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VAT tax refund in Mexico

Chicago, Illinois
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VAT tax refund in Mexico

We went to Cancun for vacation in December 2013. The sales person at the retail stores in Mexico including high end stores such as Louis Vuitton and Carolina Herrera told us that we can get 6% tax refund at the airport when we leave Mexico. It is a pretty good saving considering the high price of the products and the sale tax rate in Chicago being 10%. The company which deals with tax refund is called Yvesam. It was only until we arrived at the airport that we were told at the Yvesam booth that we need to pay them 50% of the total refund amount as commission! In addition, it's been more than two months and we still have not received the refund, while the receipt we got at the airport says refund will be made no longer than 40 days! It also says we can check the status of the tax rebate on their website at www.taxfree.com. It was after we came back to Chicago that we found out this website doesn't even exist. We tried to contact Yvesam and found there are a lot of postings saying that they have never received their rebate after three months. It is not clear if the company-Yvesam took the rebate or if the Mexico government didn't issue the refund. However, we would not recommend travelers to buy products that use tax refund as a lure in Mexico. We have traveled in Europe and made purchases at Chanel, Prada, and Louis Vuitton, etc. The tax refund was easy and quick and the commission was only less than 3% (for cash refund only. Credit card refund has no commission). So the lessen we learned: don't buy anything in Mexico, just enjoy the beach.

55 replies to this topic
Queretaro City...
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14,502 posts
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1. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

There has been a bit of misunderstanding/misinformation here. At the time of your purchase the sales tax was 11% in Cancun. 35% of that refund is collected by Yvesam so when they say 50% of the total refund is kept as commission they are approximately right (since you receive 65%, they receive 35%). Likewise 65% of 11% is about 6% so the salesperson at the shop was also approximately correct. Yvesam should have given you half of the refund you are due in cash and the other half into your bank account within 40 days. This is explained here: …about.com/od/…tax_refund.htm

The Yvesam website is actually here: www.yvesam.com/english/ Maybe try using that to follow up your complaint.

Edited: 17 February 2014, 09:05
Chicago, Illinois
3 posts
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2. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

About the website:

I did go to the Yvesam Website at www.yvesam.com/english/ (after the www.taxfree.com provided on the receipt didn't work). There is a live chat option but it has no representative on the live chat to help us. There were a few recent posts who claimed they have never received their refunds as well. I copied the previous chat history and paste them here.

=============

02/13/2014 21:52:20 ‹Vicki Bender› I applied for a tax refund before I left Mexico on November 25 and never received my refund

02/13/2014 21:53:32 ‹Vicki Bender› Wow just noticed several people have not received their refund. Is this a bull grap program

02/14/2014 10:00:24 * Chris joins jPFChat

02/14/2014 10:00:39 ‹Chris› How do I check on the status of a refund?

02/14/2014 10:04:07 * Chris quit

02/15/2014 10:26:38 * Cheryl joins jPFChat

02/15/2014 10:41:37 * Patrick joins jPFChat

02/15/2014 10:42:45 ‹Patrick› Alina... I submitted mine in November and still haven't received it... Mexico takes patiences

Edited: 17 February 2014, 17:16
Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

On the receipt, it specifically says "Repayment will be made no later than 40 days." and "To follow up your proceeding, use verification folio as a tracer within our web page: http:www.taxfree.com." This website doesn't exist!

We were never offered the option to get cash refund at the airport. We have a refund of about $468 dollars and the commission was about $252. We are very frustrated about the high commission and the speed of processing. Compared with our experience in Europe, this program in Mexico is definitely not worth it. I want other travelers to Mexico to be aware and don't make large purchases just because there is a refund. I would never do it for sure. I'll save it for my trip to Europe this summer.

Edited: 17 February 2014, 17:25
Queretaro City...
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14,502 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

I agree it's not worth it - fighting with Mexican bureaucracy for 5% of something is not worth the hassle.

Fort Worth, Texas
1 post
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5. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

Same issue for me. Was expecting large rebate and never received. Purchase occurred in October 2013 and 7 months later still nothing. Don't forget that credit card companies charge 3% foreign transaction fees therefore got hit twice. I would have negotiated more discount or walked away.

Ken

Centennial, Colorado
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6. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

Unfortunately I have to agree with the comments above: do not expect to receive a refund from either Taxfree or Taxback.

We traveled to MX in April 2014, purchased > $1,200 (pesos) worth of goods, and filed the paperwork at the Puerto Vallarta Airport the day of our departure. More than 2 months later we have not seen a refund. I did try to contact the company in a number of ways but to no avail.

From the website taxfree.com.mx I tried to send a comment/ request help using the embedded comment form. After filling out all fields and submitting the form returned requesting I fill all necessary fields. Tried twice more, same results. Tried calling the posted number (8003YVESAM, US country code: 01)) only to find this is a sales and marketing organization selling random things (different each time I called). I did actually reach a person once who told me the tax refund group was a different department. He transferred me which resulted in being disconnected. I then found the site taxback.com in an About.com article (Here: http://gomexico.about.com/od/planningandinformation/f/tax_refund.htm). Both sites suggested using the refund tracking system, but on neither site could I find this. I tried contacting the TaxBack people through the embedded contact form. After filling all fields and submitting the form, google:chrome returned "URL Not Found". Dead or false link. I looked for a phone number on the taxback.com, site and only found numbers in MX, which I though was odd since they are dealing with tourists who have returned to their home countries by the time they are seeking information. Also, we were never offered the 50% cash up front at the airport kiosk - no mention of it.

All in all a poor experience.

RECOMMENDATION: I agree with the comment I saw somewhere, go for the beaches not the shopping. If my refund comes, great ($47 is $47), but I wasn't counting on it in the first place. I will adjust my expectations and move on; this is small stuff in the scheme of things.

One more thought: I will send an email to the company from whom we purchased the goods in question. They at least should know of the difficulty in using this system.

Edited: 16 June 2014, 20:11
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3 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

I agree. This is a scam. I was on a cruise in December and have yet to see any of the funds they were suppose to refund me. I'm sure the company that is suppose to facilitate the refund process probably pocketed it and is counting on tourists not bothering to litigate. I will never buy anything in Mexico again.

Vancouver
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13 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

Same has happened to me. Returned April 24, 2014 and still waiting for my tax refund for purchases I did in Puerto Vallarta. I left the receipt next to my computer thinking that for sure I will need to follow up on it. I sent an e-mail a week ago and got a prompt reply that my application has been found and now needs authorization from the government??? and they will get back to me shortly. I do love Mexico and spend every second winter there for 6 month and take it as it is. So I will remind them until I get my refund eventually. That's how everything operates in Mexico, with Telephone, Hydro, permits - you name it. Goods are still much cheaper than in my country. Just bought beautiful prescription trifocals at a third of the cost in Canada and got very professional service. Also had excellent oral surgery for a fraction of what I would have paid at home. I did it for the simple reason that I could not wait another 6 month to see a specialist at home. Overall I do not worry too much about my refund - I have already saved myself a lot of money in Mexico.

Vancouver
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13 posts
8 reviews
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9. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

To follow up here is the e-mail address: don't forget to add your folio number, date and location of application:

contacto.turista@taxfree.com.mx

Mexico
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10. Re: VAT tax refund in Mexico

Dear fellows, to follow up the status of your refund please wirte an e-mail to contacto.turista@taxfree.com.mx

Please do not forget to send your passport number, departure date, folio and city where you applied for your refund and you will get a reply briefly.

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