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VAT small change issue: Traders asked to not charge more than 20 fils in addition to the bill amount

A small change of 10 fils and 5 fils can be rounded off to 25 fils and traders should not charge customers more than 20 fils in addition to the bill amount.

Abu Dhabi:  The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) on Thursday said that a small change of 10 fils and 5 fils can be rounded off to 25 fils and traders should not charge customers more than 20 fils in addition to the bill amount.

The statement comes after complaints from consumers that they are not being handed out the exact change after the purchase of items post introduction of VAT (value added tax) in the UAE from January 1.

Elaborating further, the Deparment said if the bill shows Dh10 and 5 fils, one may pay up to Dh10.25, and if the bill is Dh10.35 fils, it is fine to pay up to Dh10.50 fils.

“This is to stop any confusion about the lack of 10 and 5 fil coins in the market,” ADDED stated.

VAT is levied on most items including food and beverages, electronic goods, jewellery, among others. 

Further, the consumer protection department of Ministry of Economy has warned traders to pay the exact change or face penalties. “The ministry emphasises the right of the consumer to recover any amounts of money and no trader has the right to take any additional amounts on the goods,” Hashem Al Nuaimi, Director of Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy, told Gulf News on Thursday. He asked members of the public to report any complaint via the call centre in the Ministry of Economy on the number 600522225, which works from 7 am to 10:30 pm.

According to a Dubai-based analyst some traders are not handing back the exact change to the consumer by rounding off the final figure with amounts as low as 25 fils.

“Generally, consumers have been reported to accept the small amount of VAT on their bills, but such practices may result in consumer grievances over the long term, and are to some extent unethical given the exact amount is mentioned on the receipt,” said Rabia Yasmeen from Euromonitor International.

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