SECTION 1: Government requirements
1. CONDITIONS FOR THE VAT (Value Added Tax) REFUND
• The VAT refund applies to goods produced in this country and to accommodation services in amounts greater than US$ 50.00 per invoice (Taxable base) .
• The amount of VAT (Value Added Tax) is 12 %.
• Administrative costs of $3 will be deducted from the amount to be refunded.
• The refund accreditation will be carried out only through the credit card (Visa, Mastercard and Diners Club) that must be under the name of the applicant.
• It is important that the tourists provide all the information requested by the authorized business, and when filling out the VAT application form, the requested information must be complete and correct in order to be able to receive the refund benefit.
2. STEPS TO BE FOLLOWED BY THE TOURIST IN ORDER TO REQUEST THE VAT REFUND
• PURCHASE goods produced in the country or use accommodation services in affiliated businesses that show the TAX-FREE logo. Request the invoice and appendix for your purchase, both filled correctly.
• PRESENT GOODS AND SEAL. In the international airports of Quito and Guayaquil, before airline check-in, goods and appendixes must be presented at the counter SRI-INPC (Quito) and SRI (Guayaquil). The presence of a SENAE (National Customs Service) official must be requested so that goods can be controlled and appendixes sealed; this does not apply to accommodation services.
• PRESENT the request. Fill out the refund application form correctly (it will be provided in the counters) and enclose along with the invoices, appendixes and a passport photocopy in an envelope available also at the counters. Deposit the envelope, with all necessary documents, in the mailbox located in the pre-boarding (departure) lounges, after immigration control, in the international airports of Quito and Guayaquil.
• LOOK UP with the passport number or ID registered in the refund application form, the status of your request, through the SRI site www.sri.gob.ec, Servicios en Línea, Consultas Públicas, Opción: CONSULTA DEVOLUCION IVA A TURISTAS EXTRANJEROS, Consultar estado de proceso:https://declaraciones.sri.gov.ec/devolucionIvaExtranjeros-internet/pages/consultaDocumentos.jsf?redireccion=149&idGrupo=615&contextoMPT=https://declaraciones.sri.gov.ec/tuportal-internet&pathMPT=CONSULTA%20DEVOLUCION%20IVA%20A%20TURISTAS%20EXTRANJEROS&actualMPT=Consultar%20estado%20de%20proceso%20&linkMPT=%2FdevolucionIvaExtranjeros-internet%2Fpages%2FconsultaDocumentos.jsf%3Fredireccion%3D149%26idGrupo%3D615&esFavorito=N
3. FILLING OF APPENDIXES FOR VAT REFUND
The appendix for foreign tourists VAT refund, must be filled completely by the affiliated business (not by the foreign tourist) and attached to the invoice.
4. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Which are the goods and services that entitle the foreign tourist for a VAT refund?
The goods produced in Ecuador and accommodation services provided by businesses enrolled in the MIPRO or MINTUR cadaster.
I am a business establishment, what should I do if the foreign tourist doesn't give me enough data to issue the invoice and appendix?
In case of invoices, when the foreign tourist will not be willing to give enough information, the invoice must be issued to the name of "final consumer"; in this case the tourist will not have the benefit of VAT refund and the appendix must not be issued.
Can one appendix be issued for many invoices?
No, because the benefit is for each minimal purchase of USD. 50,00 in taxable base with 12% rate for invoice.
Can many appendixes be issued for one invoice?
Yes, because some businesses establishments issue invoices in which more than 10 items can be included (this is the maximum capacity per appendix) or they are auto printers (issuing invoices also with more than 10 items), so there is no limit of appendixes to be issued per invoice, considering only items or goods that apply to the benefit.
To which credit cards the refund will be made?
Temporarily only to Visa, Mastercard and Diners Club.
How long shall the foreign tourist wait for the refund to be effective?
According to the law, a maximum of 120 business days..
If any foreign tourist wants to deepen his/her acknowledgement about the VAT Refund Process, where should he/she go?
The foreign tourist can go to any SRI Office nationwide, call to the number 1700 SRI SRI or enter to the SRI web site, location:http://www.sri.gob.ec/web/10138/356.
SECTION 2: Practical Information - The process
(This is reprinted from a forum and edited for clarity.)
In the front section of the International Departures terminal in the new Quito airport is an information counter. As you enter the building it is over your right shoulder. Just to the left of that is the SRI/ IVA tax refund counter.
IVA taxes paid by foreign travelers are refundable, minus a small fee, under specific circumstances. The purchases for $50 or more of either commodities or hotel stays, must have been made at participating suppliers on the TAX authorities list (www.sri.gov.ec/web/10138/360).
Each receipt must show the travelers name at minimum and passport number preferred. Furthermore the original receipts for the products or services could not say "consumer final". Also it needs to fully identify the provider business with their Ecuadorian TAX ID numbers. Purchases paid with cash were ok but credit card transactions are preferred.
The agent will go through all your receipts and select those that fit. You then fill out the face of a large envelope with your name, passport number and date. You also complete a two sided form with the same information, arrival and departure dates and the specifics of the credit card that you want your refund applied to. AMEX does not qualify. All completed receipts and the forms go into the envelope, with a color copy of the photo/data pages of your passport.
It takes about 3 months before the credit will be made to your card.
After check in, security, and customs, you proceed through a duty free shop to the mall and gate area of the building. There is only way into the gate area. Just to the left of that first duty free section is a large metal box against the wall with a "SRI/ IVA Libre de Impuestos" sign. The envelope goes in there.