A detailed guide on Tax refund for tourists’ schemes in the UAE 


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Tax refund for tourists in UAE

While staying in the UAE, tourists have the opportunity to claim a refund on the Value Added Tax (VAT) for goods they purchase. This initiative was elucidated by the Federal Tax Authority in 2018. This article serves as a detailed guide on the VAT refund schemes available to tourists in the UAE.

Whether you are a visitor exploring the country or delving into business and career prospects, seeking assistance from VAT Registration UAE’s tax experts is always advisable. The VAT refund process for tourists in the UAE operates through an electronic system, which was established following the implementation of VAT by the FTA.

It is important to note that this refund scheme solely pertains to traders registered under the “Tax Refund for Tourists Scheme.” Only those affiliated with this scheme are eligible to receive VAT refunds. Understanding the procedure for claiming a VAT refund for tourists in the UAE, as well as how travellers can retrieve VAT payments from their accounts, is essential.

The implementation of the tax refund for tourists in the UAE 

The tax refund system for tourists in the UAE is subject to particular conditions that dictate when and how refunds can be claimed. These conditions outline the eligibility criteria and important dates for refund requests: 

  • The retailers participating in the Scheme will be required to initiate refund claims to tourists as of 18th November 2018.
  • The overseas tourists can claim their VAT refunds at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Sharjah International Airport or Dubai International Airport as of 18th November 2018.
  • Lastly, overseas tourists also have the option to claim their VAT refunds at the land ports and seaports, applicable as of 16th December 2018.

Purchase procedures applicable for VAT refund for tourist schemes in the UAE

The purchase procedure is as follows when a customer intends to purchase from the retailer under the tax refund for tourist schemes: 

  1. Whenever a retailer gets a purchase request from a tourist under the tourist refund scheme, the retailer must perform a check for the following eligibilities: –
  • According to clause 3 of Article 68 of the Cabinet Decision No. 52 of 2017 referred thereto, the client is an Overseas Tourist who was present in the State at the time of the Goods purchase and who is present at the retail establishment with purchase receipts. 
  • When asking for a refund claim form to be issued. The retailer should also ensure that the supply of goods was made within 90 days, not exceeding 90 days from when the issuance of refund documents was requested.

2. The customer and purchase details must be maintained per the details specified by the FTA and the Operator.

3. The required documents must be issued to the customer to claim their VAT refund on exporting the goods.

4. Depending upon the requirement of some goods and their categories, the retailer must ensure that the goods are packed well to ensure smooth handling and delivery to the customer in their home country.

5. Any other conditions, if the retailer should also meet any, to ensure accordance with the agreement approved by the retailer for providing a tax tax-free purchase service.

For any further queries relating to the purchase requirements for tax refunds for tourist schemes in the UAE, you must contact the tax consultant in dubai for their invaluable guidance and support.

Export procedures to be adhered to by the operators for tax refunds for tourist schemes in the UAE

The operators of the tax refund schemes for tourists must ensure that the tourists claiming the refund are for the goods that have been exported within 90 days from the date of supply. If not, then the refund claims must be rejected. He is also supposed to verify that the exported goods and the refund claim align with the criteria the authority agreed upon. Also, if the authority has consented, the Operator can appoint a third party to verify on his behalf. VAT consultants in the UAE are always for any assistance at your service.

Applicable fees and refunds under the tax refund for tourist schemes in the UAE

The authority has been allowed to charge a service fee to the overseas customers as follows-

  • An administrative fee of 15% of the total VAT refund amount claimed.
  • A fixed fee of AED 4.80 per refund claim. 

   The Operator can also deduct the fee from the amount that the overseas tourist is supposed to get back as a refund from the FTA. The point to note here is that the cash VAT refund amount will have a cap of AED 10,000 per tourist per day (24 hours).

Also, When an Overseas Tourist claims a refund from a Taxable Person, the tax will not be reimbursed under the Scheme for any claim if the value of the tax-inclusive purchases made from that Taxable Person is not AED 250 or higher.

Any doubts related to fees can be clarified through VAT consultants in the UAE.

Goods that do not fall under the tax refund schemes in the UAE

The following goods are not included in the refund scheme for tourists in the UAE

  • The goods or items not carried by the tourists when they leave the country.
  • The goods that have been consumed fully or partially in the state of any other implementing state.
  • Motor vehicles, aircraft and boats.

Considering the above points, the tourist tax refund guide might look complicated to the visitors. Therefore, they must find some tax consultants in the UAE who can help them solve their queries and guide them in claiming their refund. They will also help you identify the goods eligible for tax refunds under this Scheme.

Engage the Expert Services of VAT Registration UAE

The tax consultants and VAT experts in the UAE, accessible through VAT registration UAE, stand ready to assist you in claiming VAT refunds should you decide to depart the UAE following your vacation. Reach out to us today to gain clarity on the VAT refund process in the UAE, including how tourists can seek refunds on purchases made during their stay. Thus, contact us today and we shall be glad to assist you.

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