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UAE: VAT refund opportunities for foreign businesses

UAE: VAT refund opportunities for foreign businesses

The Federal Tax Authority of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently accepting value added tax (VAT) refund applications from non-UAE resident businesses (foreign businesses) for the calendar year 2019.


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The deadline to submit a VAT refund request is 31 August 2020.

Only a foreign business that satisfies the following conditions is eligible for a VAT refund in the UAE:

  • There is no place of establishment or fixed establishment in the UAE.
  • The foreign business is not a taxable person in the UAE (i.e., it is not registered or required to be registered for VAT purposes).
  • The business is not conducting a business in the UAE.
  • The business is conducting a business and registered for VAT (or equivalent taxation) in another country.

An important requirement of any refund claim is that original hardcopy invoices (along with proof of payment) must be submitted along with the VAT refund claim application. Because this evidence could take time to source and to validate, businesses need to consider beginning this refund claim process now.

KPMG observation

There is a list of countries for which residents are eligible for the foreign business VAT refund in the UAE. However, there are other possible alternatives to consider and explore, to minimize the irrecoverable VAT cost incurred in the future.

For more information, contact a KPMG tax professional in the UAE

Rhys Penning |                            

Keith Donegan |

Julie Lere Pland |        

Aabha Lekhak | 

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