Tax refund service opens at Plaza 66 mall

Li Qian
Foreign customers can now claim their tax back on purchases at the shopping mall in Shanghai's Jing'an District at one desk in a service that will be promoted across the city.
Li Qian
Tax refund service opens at Plaza 66 mall
Li Qian / SHINE

Zafar Engin (center) claims tax back on his shopping at Plaza 66.

It took Zafar Engin just five minutes to claim the tax back on his shopping at the Plaza 66 shopping mall in Jing’an District thanks to a new one-stop tax refund service launched on Friday.

Engin, who’s from Turkey, was on a business trip to Shanghai and visited the mall on Nanjing Road W. on Friday morning to buy gifts for his family. 

“It’s a very good shopping mall,” Engin said.

After he bought a shirt at the Balmain store for his wife, he was guided to the refund desk on the fourth floor to claim his tax back.

“It’s very convenient to just go upstairs to get the tax back. It’s my first time to get a tax refund in China and it’s much more convenient than many other countries,” he said.

Engin had to show his passport and invoice, and fill in a tax refund application form. Within five minutes, he received 200 yuan (US$28) in cash as a refund. When he leaves China, he needs to post the tax refund form with customs stamp into a designated mailbox at the airport, completing the procedure. 

“I plan to use the cash to buy some small gifts for my family,” he said.

More than 30 brands at the mall are taking part in the service, including Hermes, Gucci, Fendi, Celine, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

From Friday, foreign visitors and residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, who stay on Chinese mainland for no more than 183 consecutive days, can enjoy the tax refund service at Plaza 66 if purchased items in one store don’t exceed 30,000 yuan.

Some brands handle tax refunds themselves, while others are not able to offer the service due to cash flow problems. Now, customers can purchase at several stores and claim tax back at one desk, said Zhang Linna, the mall’s general manager.

“It offers convenience, and also encourages customers to use the refund money to buy more, which spurs consumption,” she said.

Yao Yunna, who’s in charge of the Balmain store, said the service relieved it of the burden related to in-store tax refunds.

“I hope the service can be expanded to other shopping malls to attract more foreign visitors,” she said.

Sui Lei, an official from Shanghai Tax Service under the State Taxation Administration, said the authorities will further promote the service across the city to promote the Shanghai Shopping brand.

Tax refund service opens at Plaza 66 mall
Li Qian / SHINE

More than 30 brands at Plaza 66 have joined the one-stop tax refund service launched on Friday.

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