The Tourist Was Denied a VAT Refund for His Hotel Stay in Israel
If the husband is a tourist and the wife has Israeli citizenship, are they eligible for a VAT refund for their hotel stay in Israel?
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A couple with French citizenship visited Israel and stayed in a hotel. Even though the reservation had been made in the name of the husband who was a French citizen who had entered Israel with a B-2 tourist visa, he was charged the full amount of VAT.
After the couple asked our assistance, we got involved. The couple received half of the VAT back because the hotel claimed that the wife was an Israeli citizen who wasn’t eligible for the VAT exemption. The husband, however, claimed that he was a tourist, he had reserved the room and his wife was his guest.
Israeli Shortcut did not give up. We appealed to the Tax Authority Collection and Enforcement Department for an exact definition of the VAT law in this case, and were told “Since the price of a room also covers any visitors to it, the VAT exemption depends on the one who reserved the room”, i.e. the tourist.
The couple thanked Israeli Shortcut for verifying the law that led to their total VAT refund.