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Reclaim VAT

Tourists can Reclaim VAT using Self-Service Kiosks

According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019, the UAE ranks 33rd when it comes to overall tourism. It is well known that multiple sectors of the UAE, such as the hospitality industry, airline industry, etc. highly depends upon tourism. For that reason, the nation is taking all possible initiatives to make the tourists’ experiences better and advanced. One such intiative is installing self service Kiosks for tourist. Through this, VAT Reclaim for tourist will become hassle-free.

The FTA (Federal Tax Authority) is also playing its part so that the UAE can appear more appealing to potential tourists. The VAT recovery Self-Service Kiosks for tourists are already present at many entry ports and exit ports (air, land, and maritime) across the UAE. Now, these kiosks are made available at major shopping malls and hotels too.

This will help the nation to gain popularity as a leading destination for tourists. This electronic system devised for tourists’ tax refunds is operated by the Planet company. The company is authorized by the Federal Tax Authority. Till now, the company has implemented nine kiosks at various hotels and shopping malls.

With the help of state-of-the-art technology, self-service kiosks are able to process the complete VAT refund requests for tourists. This facility is for the tourists who are leaving the UAE in the next 24 hours. A tourist can use his boarding pass as proof. After that, the tourist only needs to follow the steps which the self-service kiosk displays. Tourist must submit the tax invoice issued on the purchases they made and mark them with the ‘Tax-Free’ sticker, which a registered retail outlet provides. Along with it, he needs to submit the passport and credit card.

One must note that there is no limit on the maximum amount that one can recover if the said amount is going to be transferred to the credit card of the applicant. However, if he makes a cash refund request, then the maximum amount of AED 7,000 per day can be transferred.

The previous year stats

The Tourists Refunds Scheme was introduced in November 2018. After that, the total digital transactions grew to 3.2 million for the period between Nov 2018 and 31st Dec 2019.

Even the growth in the number of daily average tourist refunds was observed by 2.64 times. In the first month when the scheme was launched, the average was 3,720. In December 2019, the recorded average was 9, 830. This shows the FTA’s tourist refunds scheme is highly efficient as it has even encouraged retail outlets to get linked with this system.

The Target

As per the information provided by FTA, Planet is planning to install 55 kiosks by the end of the year 2020. Out of these 55 kiosks, 25 will be placed at the major malls of the country and other 30 at the hotels.

The expected outcome

It is likely that with this strategy, the services will continuously develop and become more efficient. This will make the VAT recovery procedure easier and ensure customer happiness. Ultimately, it will add to making the UAE one of the highly advanced nations across the globe by 2021.

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