Monday, December 2, 2019
Citizens from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will newly be able to claim refunds for the VAT they incur when building their own home.
The decision was one of a number taken at the 10th meeting of the Board of Directors of the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA).
As well as adopting a procedure to refund VAT to those building their own houses, the Board discussed preparations for the broadening of the excise tax base from December 1, 2019.
In December, sweetened drinks and electronic smoking devices and equipment will be subject to the "selective tax," which was introduced on October 1, 2017, on tobacco and tobacco products, energy drinks, and carbonated beverages.
The Board noted that a new system has been introduced for businesses to register for the expanded tax, and reported that so far 754 businesses have registered for excise tax and the number of authorized agents has reached 305.
The Board also agreed to changes regarding value-added tax refunds for tourists. The UAE intends to now honor tourists' requests for VAT refunds up to a year after their departure, subject to eligibility conditions. The Board reported that there are now more than 10,800 stores across the country offering VAT refunds and the FTA now receives about 3,750 requests each day.
It further disclosed that the number of self-service kiosks for refunding VAT to tourists upon exiting the UAE has risen to 45 kiosks. 33 of them are installed at various UAE airports, seven at maritime ports, and five at land border crossings, an increase of 50 percent since July 2018.