If you go shopping during your trip to Mexico, you may be able to apply for a tax refund on your purchases. The tourist tax refund is only available to international tourists who buy at specific stores that participate in the program, and they must leave the country by sea or by air from certain airports. Read on to find out if you are eligible, and how to go about claiming the tax refund for tourists to Mexico.
Eligibility for tax refund
To be eligible for the tax refund, you must have spent at least 1200 pesos on Mexican goods (there's no refund for services, so hotel and food expenses do not apply) and you must return to your country by sea or air. Each receipt that you present must be for at least 1200 pesos (individual items may cost less, but the complete purchase at the store must be for at least that amount). If the purchase was paid for in cash, the total taken into account will not surpass 3000 pesos. Credit card purchases should be made with Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Purchases must be made in stores and establishments that are affiliated with the tax reimbursement program in order to qualify.
Procedure for obtaining a refund
Do your shopping at any of 6000 participating stores throughout the country - look for the Moneyback logo in the store window, or ask a salesperson if the store is part of the program.
Then when making your purchase, request a VAT itemized invoice. When leaving the country, you need to go to a MONEYBACK kiosk or office at your airport or cruise ship terminal and present your passport, immigration form (the FMM, also sometimes referred to as a tourist card), your boarding pass or cruise ID for departure, receipts for your purchases along with credit card vouchers, and you should also bring along the goods you purchased so they can be verified.
Goods that are being shipped out of the country do not qualify: you must carry the items back with you in your luggage in order for the tax refund to apply. If you are missing any of the required documents, or if you depart Mexico by land, you will not be eligible for the refund.
The refund is for 8.9% of the amount of the purchases and will be credited to your credit card in your local currency. The process usually takes about 45 days for the money to show up on your credit card account. If you have any inquiries, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the FOLIO number from the form you were given at the Moneyback office or kiosk.
For more information, visit the Money Back website, operators of the tourist tax refund service.