Vietnam's VAT tax is 10% on luxury items such as alcohol and cigarettes; 10% for hotels, bars, and nightclubs; and 5% for most other goods and services. Larger hotels, especially state-owned and joint-venture operations, often add another 5% service tax. Ask about added taxes before checking in or ordering.
A new VAT refund program for tourists allows travelers flying out of Hanoi, Danang or Ho Chi Minh City to be refunded for the VAT value incurred on invoiced purchases of 2,000,000d (about $100) or more made within the previous 30 days. A service charge of less than 15% of the VAT refund is charged, and certain goods—especially those whose export is prohibited—are ineligible for the refund. Refund counters in the departure area provide travelers who have cleared immigration their refunds in dollars or other currencies.