Self-service kiosks have been set up across all the ports included in the Tax Refunds Tourists Scheme in order to allow the tourists to recover Value Added Tax (VAT) when leaving the UAE.
The kiosks are operated by Planet which is the company enlisted by the Federal Tax Authority in order to operate the system for Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme. Planet supplied kiosks with the cutting-edge technology to fully automate the tax refund procedures. The system operator’s employees will be available for any guidance needed near the self-service kiosks.
FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani declared that the new service launched in association with the company hired to operate the system provides greater ease and speed in processing VAT refund requests for tourists on purchases they made during their stay in the UAE. The streamlined procedure identifies the taxes eligible for refunds, verifies that the purchases are with the tourist and then seamlessly facilitates tax recovery.
“The self-service kiosks are a significant addition where tourists can recover VAT without needing to interact with employees,” said H.E. Al Bustani. “The kiosks were placed at all exit ports included in the Tax Refund Scheme for Tourists, where tourists can submit the tax invoices on their purchases, along with their passport and credit card, to recover VAT. No limit is placed on the maximum amount that can be recovered if said amount is transferred to the tourist’s credit card, however, in the event that the applicant requests a cash refund, then the maximum amount is set at AED10,000 per day.”
“The new service reflects our commitment to continuously upgrading our services,” H.E. added.
“Our periodic follow-ups revealed a sustained increase in customer happiness with the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme, launched in November 2018 in collaboration with system operator Planet. This is part of the government’s plan to establish a legislative, executive, and technological ecosystem that would galvanize the tourism sector – one of the major contributors to national GDP, whereby the UAE has become a major destination for tourists and visitors, offering safety, hospitality, and world-class services.”
Since its November launch, the electronic system of the Tax Refund Scheme for Tourists has registered rapid success where the number of outlets connected to the system grew to 12 air, land and sea ports including the Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain International Airport, Dubai International Airport, Al Maktoum International Airport, Sharjah International Airport and Ras Al Khaimah International Airport in addition to seaports; Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi and Port Rashid in Dubai as well as four land ports; Al Ghuwaifat Border Post in Abu Dhabi, Hili Border Port and Al Madheef Border Crossing in Al Ain, and Dubai’s Hatta Border Exit.
The authority also claimed that in order to be refundable, the tax invoices need to be issued by the retail stores included in the Scheme and registered in the system. These venues can easily be identified by visibly showcasing ‘Tax-Free’ stickers on the storefront.
The FTA also outlined various conditions for a tourist to be eligible for tax refund namely: the tourist should be at least 18 years old; they must meet the criteria specified in Cabinet Decision No. (52) of 2018 regarding the Executive Regulations of Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on VAT, whereby the goods are supplied to an overseas tourist who was in the UAE when the purchase was made and who intends to exit the country along with the goods purchased within 90 days.