The UAE Federal Tax Authority ("FTA") has announced that the first phase of the Tax Refund for Tourists Scheme (the "Scheme") will start on November 18, 2018.
The first phase will see the digital system of the Scheme implemented at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah International Airports. The system is expected to be fully operational at all airports and sea and land ports by mid-December. Tax invoices issued as of that date will qualify tourists to reclaim taxes incurred on their purchases. There are certain conditions that must be met by the tourist in order to qualify for a refund.
- Goods in question must have been supplied to the tourist within the UAE
- The tourist must have the explicit intention of leaving the UAE within 90 days of the date of supply, along with the purchased goods
- The goods in question must be exported by the tourist within 90 days of the date of supply
- The tourist must have purchased the goods from a retailer registered in the VAT system
- The minimum amount spent for a tax refund is set at AED 250
- GCC residents are excluded
Tourists will receive refunds through a special device at the departure point by submitting tax invoices for their purchases, along with copies of their passport and credit card. Tourists can recover the tax in cash or have it transferred to their credit card.