UAE VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists Sets New Bars for Tourism Industry
The popular review for UAE’s Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme is out. And global tourists have been pleasantly satisfied with the easy and real-time refund mechanism.
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) conducted its own inspection which confirmed the growing popularity of the scheme among visitors in one of the world’s most attractive tourist hubs.
Among other things, the FTA ensured that the electronic refund scheme adheres to the criteria and conditions as well as ensure high efficiency and accuracy, in line with current global standards.
Tax Refunds for Tourists
UAE was among one of the 5 GCC countries to introduce VAT (5%) on 1st of January 2018. In a move to keep its tourist appeal intact, it had introduced an electronic system to make VAT Refunds for Tourists visiting and shopping in the Emirates.
The Tax Refunds Scheme for Tourists was rolled out in a two-phase manner. UAE partnered with global systems operator Planet for the first phase implementation of the scheme introduced on November 12.
In it, it has so far covered 12 UAE Ports, 6 Airports, 2 Sea Ports and 4 land Ports. Major beneficiaries of the refund scheme were Asians, Europeans and GCC Nationals.
FTA director-general Ali Al Bustani shared data which cement that the scheme which relies on cutting edge technology is not only customer friendly but flawless too. Since the rollout, an average 5,000 refunds have been processed each day.
At present 7,181 retail outlets are serving tourists via the electronic refund scheme. There is no cap on the maximum cash refundable amount. However, electronic transfer is limited to Dh10,000 per day.
Tourists can recover taxes from tax refund offices set up at one of the 12 air, land, and seaports. All they need to do is submit tax invoices bearing stickers of any one of the 7,181 retail outlets registered in the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme.
In addition to this, the tourists need to furnish respective passports and credit cards during refund claims. Identifying the outlets is also easy. Registered outlets will have ‘tax-free’ logo at the display. Further, they properly explain the easy to follow recovery procedures.