Amidst a change in various tax changes during the ‘mini budget’ held on 23rd September 2022, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has announced the UK intends to reintroduce VAT free shopping for overseas visitors.
During his presentation, he stated “Britain welcomes millions of tourists every year, and I want our high streets and airports, our ports and our shopping centres, to feel the economic benefit. So we have decided to introduce VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors.”
While the UK has had VAT free shopping for oversea visitors in the past, that ended in January 2021. One problem with the previous iteration was that the process was cumbersome and relied on an outdated paper-based system that visitors needed to use, to gain their refunds.
Kwasi plans to change the system and said “We will replace the old paper-based system with a modern, digital one. And this will be in place as soon as possible. This is a priority for our great British retailers – so it is our priority too.”
Overseas visitors being able to claim back the 20% VAT is a nice incentive to attract more visitors to the UK and will hopefully aid in helping to boost the UK economy.