VAT Refund for UAE tourists

It’s been almost a year since VAT came into effect in the UAE. Even though quite sceptical about the implementation initially, retailers and customers gradually got accustomed to the new law.

Tourists visiting the country can breathe a sigh of relief as they need not bear the burden of VAT anymore. They are provided with the option to claim back the VAT they paid on items bought from UAE, commencing from November 18.

For a person to claim the refund, the minimum spend should be Dh250 and the claim should be made within a span of 90 days. Refund request can be made at designated places via the advanced digital system, without any human interference. Upon the submission of documents, the VAT amount will be reimbursed via cash or credit card, provided you are eligible for the refund.

To issue an invoice on VAT refund, the retailer should

Register for VAT
Have a registration number
Include sales of goods in the refund scheme
Submit a request to participate
Meet the financial credit requirements set by the FTA

More than 4,000 retail outlets will be connected to the VAT refund digital system and will have posters displayed on the front of the stores indicating the same. By the end of the year, the system will incorporate all airports and land and seaports in the UAE. If a retailer doesn’t abide by the UAE tax laws, their membership in the refund scheme will be canceled. Planet, an international payment service provider, will collaborate with Federal Tax Authority on the scheme.

UAE is a tourist’s paradise, where people from across the globe flock to. The tourism sector contributed 11.3 percent to UAE’s GDP in 2017 and initiatives like this will surely boost the sector is future as well.