The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced a tax refund scheme for tourists. Under this scheme, tourists can request refunds of Value Added Tax (VAT) incurred on their purchases.
This scheme in its first phase shall be available digitally in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah international airports, on tax invoices issued from November 18, 2018. As of mid-December, it will be fully operational everywhere in the UAE.
There are more than 4,000 retail stores that will be a part of this scheme, provided they fulfill the following conditions:
- The retailer must be registered with FTA for VAT and must have a Tax Registration Number (TRN)
- The goods sold by the retailer must not be excluded from the refund scheme of the FTA
- The retailer must submit a request to participate under this scheme
- The retailer must meet the financial credit requirements and must be paying taxes and submitting tax returns regularly
The UAE tourists will have access to an electronic process to claim refund. This electronic system is simple, accurate, and doesn’t require any human involvement. The refund shall be available via credit card or in cash. The tourists must have their passport copy while claiming the refund.