In India,

  • If you are a tourist to India
  • You purchase something and take it out of the country

in theory you can claim and get a refund of the GST. (GST is the local term for sales tax or VAT.)

{Currently (2018) they are thinking about installing "sales tax refund desks for tourists" at airports - as is common in many countries - but it's not there yet.}

In fact, has anyone ever actually claimed and received a GST tourist refund from India?

The process seems completely opaque, and only theoretical. Most hearsay is that in practice it is impossible.

In fact, has anyone ever actually claimed and received a GST tourist refund from India?

  • 2
    Pls note, the question is not "how do you.." nor is the question "please google for me...". The question is given in the title, and is repeated twice in bold in the body, thanks!
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 6:53
  • Rolled back an unneeded edit, that was clearly in conflict with the OP's intentions.
    – Willeke
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 8:40
  • 1
    hi @David, it's a very common term but sure, I did it - cheers!
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 13:11
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is an opinion poll, not a question. The only possible answers are "I did" and "I did, too", neither of which is remotely useful. Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 16:00
  • 6
    @DavidRicherby No, it is not. In theory you can get a GST tourist refund, the asker wants to know if it is practically possible to get the refund and what odyssey you can expect if you try it. For me a valid question, it may be somehow badly asked, but nevertheless valid. Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


According to this news report (emphasis mine)

Although a provision for GST refund to tourists has been made in the GST law, it is yet to be operational. The law has defined the term 'tourist' as a person who's not normally a resident in India, who enters the country for a stay of not more than six months for legitimate non-immigrant purposes.

It looks like there is no refund mechanism as yet but government will setup an airport refund desk in near future which will, in the beginning, only process refunds for purchases made at "big retailers".

The answer to your question in short is - No one has claimed GST refund yet as there is no mechanism to claim a refund yet.

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