The value-added tax (IVA) in Colombia is 19% and is levied on pretty much everything. Many hotels quote prices without the tax and then add it to the bill – make sure to check when making a booking. In stores prices shown generally already include the tax. Meals in restaurants don't attract IVA but rather an 8% sales tax that is usually included in the prices on the menu.

Tax Refunds

Everything except water, sanitary products and public transport attracts the VAT. Be sure to hang onto your receipts for any big-ticket luxury items. Foreigners may request a refund of the 16% IVA on all goods purchased with a foreign debit or credit card above COP$318,000 during their stay in Colombia. Get to the airport with plenty of time to submit your receipts to DIAN (Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales; the customs bureau) – you must do it before check-in. You'll need to bring a copy of your passport and the entry stamp. The maximum claimable amount is COP$3,185,900.