ABU DHABI / WAM
Self-service kiosks have been set up across all the ports included in the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme in order to allow tourists to recover Value Added Tax (VAT), when leaving the UAE.
The kiosks are operated by Planet, the company enlisted by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), to operate the system for the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme.
“The kiosks are significant as tourists can recover VAT without the need to interact with employees,” said Khalid Al Bustani, FTA Director-General. “The kiosks are placed at all exit ports included in the Tax Refund Scheme for Tourists, where tourists can submit the tax invoices on their purchases, along with their passport and credit card, to recover VAT. No limit is placed on the maximum amount that can be recovered if the said amount is transferred to the tourist’s credit card. However, in the event that the applicant requests a cash refund, then the maximum amount is set at AED10,000 per day.”
“The new service reflects our commitment to continuously upgrade our services,” he added. “Our periodic follow-ups have revealed a sustained increase in customer happiness with the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme, launched in November 2018 in collaboration with system operator Planet. This is part of the government’s plan to establish a legislative, executive, and technological ecosystem that would galvanise the tourism sector – one of the major contributors to national GDP, whereby the UAE has become a major destination for tourists and visitors, offering safety, hospitality, and world-class services.”
The new system consists of integrated mechanisms to connect retail stores registered with the authority and those wishing to register for the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme, linking them to the UAE’s ports of entry. This, in turn, allows tourists to apply for tax refunds on their purchases through the system, which operates on the latest technology, if they are eligible to recover VAT as per the terms and criteria specified in Cabinet Decision No. (41) and FTA Decisions No. (1) and (2)
The FTA had outlined several conditions for a tourist to be eligible for a tax refund, such as the tourist must be at least 18 years old; must meet the criteria specified in Cabinet Decision No. (52) of 2018 regarding the Executive Regulations of Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on VAT, and must exit the UAE along with the purchased items within 90 days.