April 2019 / United Arab Emirates

April 15 2019

VAT refunds for foreign businesses – guideline issued

On 10 April 2019, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) issued a user guideline on VAT refunds for foreign businesses and business visitors. The guideline provides clarity on the refund eligibility criteria, as well as instructions for filing the VAT refund form. The main matters covered in the user guideline are provided below:
  • the conditions applicable to foreign businesses for eligibility for VAT refunding;
  • details of documents required for processing the refund application;
  • directions for online submission of refund forms in the FTA web portal;
  • a list of 22 countries eligible for VAT refunding for business visitors with reciprocal agreements; and
  • detailed clarifications on information to be entered for questions in the refund form.
The refund application can be filed only if the period relating to a refund claim is a calendar year and the VAT amount of the claim is at least AED 2,000. The opening date for filing refund claims for any year will be 1 March of the subsequent year. However, the earliest possible refund form filing date for the calendar year 2018 was 2 April 2019. The VAT Refund form is made available in the FTA portal under the VAT section.