Given the decline of foreign tourism in the neighboring country during the last summer season, the Uruguayan Minister of Tourism, Liliam Kechichián, that the refund of VAT to foreign tourists who use credit cards in “hotel, gastronomy, car rental and event organization” will be extended until 30 October.
Although the drop in Uruguayan tourism was 29% in the last year, the official stressed that the growth in the last fifteen years “multiplied by four”, going from having “1,800,000 tourists to 4,000,000. He also revealed that, prior to the announcement, there was an agreement with his Mercosur colleagues to carry out “joint promotional work” that would contribute to the entire region.
The measure, which has been in effect since October 2018, consists of the tax benefit of the total refund of the tax, equivalent to 22% of the purchases made in those items. It is a very competitive tool to compensate for losses and sustain the flow of Argentine visitors.
In order to do so, non-resident tourists who wish to have their money back must pay with credit and/or debit cards issued in their respective countries. The applicable expenses are all services provided by restaurants, bars, canteens, cafeterias, tea rooms and the like, or by hotels, inns, tourist estancias and country inns, provided that such services do not integrate the concept of lodging. The 22 tax points will also be refunded for catering services for parties and events, and for car rental without a driver.