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The introduction of VAT in UAE

The value-added tax (VAT), which came into effect from January 1, 2018, in UAE, is a consumption based tax which will be applicable at each stage of the 'supply chain'. That means, any UAE business making a taxable supply of goods and services will have to pay VAT on that supply. The VAT UAE is based on the same concept as followed by the other countries which use this tax system, however, the standard rate is fixed at 5% for all taxable supplies for VAT in UAE.
As per the VAT rules and regulations, some basic services (and goods) like food, public transport, and some healthcare services are exempt from the VAT, while some other services will be taxed at zero percent. You can find out more about VAT-exempt and non-exempt supplies on our blog. The VAT shall be levied at each stage of the supply chain, but there is a concept of input credit through which businesses can claim their taxes back from the government, and the ultimate VAT cost is borne by the end consumers.

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Why VAT in UAE ?

VAT has been implemented in UAE with the aim to reduce the country's dependency on oil resources for revenue. It will create a new and stable source of income for the government, which will be utilized to provide better and more advanced public services. So, the ultimate benefit of VAT is to the general public.

What will be the VAT Rates?

The standard VAT rate in UAE is 5%, that means most of the taxable supplies will be taxed at 5%. However, some services are zero-rated under VAT while some others are kept free of tax. Click to review full VAT rate list

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Who will pay the VAT?

The VAT will be paid by a business (with annual turnover above Dh375,000) in UAE on any of their taxable supplies of goods and services. The tax is applicable at each stage of the supply chain. The VAT cost is ultimately borne by the end consumer when they pay the actual price (base price + VAT) at the time of purchasing a taxable product/service.

When was VAT launched?

VAT was officially launched on January 1, 2018 in UAE and has been implemented on all eligible supplies across the country. The registrations for VAT started in 2017.

VAT Return and Payment Process

A farmer grows cotton which is plucked and sold to a factory

A farmer grows cotton which is plucked and sold to a factory

The factory processes the cotton and manufactures clothes which are sold to a retail chain

The factory processes the cotton and manufactures clothes which are sold to a retail chain

The clothes are stocked in stores and placed for sale to consumers

The clothes are stocked in stores and placed for sale to consumers.

A consumer buys a new dress

A consumer buys a new dress.

A farmer grows cotton which is plucked and sold to a factory

A Definitive Guide for VAT in UAE

VAT Return

VAT Return

What is VAT return? How to file VAT return in the UAE? Rules and guidelines to follow while filing VAT return on the FTA website

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Vat Refund

Vat Refund

What is VAT refund? How to claim VAT refund in UAE? Which supplies are eligible for VAT refund and which ones are not?

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VAT Registration

VAT Registration

VAT eligibility and registration process on the FTA website. VAT registration deadline and threshold limit for UAE businesses

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Vat Calculator

Vat Calculator

Online VAT calculation tool for UAE businesses. Calculate your VAT liability and how much tax you need to pay in a particular month.

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VAT Rate

VAT Rate

VAT is applicable at the standard rate of 5% on most supplies in the UAE. Check out details of VAT rate, zero rate and exempt supplies

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VAT Impact industry

VAT Impact industry

A real-time report on VAT impacts on various industries in the UAE, including real estate, business, health, fuel, food and more

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VAT Invoice

VAT Invoice

VAT compliant bills and invoicing, and how to produce VAT invoice for taxable supplies made by registered businesses in the UAE

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How to maintain vat account and records

How to maintain vat account and records

Details on which records need to be maintained by businesses under the VAT and how to maintain them, and for how long

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VAT Penalty

VAT Penalty

Details of penalty on violation of VAT rules, including no or late filing of VAT returns, late registration, and any kind of VAT fraud.

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VAT Checklist

VAT Checklist

Things a business needs to do in order to get VAT compliant in the UAE, including the details of VAT eligibility, laws and regulations

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VAT Payment

VAT Payment

How and when to pay VAT, the options for making VAT payment, VAT calculation and payment online/offline, VAT refund and more

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VAT v/s income tax

VAT v/s Sales tax

How is VAT different from Sales tax? Which tax is eligible for which persons/businesses? Tax applicability and eligibility and differences

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VAT Latest News

How To Manage Your End-of-year Input Tax Adjustments For VAT in UAE?

March 12, 2019

As the VAT (Value Added Tax) system in the UAE completes its first year, many businesses are engaged in analysing their tax liabilities and especially adjusting their end-of-year input tax dues, if any. Input tax recovery is generally made by partial exempt taxpayers who claim input tax for the supplies which are exempted. Such taxpayers …

VAT in UAE: No VAT on Bank Deposit Interests And Dividends

March 7, 2019

The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) expounded that income earned through Bank interest and Dividends are outside the scope of VAT in the UAE. These are passively earned interest income sourced from bank deposits/dividends and are not subject to value-added tax (VAT) in the country. So, there is no obligation to report them in the …

No VAT on Donations, Sponsorships and Grants: Said FTA

February 19, 2019

The FTA (Federal Tax Authority) has recently confirmed that VAT (Value Added Tax) will not be charged for donations, grants and sponsorships only in cases when they are made for no return benefit. It further added that if any benefit is received in the return of a donation, then VAT will be charged. On the …

Conditions to Allow Foreign Businesses to Refund VAT in UAE

February 4, 2019

The foreign businesses had problems in recovering the VAT (Value Added Tax) in UAE(United Arab Emirates). So to solve this problem, the FTA (Federal Tax Authority) has given some conditions. Conditions to be eligible for the VAT refund The FTA gave four conditions that will help the foreign businesses to allow the recovery of VAT …

Cosmetic Services Prone to 5% VAT in UAE

January 24, 2019

The tax experts said that the healthcare services like the cosmetic will now subject to a 5 percent VAT rate. Most of the healthcare services are classified as zero-rated under the UAE VAT law which means that such services are subject to zero percent VAT. But it allows the VAT recovery on associated costs. While …

UAE VAT Deregistration [Criteria & Disadvantages]

January 24, 2019

The VAT UAE Laws provide registered taxpayers (including voluntary registrants) and companies with provisions for VAT deregistration too. An entity can apply for deregistration if the annual turnover did not exceed Dh187,500 ($51,000) 13 months after registering with the FTA. The VAT UAE Deregistration Criteria Under the VAT Decree Law and Executive Regulations, VAT Registered …

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