The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) recently released an updated version of the Refund Guide for Business Visitors. The Guide covers specific circumstances whereby non-UAE resident businesses are entitled to claim a VAT refund on expenses incurred in the UAE.

It is important to note that certain changes to the scheme have been introduced in the updated guide, including:

  • Clarification about the effective date from which foreign businesses can claim VAT refunds when a country is added to the List of Countries with Reciprocal Agreements for Business Visitors VAT Refunds
  • Amendments to the documents required when submitting a VAT refund request (e.g. certificate of incorporation is no longer required)
  • Clarification that system-generated and scanned tax invoices will also be accepted as original tax invoices and may be submitted to the FTA by e-mail (i.e. instead of submitting hardcopies)
  • The list of countries with Reciprocal Agreements for the Business Visitors VAT Refunds (former Appendix A) was removed, and will be published separately

The deadline to submit VAT refund requests (31 August 2021) has not been modified. To the extent that you are registered for VAT in the UAE, the refund scheme will not be relevant. However, you may have non-resident affiliated entities which have incurred VAT in the UAE in 2020 to whom this may apply. In such cases, this may present an opportunity to claim input VAT that otherwise would be a sunk cost for these entities. 

In case you need any assistance for the submission of this refund, please do not hesitate to contact us.