UAE VAT Updates – VAT Refund Scheme for Official Participants of Expo 2020
Expo 2020 is scheduled to be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The official participants of the Expo can claim the VAT incurred on the expenses. The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) had announced Cabinet Decision no. 1 of 2020 on the ‘Refund of VAT on Goods and Services connected with Expo 2020 Dubai’ and also released a User Guide for Official Participants of Expo 2020, which explains the conditions/eligibility to claim the VAT refund, the process to be followed to claim VAT, information required to complete relevant forms.
- Key takeaways of the Refund Scheme
Eligibility: An Official Participant, holding a valid Expo 2020 trade license number and having no intention to use more than 20% of the exhibition space or presentation for non-official or commercial purposes, is eligible to apply for VAT refund
What VAT is reclaimable? VAT is reclaimable on import and acquisition of goods and services for
- Expenses directly connected to the construction, installation, alteration, decoration, operation, dismantling of the exhibition place.
- Expenses directly related to the organizing or operating the exhibition space and any presentation with the Expo 2020 site.
- Expenses related to the actual operations of the official participant provided the value of each good/ service is not less than AED 200
- certain specified personal expenses of staff.
How does it work?
Official Participant needs to obtain a Certificate of Refund Entitlement (CRE) from the Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai (Bureau) to claim the refund.
Where Official Participant is registered for VAT, it shall claim VAT refund via its UAE VAT return. A non-registered participant shall apply for VAT refund through the Bureau by submitting a special refund request.
VAT Registration requirements: It should be noted that the Official Participant must register for VAT if the value of their taxable supplies or imports (for commercial or non-official purposes) in the UAE exceeds, or is anticipated to exceed, the mandatory registration threshold of AED 375,000.
How can we help?
Rethink can assist the Official Participants in assessing their eligibility for VAT refund, fill relevant forms to obtain CRE, prepare and submit VAT refund applications and follow up with FTA/Bureau for the submitted refund applications.
Rethink as an entity provides VAT advisory, optimization, registration, implementation, compliance, and training services in UAE, Bahrain, KSA, and the GCC.
Our team of senior qualified tax advisors, finance experts, and tax accountants are happy to provide practical help and advice, to ensure timely and cost-effective VAT services.
Based on our local and international experience, we understand that VAT is a complex tax and would certainly suffer numerous changes in the upcoming years. Rethink’s VAT services are aimed to suit both basic and complex returns for SMEs and larger enterprises.
Who we are?
Re/think is a boutique accounting, audit, advisory, regulatory compliance, and tax advisory firm with offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (ADGM) focused on providing businesses of varying sizes with timely, proactive, and customized business solutions from start-up and early development to the latest stages of a business lifecycle.
Associate Director (Indirect Tax)