund form for validation by an RMCD Officer and that s/he fully understands the conditions of the TRS before leaving the Approved Outlet. Note: it is prohibited for a tourist to present another person¡¯s passport to an Approved Outlet or to claim a GST Refund on behalf of another person.
- Provide the tourist with a prepaid envelope and instructions on how to claim the GST refund. This envelope is addressed to the Approved Refund Agent and can be used by the tourist to claim their refund if they do not claim it directly from one of the refund points of the Approved Refund Agent, which are located at all airports where RMCD will perform export validations under the TRS.
- Advise the tourist on how the refund is to be paid. Refund can be made either by cash (amount not exceeding three-hundred Malaysian Ringgit (MYR300)), through credit card or via bank cheque (if cash or credit card is not feasible).
- Inform the tourist about the administrative/processing fee payable under the TRS.
- Indicate on the tax invoice or receipt either by stamping or otherwise that a GST Refund Form has been issued, e.g. ¡°TRS Refund Form Issued¡±.
- Inform the tourist that they must be ready to produce the purchased goods together with the tax invoice or receipt and completed GST Refund Form to RMCD at the international airport for verification and endorsement of the transaction.
- Advise the tourist to carry small, high-valued items as hand-carried luggage (accompanied).
- Inform the tourist to return the endorsed GST Refund Form to the Approved Refund Agent in person or by post within 2 months from the date of endorsement by RMCD.
- In contingency situations, where online issuing of the transaction is not possible, a pre-printed contingency GST Refund Form must be completed by hand by the sales assistant/cashier at the Approved Outlet. The contingency GST Refund Forms come in triplicate. The first copy (customer¡¯s copy) and second copy (Approved Refund Agent¡¯s copy), together with tax invoice or receipt for the purchase is to be given to the tourist to be endorsed by RMCD. The third copy of the refund form is to be kept by the Approved Outlet operator as record and for auditing purposes. Blank pre-printed contingency GST Refund Forms are provided to Approved Outlet operators exclusively for use in contingency circumstances. As an Approved Outlet operator, you must keep your stocks of blank pre-printed contingency GST Refund Forms under lock and key, and have a proper control over blank or partially completed forms. This will ensure that no illegitimate claims are made under the TRS.
A GST refund form is a form which enables a tourist to claim a GST refund which they have paid on their purchases at an Approved Outlet. This form is issued by the sales assistant/cashier at the Approved Outlet and must be verified and endorsed by RMCD as proof that the goods have been taken out of Malaysia. Normally, the validation of the GST refund transaction is performed using a digital system operated by the RMCD Officers at the Refund Verification Counters at the 8 international airports in Malaysia where the TRS is supported. The digitally validated transaction becomes the basis for any subsequent audit. However, in contingency circumstances, the GST form itself will be manually validated by the RMCD Officer and provides the basis for audit.
The following information is required on the GST Refund Form:
1.Fields to be completed by the Approved Outlet operator with an online issuing solution or by hand for manually-issued forms
- Approved Outlet details (GST registration number, shop name and shop address)
2. Fields to be completed by the tourist prior to Validation of the transaction by an RMCD Officer
- Tourist/Customer details (name, passport number, passport issuing country, country of residence, date of arrival in Malaysia, date of departure from Malaysia, refund method)
- Endorsement by RMCD to validate that the goods purchased will be taken out of Malaysia.
The Approved Outlet should issue the GST Refund Form on the same day you sell your goods to an eligible tourist. However, as an Approved Outlet, you can also issue the GST Refund Form for purchases made on previous dates provided you have a system that allows you to ensure that the TRS would not be manipulated or abused and you are able to check the following details:
- The person requesting a GST Refund Form is the same person who purchased your goods
- The tax invoice or receipt produced has been issued by your Approved Outlet and is genuine
- No GST Refund Form has been issued before for the same tax invoice or receipt.