VAT Refund for Foreign Tourists

Johan Klok | Last update:

As a foreign tourist you may get a VAT refund when you leave Ecuador.

What is a VAT?

A value-added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax placed on a product whenever value is added at each stage of the supply chain, from production to the point of sale. The amount of VAT that the user pays is on the cost of the product, less any of the costs of materials used in the product that have already been taxed.

Source: Investopedia.

VAT is levied at the rates of either 12% or 0% in Ecuador. The VAT refund is possible for VAT that has been paid in Ecuador for products produced in Ecuador and accommodation sevices.

If you follow the rules below you can successfully apply for this tax refund.

  • You are a temporary visitor (180 days or less). (Ecuadorian citizens and residents cannot apply for this tax refund.)
  • You buy the products and services from affiliated establishments. They can be recognized by stickers with the following logo:
    VAT refund logo Ecuador
  • Only invoices with amounts over $50 are accepted.
  • The invoices must mention your name and passport number.
  • You need to fill in a refund request form.
  • Put the request form, the invoices and a copy of your passport in an envelope and hand over this envelope to customs at the airports of Guayaquil or Quito.
  • You need a credit card because the refund will be deposited on a credit card (Master Card, Visa or Diners Club).

The fee for a VAT refund is $3.

The VAT is called IVA (Impuesto al Valor Agregado) in Spanish.

Official information: Devolución del IVA a turistas extranjeros.