Retailers call on government to promote tax refund for tourists
The Jakarta Post
As part of efforts to promote Indonesia as a shopping destination, the government should actively promote tax refund facilities for tourists and lower the minimum purchase amount for tourists to be eligible for a value added tax (VAT) refund, a retail association says.
Indonesian Shopping Center Tenant Association (Hippindo) chairman Budihardjo Iduansjah said such a policy would also help offline retail outlets boost sales amid their gloomy performance as a result of the emergence of e-commerce.
"The promotion of tax refund facilities should also be handled by marketing professionals to ensure that tourists know about such incentives," Budihardjo told The Jakarta Post recently.
"Every country is just like a mall. We need to promote every incentive to encourage foreign tourists to shop. They have high purchasing power," he added.
Currently, tourists need to purchase at least Rp 5 million (US$369) worth of goods on the same day to be eligible to a VAT refund, Budihardjo said, adding that refund centers were only available at airports.
Offline retail sales have performed poorly in recent months, with sales increasing only 2.7 percent year to date across the country up to September, far lower than an average 10 percent in past years, according to research firm Nielsen data. (bbn)
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