Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax levied on the sale of goods and services at each stage of production or distribution. VAT in UAE is set at a standard rate of 5% and applies to most goods and services, with some exceptions such as healthcare and education.

What is VAT and How to Get a Refund

 Understanding VAT Refunds:

While businesses are generally required to collect and remit VAT to the government, certain individuals and entities may be eligible for VAT refunds. Here’s how to get a VAT refund in the UAE:

1. Tourist VAT Refunds: Visitors to the UAE who purchase goods from registered retailers may be eligible for a VAT refund through the Tourist Refund Scheme. To claim a VAT refund, tourists must satisfy certain criteria and follow the prescribed procedures, including obtaining a Tax-Free Tag and submitting refund requests at designated refund points before departing the UAE.

2. Business VAT Refunds: Businesses engaged in zero-rated or exempt activities may be eligible for VAT refunds on eligible expenses incurred for business purposes. To claim a VAT refund, businesses must maintain proper documentation, including tax invoices and receipts, and submit refund requests through the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) portal.

 Eligibility Criteria and Documentation:

Whether claiming a tourist VAT refund or a business VAT refund, individuals and entities must satisfy specific eligibility criteria and provide supporting documentation, including:

– Proof of Eligible Purchases (e.g., tax invoices, receipts)

– Valid Identification Documents (e.g., passport, Emirates ID)

– Completed Refund Application Forms

– Tax-Free Tags (for tourist refunds)

– Bank Account Details for Refund Processing

 What is VAT and How to Get a Refund?


VAT refunds offer an opportunity for individuals and businesses to recover VAT paid on eligible purchases in the UAE. By understanding the VAT refund process, satisfying eligibility criteria, and providing necessary documentation, individuals and entities can maximize savings and enhance their overall experience in the UAE.