Dubai: From November 18, tourists will be able to begin claiming refunds on the tax they pay in over 4,500 retail stores throughout the country, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) said Wednesday.
Planet, the private tax company selected to operate the refund system, said at a news conference that they hoped to total 6,000 stores by the end of 2018, and have as many as 10,000 retailers taking part by early 2019.
The company declined to share its revenue projections for the country from the value added tax (VAT) refund service, after it won the competitive tendering process earlier this year. Likewise, the FTA declined to state what positive economic impact they expected the scheme to have on retailers, saying only that it was “important.”
Tourists will be able to claim refunds at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah International Airports from Sunday. Preparations are said to be underway to allow tourists to claim refunds at all other UAE airports and land and seaports that are taking part. This will go in to effect on December 16.
A 15 per cent administrative fee will apply to all refunds, while a 4.8 per cent tag fee will also be in place for each individual claim.
Tourists will need to be over 18 years old and have spent a minimum of Dh250 to be eligible for a refund. They must exit within 90 days of the purchase, and they must travel with the goods they have bought.