The government of Argentina has announced that all international tourists planning a visit to the South American nation will receive a direct and automatic reimbursement of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from their hotel and lodging stays across the country.
The refunds of VAT payments, combined with a favorable exchange rate and the elimination of the reciprocity fee for US citizens, significantly increases the appeal of Buenos Aires and the country’s 23 provinces to foreign visitors.
The new rule came into effect on January 2 of this year and impacts hotel stays and other forms of accommodations, and includes VAT imposed on breakfast services if they are part of the cost of lodging.
According to officials’ forecasts, the measure is expected to lead to an additional 95,000 tourists in 2017 alone, building on an already strong tourism market, where approximately 5.74 million international tourists visited in 2015. The boost in tourists is expected to lead to about 8,000 new jobs between direct and indirect impacts, with about $70 million US dollars brought into the economy. Argentina’s VAT rate on accommodations is 21 percent, and its removal for foreigners yields significant savings.
“Our national government has responded to a proposal that the tourism sector has brought forward during the last fifteen years to exempt non-resident tourists from having to pay VAT on lodging,” said Gustavo Santos, Minister of Tourism of the Nation of Argentina. “We seek to increase the competitiveness and the quality of Argentina’s travel offering as a whole. With this new initiative, we hope to encourage more visitors, which will in turn help boost jobs in the tourism industry.”
The rebate system for VAT for accommodations is available to visitors who can prove – with a valid passport or identification card - that they live abroad, and who pay for the services rendered with a non-Argentine credit card or via bank transfer from another country. The process is done at the time of billing, removing paperwork obstacles for the traveler.
The new administrative rule is a joint measure between Argentina’s tax authority AFIP and the Ministry of Tourism.
Argentina is known for its vast range of accommodations for international tourists. These include luxurious five-star hotels in the capital Buenos Airesand other cities, to hotels fitting every budget. Lodging options unique to Argentina include rural estancias, or ranches in the province of Buenos Aires and throughout the country, along with vineyard resorts. Foreign tourists seeking competitively priced accommodations, already available throughout Argentina, will now find even more value for their money during a vacation or business trip.