Claiming your GST Refund Malaysia is not difficult, but you need to know what to do before you make your purchases to ensure that you have your tax invoice, from an approved sales outlet.
Goods & Services Tax in Malaysia
Since April 1st, 2015, Goods & Services Tax has replaced Sales and Services Tax in Malaysia.
The Tax has also been extended to many items previously not attracting the SST. The list of items that remains GST free includes fresh foods, books and magazines and many other items not easy to list. However, when you make a purchase, the GST must be added to the item where applicable and shown clearly in the Tax Invoice.
As Malaysian is a shopping haven for tourists, this may impact upon your pocket so this short guide will hopefully assist when you want to claim back the GST you have paid. Remember, Malaysians are still getting used to this new tax, so if you are confused, you aren’t the only one.
Who can claim:
- Only bona-fide tourists cam make a claim for the GST paid.
- You must be carrying a valid passport.
- Foreign diplomats permanently departing Malaysia and carrying a document to that effect.
- Passengers departing Malaysia by air from one of the 8 international airports in the scope of the TRS.
- The eligible goods have been purchased during the 3 months prior to the date of departure.
- Students in Malaysia on a student pass, whose entitlement under the TRS is like any other foreign tourist.
- Please note that when making your claim:
- The total purchase must be least three-hundred Malaysian Ringgit (MYR300) (GST inclusive), made at the same Approved Outlet. Accumulation of purchases is allowed if purchases are made from the same Approved Outlet on different days.
- The eligible goods must be taken out of Malaysia to another country as either accompanied (hand carried) or unaccompanied (checked-in) luggage.
- You are at least 18 years old.
You may not claim if:
- You are a Malaysian citizen or Permanent Residents, even if you are leaving for an extended period.
- You have been employed in Malaysia at any time in the 3 months preceding the date of purchase of the eligible goods.
- You are a member of the cabin or flight crew of the aircraft on which you are departing Malaysia.
Where do I claim / process
Step 1 (At the time of purchase)
- When claiming a GST refund under the TRS you must comply with the following requirements when you make the purchase of eligible goods at an Approved Outlet:
- Show your passport to the sales assistant/cashier to prove eligibility for a GST refund under the TRS.
- Collect an original tax invoice or receipt for the eligible goods purchased.
- Collect and complete an original refund form which you must get from the sales assistant/cashier at the store and ensure that the refund form is completed correctly. You cannot get this form later at the airport.
The refund form should contain the following particulars:
- Tourist’s name
- Tourist’s passport number
- Tourist’s country of residence
- Date of arrival in Malaysia
- Intended date of departure from Malaysia
- Date of purchase of the eligible goods
- Tax invoice or receipt number for the eligible goods
- Description and quantity of the eligible goods purchased
- The total amount paid for the eligible goods, inclusive of GST, the total amount of GST refundable, the amount of the administrative/processing charge/fee and the net amount of GST refundable to the tourist.
Decide how you want the refund to be made and indicate this in the appropriate column on the original refund form. (see below)
Step 2 (At the Airport)
Make sure you have:
- the tax invoice or receipt
- the completed original refund form
- the goods purchased (if jewellery in sealed plastic bag)
- Your original international passport
- Your Boarding pass or confirmed air ticket (as proof of departure)
Hand Carried luggage – present the goods and the original refund form(s) at the GST Customs Refund Verification Counter in the Departure Hall located after Immigration Control. Check if there is a counter before Immigration Control as some airports have both.
- Checked luggage – declare bulky items you have packed in checked luggage, with relevant documents at the GST Customs Refund Verification Counter before checking in the goods at the airport. The GST refund transaction must be validated by the Customs Officer before the goods are checked in as unaccompanied luggage.
- For flights departing from the Budget Terminal (KLIA2), both hand carried and checked items must be presented with relevant documents and confirmed air ticket to the Customs Officer at the GST Customs Refund Inspection Counter located in the Departure Hall before check in at the Terminal. In KLIA, the counter is on Level 3 – Arrivals (see photos below) at the same end of the terminal as Departure Rows A/B. You need to go down in the lift to get there.
- If the Customs Officer is satisfied that all conditions for validation of the GST Refund have been met, the Officer will endorse and return the original refund form to you.
- Then you may proceed to the Approved Refund Agent’s Counter to obtain the GST refund.
- if you prefer, post the validated original refund form in an envelope collected from the Approved Outlet and post it to the Approved Refund Agent to process the GST refund within 2 months of RMCD’s endorsement. You may also drop the refund form in the mail box located near the GST Customs Verification Counter airside before departing from Malaysia. You have a 2 month window for the forms to reach the agent.
Your refund will be made by one of the following methods:
- in cash up to three-hundred Malaysian Ringgit (MYR300);
- to a credit card account; or
- through a bank cheque if neither of the previous refund options is feasible.
What if I don’t get my refund as expected?
GST Refund Forms are processed by Global Blue in Slovakia as appointed by the Malaysian Customs. After verification near the check-in counters, you need to go to the Approved Refund Agent Office displaying the IRIS Global Blue Logo located after you pass into the security area.
You should either receive your refund (up to MYR300) in cash, or paid to your credit card within 5 days.
If you prefer to mail your completed Customs validated GST Refund Forms to Global Blue in the envelope provided, your refund should be paid to your credit card within three weeks.
Important things to note
- Tourists can only claim a refund of GST paid on goods purchased from approved outlets in Malaysia. As not all shops are considered ‘Approved Outlets’, if you are spending enough to make the claim, please make sure that you:
- Purchase only from an approved retailer. These outlets will bear the TRS logo, Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) Logo. If you buy in a shop that does not participate in the tourist refund scheme (TRS), you will be able to claim any tax refund.
- Make sure you have your passport with you when you shop as the approved outlet will need this proof. Make sure your receipt is machine printed and shows the tax paid and it is clearly identified as a Tax Invoice.
- Ask for the tourist refund form from the approved outlet. The outlet will enter your passport details into the TRS system. They may charge a fee to process the tourist refund. You are only able to get a tourist refund form from the outlet where you made the purchase. You cannot collect it from the customs officer at the airport.
- Claims can only be made at one of the eight International airports in Malaysia. They may not be made at road, ferry or cruise terminals.
- As you need to present your passport to collect the claim form from the store, it appears unlikely that online stores will be included in the list of Approved Outlets.
For more information of how to identify an Approved Outlet and the Claiming process, please check the Malaysian Customs website. This link takes you to the English language version.
To check if a company is an Approved Outlet, the Malaysian Customs Dept have provided this link. Once it opens, click on the choice as highlighted in the picture below. You can check by GST number, Business name or the Business Registration number.