UAE Implements VAT Refunds For Business Visitors

The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced that it has started to implement the VAT Refunds for Business Visitors scheme.

Those eligible for refunds can apply through a dedicated form available through its website, the FTA said on Tuesday

The FTA said that it is now receiving applications to refund VAT incurred by business visitors to the UAE in 2018.

“The new clear and transparent procedure complements efforts to establish the UAE as a global hub for trade and creates an investment-friendly environment to support economic activities in the sectors where business visitors are active. This, in turn, reflects positively on various other sectors such as trade, exhibitions, and conferences, among others,” said Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FTA Director-General.

Reciprocity is a key condition for the procedure, whereby the FTA will collaborate with countries that refund VAT for UAE businesses visiting their territories.

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“The procedure abides by Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on VAT and its Executive Regulations, which call for refunding taxes on supplies or imports made by a Person not residing in the UAE or any of the Implementing States, provided they meet the necessary conditions,” said Al Bustani.

The period of each refund claim shall be a calendar year, noting that for claims in respect of the 2018 calendar year. FTA has started accepting refund applications as of April 1, 2019. However, in subsequent calendar years, the opening date for refund applications submission will be March 1 of the following year; this means that for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2019, applications will be accepted as of March 1, 2020.

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The minimum claim amount of each VAT refund application submitted by business visitors is set at Dh2,000, which may consist of a single purchase or multiple purchases. The Authority urged potential applicants to hold on to the original tax invoices on the purchases for which they would like to reclaim VAT, as they will be required to submit them along with their applications.

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