February 2024: The UK government is considering reintroducing tax-free shopping for international tourists as part of its plan to boost the economy post-Brexit. This move aims to attract more visitors and increase spending in the country.

The scheme, known as the VAT Retail Export Scheme, was abolished for most visitors in January 2021 due to Brexit changes. This caused disappointment among retailers and tourist destinations as they witnessed a decline in spending from international visitors.

The reintroduction of the tax-free shopping scheme is being viewed as a potential way to revitalize the retail and tourism sectors, particularly in London and other major cities.

Under the proposed plan, tourists from outside the European Union (EU) would be able to reclaim VAT on goods they purchase in the UK. This includes a wide range of products, from luxury goods to everyday items.

The UK Treasury has launched a consultation to gather views from stakeholders, including retailers and tourism industry representatives, on how to best implement the scheme. This consultation is part of a broader effort to assess the impact of Brexit on the UK’s economy and explore ways to stimulate growth.

The potential return of tax-free shopping for tourists is seen as a positive step toward encouraging international visitors to spend more while visiting the UK, which could provide a much-needed boost to businesses and the economy.

Read more from The Guardian.

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