In brief

The UAE’s VAT Legislation provides a scheme where foreign businesses can enjoy a VAT refund of input VAT incurred in the UAE and connected to their overall business activities performed.

Article 67 of the UAE Cabinet Decision No. 52 of 2017 on the Executive Regulation of the Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 on VAT, and its amendments, sets out the requirements and conditions that need to be met by foreign businesses to benefit from this scheme.

Given the strict deadline to submit such refunds, we wanted to remind businesses of the conditions and processes related to the scheme so that qualifying businesses can benefit from the scheme for VAT incurred in 2022.

Summary of the key takeaways of the Business Visitors Refund Scheme


Conditions to benefit from the scheme

  • Foreign businesses can be eligible to apply for the Business Visitors Refund provided that the following conditions are met:
  1. The foreign business has no place of establishment or fixed establishment in the UAE;
  2. The foreign business is not a taxable person in the UAE and is not carrying on business in the UAE (unless the recipient is responsible to account for VAT under the reverse charge mechanism);
  3. The foreign business is carrying on a business and is registered as an establishment in the country in which it is established;
  4. The foreign business is from a country that has a reciprocal arrangement with UAE (does not apply to GCC states);
  5. The input VAT incurred by the foreign business is not blocked from recovery as specified in the UAE VAT Legislations; and
  6. The foreign business is not a tour operator.

List of countries with reciprocal arrangements with UAE

  • The following is an approved list of countries with reciprocal arrangements with UAE according to the UAE Ministry of Finance:
    • Austria / Bahrain / Belgium / Denmark / Finland / France / Germany / Iceland / Isle of Man / Korea / Kuwait / Lebanon (in certain circumstances) / Luxembourg / Namibia (in certain circumstances) / Netherlands / New Zealand / Norway / Oman / Qatar / Saudi Arabia / South Africa (in certain circumstances) / Sweden / Switzerland / UK / Zimbabwe.

Period of each refund claim

  • The period of each refund claim is 12 calendar months (does not apply to GCC states).

Minimum amount of refund claim

  • The minimum amount of input VAT for which a refund claim can be submitted under this scheme is AED 2,000.

Deadline to submit the refund application

  • The deadline to submit the refund application is between 1 March to 31 August of the year following the calendar year in which the related input VAT was incurred (i.e., for the calendar year 1 January to 31 December 2022, the deadline to submit the refund application is 31 August 2023).

Requirements to submit the refund application

  • The following are the required documents and information to submit the refund application:
  1. Original tax compliance certificate or equivalent certificate, in Arabic or English issued by a tax authority and attested by the UAE Embassy in the country of tax registration.
  2. Declaration in Arabic or English indicating the percentage of input tax the foreign business is eligible to recover on expenses, if the business undertakes exempt or non-business activities in the country of establishment, which do not give the right to fully recover any input VAT.
  3. The relevant compliant tax invoices with a proof of payment (original hard or soft copies).
  4. Bank details.
  5. Details of the authorized signatory.
  • In addition to the above, certain documents are required to be enclosed in an envelope and couriered to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) and should be received by the FTA within one month from submitting the refund application (otherwise the refund application will be rejected).


  • The refund application will be processed within 4 months of submission (once all the relevant documents are received by FTA).
  • Once the refund request is approved, the refund will be processed within 10 business days.

Refund processing (Currency)

  • The refund will be processed in United Arab Emirates dirhams (AED).

KPMG has a team of experienced tax specialists that can help you assess your current tax position, advise on the appropriate way forward, prepare refund claims, or represent you in front of the FTA as registered tax agents.

We are happy to discuss your specific circumstances with you and determine the way forward should you have any questions or concerns in this regard. Please get in touch with your usual KPMG contact or any of the tax professionals below.


Keith Donegan

Partner, Indirect Tax

Julie Lere-Pland

Director, Indirect Tax

Luis Miguel Sanchez de Alcazar Alonso

Director, Indirect Tax