FTA processes more VAT refunds
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) on Wednesday approved procedure for refunding value added tax (VAT) on building new homes for UAE citizen.
The FTA board of directors at 10th meeting also reviewed the authority's budget for 2020, reaffirming its commitment to enabling taxable persons to self-comply with tax obligations.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, who is also Chairman of FTA, chaired the meeting where he was presented a report on the FTA's recent activities and accomplishments.
The report pointed to a significant increase in tax compliance rates in the UAE, where the number of taxable persons registered with the authority exceeded 311,400 individuals, organisations, and tax groups. Records show that 754 businesses are now registered for Excise Tax, while the number of authorised Tax Agents reached 305.
The board adopted a new procedure to facilitate refund requests for UAE nationals on the VAT incurred on the construction of their new residences, in line with the leadership's vision to develop a modern housing system, spread happiness among citizens, and provide a decent, stable life for them.
In coordination with housing finance authorities the FTA will minimise auditing requirements on applications approved by these authorities.
Refunds to tourist
The board also adopted a decision allowing tourists who meet all requirements and are legally eligible to recover the VAT they incurred on their purchases to collect the cash amounts up to a year from their departure from the UAE, in the event where they validated their tags but could not collect the cash immediately upon exiting.
The board also reviewed the authority's budget for 2020 and will be forwarding it to the Cabinet to be ratified; they also adopted a series of executive decisions regarding the FTA's internal policies and operations.
"The Federal Tax Authority succeeded over the past period in establishing strong, successful partnerships with all entities required to implement the tax system in the public and private sectors," Sheikh Hamdan said.
"The FTA's plans to develop tax systems have witnessed remarkable success across the board. One such plan saw the authority develop an online registration system for Excise Tax, in accordance with the Cabinet Decision to expand the scope of Excise Tax to cover sweetened drinks, and electronic smoking devices and liquids," he said.
Furthermore, he said the electronic system for the tax refunds for tourists scheme is also reporting high success and satisfaction rates among tourists.
As per latest data, the FTA processed more than 1,100 refund requests from UAE citizens by November 2019. A sharp 116.33 per cent rise was registered in the total amount of tax refunded in 2019, as well as a 95.38 per cent increase in the number of applications submitted, which was reported at 563 in July. In the less than four months from the end of July to November, an additional 537 applications were processed with a total monetary value of Dh29.35 million.
As for the tax refunds for tourists scheme, the data indicated that the number of retail outlets linked to the system exceeded 10,800 stores across the country, with the average daily number of applications processed by the FTA surpassing 3,740 requests per day, judging by the number of tax-refund stickers issued by the retail outlets digitally linked to the system. Meanwhile, the number of self-service kiosks for refunding VAT to tourists upon exiting the UAE rose to 45 kiosks placed at several exit ports - 33 of them are installed at various UAE airports, seven at maritime ports, and five at land border crossings. This marks a significant increase of 55.2 per cent from the 29 kiosks that were deployed last July.