In recent years, Mexico has finally caught up with the worldwide trend of tax back programs for international tourists. Since 2008, a privately owned company named TAXBACK started operations and is quickly expanding its business all over the country.
If you are a foreigner visiting Mexico and you are leaving the country by plane (land border crossings do not apply), you can recover a few bucks of the taxes you paid on your shopping at participating retail stores. First, you need to make sure that the total amount on your sales receipt EXCEEDS $1200 pesos (approximately 100 USD) for it to qualify under the program. If you pay cash, though, there is a maximum limit of $3000 pesos that you can apply for a tax back. There is no limit using a credit card. You can accumulate several receipts from the same store and consolidate them as one. Once you have your receipts ready, ask the merchant to issue a “factura” (Government Approved Invoice), using a generic TAX ID for tourists (called an “RFC”), which is XEXX010101000. Keep this “factura” along with your sales receipt(s).
On the day of your departure at the airport, look for the TAXBACK office at the airport, where you will be asked to show your “factura”, receipts attached, boarding pass and passport, to verify that you are indeed a foreign visitor departing Mexico by air. TAXBACK will charge a 35% processing fee of the total tax amount of you have paid and will reimburse you the difference between 40-60 days after processing.
This program currently works in Cancún, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City, but this year they will expand to cities like Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mérida, Loreto, Acapulco, Ixtapa, La Paz, and others.
Remember that Mexico’s VAT is 16%, except for cities in the border which is 11%. You can find more detailed information at the FAQ section of the TAXBACK website. You can view a list of affiliated stores on the Destination menu, select the city and go to Shopping.