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The method for claiming a VAT refund on the four categories of expenses will differ depending on whether or not the Official Participant is registered for UAE VAT.

Four categories of expenses eligible for a refund are:

  1. The VAT incurred by the Official Participant on Goods and Services in direct connection with the construction, installation, alteration, decoration, and dismantlement of their exhibition space;
  2. The VAT incurred by the Official Participant on Goods and Services in direct connection with the operation of their exhibition space and any presentation within the Expo 2020 site;
  3. The VAT incurred by the Official Participant on Goods and Services relating to the actual operation of the office of the Official Participant provided that the value of each Good or Service for which a claim is made is not less than AED 200; and
  4. The VAT incurred on import of Goods for the personal use of the Official Participant’s Section Commissioner-General, Section Staff and the Beneficiaries.

Official Participants registered for VAT can claim their VAT refunds via the completion of their VAT return. Official Participants not registered for VAT will be able to claim their incurred VAT refund through a special refund application.

For participants registered under VAT

Where the Official Participant is registered for VAT in the UAE, it will be required to file regular VAT returns. Such VAT returns will contain information regarding supplies and imports made by the Official Participant for which VAT is payable, as well as of any expenses in respect of which the Official Participant seeks to recover VAT incurred.

Where a VAT-registered Official Participant seeks to reclaim VAT in respect of Goods and Services mentioned above, it should include the relevant amounts in Box 10 of the VAT return. This is in addition to any other expenses for which the Official Participant is seeking to recover VAT on the basis of the general VAT recovery rules.

For participants not registered under VAT

Where the Official Participant is not registered for VAT, it can apply for a VAT refund in respect of Goods and Services mentioned above by using a special refund application process. The application shall be made to the Bureau on a periodic basis and, if approved, the VAT will be refunded directly by the FTA.

The refund application must contain at least the following information:

  • Reference number of the Certificate of Refund Entitlement, if the application includes Goods and Services from categories A or B above
  • Reference number and date of the previous refund claim.
  • Details of the supplies supported by original tax invoices/customs declarations.
  • Description of the Goods and Services to demonstrate that they fall under the categories of eligible Goods and Services as specified above.
  • A declaration which will include a confirmation of the following:
  • Notification to the Bureau should any changes occur that would affect the eligibility of requesting a refund.
  • Confirmation that no other refund claim has been or will be made in respect of the Goods and Services disclosed in the application.
  • The declaration that any imported Goods included in the application will not be sold without prior approval from the Bureau and payment of VAT.

Frequency of the refund application

Official Participants registered for VAT can claim a refund on their regular VAT return. Official Participants not registered for VAT may apply as follows:

  • Within 15 days of the end of the calendar month in which the total VAT value to be claimed is AED 10,000 or more.
  • Within 15 days of the end of the calendar quarter where the total VAT value to be claimed is less than AED 10,000.

The refund application frequency may change depending on the total VAT to be claimed. If an Official Participant has omitted any qualifying expenses from a refund application, these expenses may be included in a subsequent application.

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The entire contents of this article is solely for information purpose and have been prepared on the basis of relevant provisions and as per the information existing at the time of the preparation.. It doesn't constitute professional advice or a formal recommendation. The author has undertook utmost care to disseminate the true and correct view and doesn't accept liability for any errors or omissions. You are kindly requested to verify & confirm the updates from the genuine sources before acting on any of the information's provided herein above.

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