Tourists departing the UAE now have an easier way to reclaim value added tax (VAT) paid for purchases with the launch of new self-service kiosks across the country.
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.
FTA director general Khalid Ali Al Bustani, said: “The self-service kiosks are a significant addition as it allows tourists to recover VAT without the need to interact with employees."
“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 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 Dh10,000 ($2,722) per day,” he said.
“The new service reflects our commitment to continuously upgrading our services,” Al Bustani added. “Our periodic follow-ups 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 kiosks can be accessed at 12 locations, including Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport, Sharjah International Airport; and Ras Al Khaimah International Airport; as well as two sea ports: Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi and Port Rashid in Dubai; and four land ports: Al Ghuwaifat Border Post in Abu Dhabi, Hili Border Port and Al Madheef Border Crossing in Al Ain, and Dubai’s Hatta Border Exit.
The new electronic 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 to the UAE’s ports of exit.
This, in turn, allows tourists to apply for tax refunds on their purchases through the system, 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) of 2018.
The FTA has outlined several conditions for a tourist to be eligible for a tax refund, such as the tourist must be 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, must exit the UAE along with the purchased items within 90 days; and for exports, goods are to be exported out of the UAE by the tourist within three months of the date of supply. - TradeArabia News Service
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