UAE: Expats excluded from VAT refunds on properties

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The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced procedures for VAT to be refunded on payments for new residences – but expats will not be able to apply as it will only benefit UAE nationals.

The FTA confirmed that no fees apply on requests for VAT recovery on the construction of new housing units, noting that there are fees charged by the accredited Verification bodies in return for the services they provide.

The Authority underlined three main criteria for the expenses in question, namely: Said expenses must be spent to finance the construction of a new home, set to be used exclusively as a residential unit for the applicant and/or their family. Additionally, the contractor services must be indispensable to the successful completion of the construction project (these include builders, engineers, architects, and any other similar services). And last but not least, the products used must be of the variety usually used by contractors on construction projects – excluding furniture and appliances


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