Russian Companies Now Allowed to Refund VAT to Foreigners in Rubles

The Russian government has approved a bill establishing additional permitted cases of resident currency transactions, the government wrote on its official website on Saturday, according to TASS.

It was noted that adopting the bill would eliminate the inconsistency of the norms of the Russian tax and currency legislation on the issue of VAT compensation to foreigners when exporting goods outside the Eurasian Economic Union. In particular, the bill proposes to allow legal entities – residents to compensate foreigners for VAT in rubles.

The amendments include establishing additional permitted cases of resident currency transactions with cash foreign currency and the Russian cash currency.

The project was reviewed and approved last month at a meeting of the government commission on legislative activities.

Alexander Kozlov, Russia’s Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, said earlier this month that the government’s pilot project on VAT refunds, active since April last year, has seen foreigners buy 8 billion rubles ($127 million) worth of goods in 12 Russian regions.

“The average purchase receipt from foreigners who used tax-free was 100 thousand rubles, and the most active buyers were Chinese. And it’s no secret to anyone the largest number of tourists from China visits Moscow and St. Petersburg, and in third and fourth places are Vladivostok and Blagoveshchensk. Therefore, tax-free, I am sure, will bear fruit,” Kozlov said, according to Interfax.