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Home/News - UAE introduces 100 percent digital VAT-refund scheme for tourists

UAE introduces 100 percent digital VAT-refund scheme for tourists

UAE introduces 100 percent digital VAT-refund scheme for tourists

The new system electronically integrates retail outlets with the tax refund scheme, ensuring a seamless digital process of issuing, sending, modifying and saving invoices for tourists

The UAE has launched a 100 percent digital VAT-refund scheme for tourists from Wednesday.

The new system, launched by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), in partnership with Planet Tax Free, electronically integrates retail outlets with the tax refund scheme, ensuring a seamless digital process of issuing, sending, modifying and saving invoices for tourists.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FTA Director-General, FTA Director-General, said the new system achieved high satisfaction rates among users for its simple, effective and smooth tax-refund process.

 

Al Bustani said tourist VAT refund transactions increased by 104.15 percent during the current year, as the number of transactions doubled to 2.31 million transactions during the first eight months of this year.

In 2021, 1.13 million transactions were registered during the same period.

The total value of tourist VAT refunds increased by 113.48 percent from the beginning of January to the end of August 2022, compared to the same period last year, which is attributed to the easing of global travel restrictions.

Eyad Al Kourdi, General Manager of Planet Tax Free, said in a matter of moments, shoppers can complete a transaction, receive a digital invoice and share it directly with Planet Tax Free.

“The electronic tax-refund system is integrated for purchases at a range of hotels, shopping centers, malls and other retail locations. Upon departure from the UAE, tourists can use one of more than 100 self-service kiosks available at departure points, for a simple, quick and hassle-free experience,” he said.

The new system is estimated to lead to more than 3.5 million traditional paper invoices going digital, saving merchants up to five minutes per customer.

The 100 percent paperless process is also estimated to save more than 16,800 trees per year and more than 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.