THE AEAT has received an award for the innovation of the ‘DIVA’ VAT refund service for travellers.
The Tax Agency has received an award after digitalising the VAT refund process for travellers (DIVA), as announced in La Moncloa. The system has been implemented in 58 ports, airports and land customs around Spain and facilitates the refund of tax to non-EU residents.
The award for Innovation in Public Management has been awarded to the general director of the Tax Agency, Jesús Gascón, in the XIII edition of the Awards to Quality and Innovation in Public Management.
The award was presented by The Minister of the Territorial Policy and Public Function, Miquel Iceta, and relates to the complete digitalisation of the VAT refund system for travellers. It has been recognised as an innovative practice in public management and has succeeded in overcoming the inconvenience of the old manual system.
The system became operational over four years ago and an essential element of the project has been the creation of a system that is sensitive to the needs of small businesses. The Tax Agency has created and established a digital model that allows various types of companies easy access to the commercial benefits of the VAT refund to travellers.
The system is beneficial to companies regardless of their technological capacity and currently, 96 per cent of the companies that use ‘DIVA’ for travellers are small and medium-sized businesses.
The ‘DIVA’ system has brought together the public and the private sector to merge the needs of commerce, airport and port institutions, public institutions in the tourism and trade sector, and the tourists who visit Spain.
Following Brexit on January 1, the Tax Agency implemented 38 new ‘DIVA’ kiosks for the purpose of facilitating the tax refunds to British Citizens.
The system works by the traveller making a purchase in a store that offers the ‘DIVA’ electronic form (which has been mandatory since 2019), the store then gives the traveller a refund document which will have a QR code or a barcode printed on it, the traveller then validates the refund document at a ‘DIVA’ kiosk and will not be required to go to the customs office. The traveller can then request a refund from the store directly or from a partner company using the validated document.