Chile has a VAT (value added tax) – known as IVA – that added to the price of everything you buy. This is also known as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in some countries.
How much is IVA Tax
IVA tax in Chile is currently at 19% in 2018. You don’t see the IVA on your receipts as it’s already included in the price of goods and services.
Do foreigners and tourists have to pay IVA Tax?
You can avoid paying the IVA tax if you are staying in a hotel or aparthotel (long term, unfurnished apartments are also exempt from IVA for everyone).
If you pay for your hotel with foreign money (like US dollars or Euros) or with a foreign credit card, you don’t have to pay IVA!
There are some exceptions to consider. Your hotel has to be registered with the tax office of Chile (SII) and needs to take a copy of your passport to prove when you entered the country. Some small lodgings and apart-hotels may not be registered with the Chile tax office so you wouldn’t receive an exception of the IVA tax. You also have to be staying in Chile for less than 60 days.
Even though you’re a foreigner or tourist, you’ll pay tax on all other purchases (you probably won’t notice because it’s included in all the prices).
How can I get an exception from paying IVA tax when I’m staying at a hotel?
When you pay for your lodging, be sure to ask if IVA tax is included in the price. Ask for the discount if you are going to pay with foreign currency or credit card. You only need to present your passport and that you’re currently on vacation to prove you are a foreigner.