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Will tourists be able to reclaim VAT in the UAE?

The exact mechanism by which it will be refunded has yet to be announced

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Gulf News

Dubai: Tourists to the UAE will be able to claim back the VAT on purchases they make whilst visiting the country, according to the official executive regulations released by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) last week.

The regulations do not, however, go into details on how this process would work.

It does state that the refund system would only be eligible to those travelling to the UAE from outside the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC).

The FTA has suggested that the exact mechanism for claiming back VAT will be agreed upon, and announced, by the UAE’s Cabinet, in the coming months.

According to the document, posted to the FTA’s website, the Cabinet “may issue a decision introducing the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme,” which will specify the following: The date on which the scheme comes into effect, the mechanism for tax refunds, and the limitations on claiming tax refunds, among other details.

Many countries which have similar tax regimes also offer VAT refunds to tourists.

In the UK, for example, shoppers who visit the country but live outside the EU and are going back home can get a refund on their VAT at customs as they leave the country.

 

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