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Tourists visiting the UAE can claim only Dh7,000 per day as cash under the VAT refund scheme, but there is no maximum limit set for refunds effected through credit cards, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) clarified.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and Chairman of the FTA, has issued a new order, setting this daily maximum limit for VAT cash refunds for tourists applying through the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme that came into effect from November 2018.

“The new decision regarding the maximum daily amount a tourist can reclaim in cash is in line with the UAE’s overall strategy to reduce reliance on cash in financial transactions, and benefit from the country’s advanced digital and technological infrastructure,” said FTA director-general Khalid Ali Al Bustani.

Tourists can submit their tax invoices on purchases made at retail outlets registered within the scheme, along with their passport and credit card. Eligible applicants can recover an unlimited amount of taxes incurred if said amount is transferred to their card, while cash refunds are limited to DhD7,000 per tourist per day, an FTA statement said. From June, tourists could use self-service kiosks across the country to claim back VAT before departing the UAE.

In June, the FTA said it was not setting any limit on the maximum amount that can be recovered if said amount is transferred to the tourist’s credit card. Money requested is transferred to the person’s credit card after the transaction is verified.

“The new decision regarding the maximum daily amount a tourist can reclaim in cash is in line with the UAE’s overall strategy to reduce reliance on cash in financial transactions, and benefit from the country’s advanced digital and technological infrastructure,” said Al Bustani.

“We are committed to maintaining the UAE’s competitiveness as the only Arab economy that is based on innovation and creativity. The new decision abides by best practices implemented in advanced economies, which prioritise effective and holistic risk management and promote e-payment solutions,” said Al Bustani.

He said the authority is taking all necessary measures to support the UAE’s smart government initiative, which emphasises the e-payment sector, building on the UAE’s success in payment solutions in general.

The authority had authorised international system operator Planet to run the scheme’s electronic kiosk system, offering users fully automated procedures to process their applications.

The FTA head said that the advanced service makes it easier and faster to process refunds for tourists on taxes they incurred during their stay in the UAE. The procedures involve a few simple online steps that help users determine the taxes eligible for a refund; verify that the purchased items are with them when applying for the refund; and then recover the taxes through an automated process without interacting with employees, using the self-service kiosks placed at all ports of entry and exit included in the scheme.

Courtesy to Khaleej Times 

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