Tourist VAT refunds will be handled by 'advanced integrated digital system'

Federal Tax Authority outlines refund system

Tourists visiting the UAE will be able to claim for the return of the VAT on goods purchased with an advanced integrated digital system, said the Federal Tax Authority on Saturday.

The network will set up a direct connection with points of sale and all UAE ports of entry to allow co-ordination with retailers registered with the FTA.

FTA director general Khalid Ali Al Bustani said the system operator would sign agreements with retailers to provide them with the technology to connect with the FTA, airports, land and seaports of entry.

“Designated spaces will be provided where tourists can easily reclaim taxes,” he said.

“The digital system determines the taxes that are eligible for a refund and then reimburse tourists. This complements the government’s commitment to implementing the UAE tax system and ensuring that it is in line with global standards.”

A set of basic conditions have been outlined for a tourist to qualify for a tax refund, in accordance with a recent UAE cabinet decision.

The goods need to have been supplied to the tourist within UAE borders, the tourist must intend to leave the country within 90 days from the date of supply, along with the purchased supplies and the goods must be exported out of the UAE by the tourist within three months from the date of supply.

For the tax refund to be approved, the tourist must purchase goods from a retailer registered in the system and the goods must not be except from refund.

Retailers must also supply tourists with a tax invoice that meets all legal requirements. Once a tourist submits the claim with the system operator directly, he can obtain the refund from the operator as long as the documentation is submitted.


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