UAE is taking another major step forward with the introduction of the ground-breaking Tourists Refund Scheme. The FTA has officially announced “PLANET” – a leading global provider of IP based networking products and solutions as the operator of the Tourists Refund Scheme in the UAE.
According to its website, tourists will be able to validate their refund at Dubai International, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah airports until December 16, 2018 where after the system will be in place at nine more locations – Al Maktoum airport, Abu Dhabi Port Zayed, Al Ain Airport, Al Ain land border, Fujairah Airport, Ras Al Khaimah Airport, Al Ghuwaifat land border, Hatta land border and Dubai Mina Rashid Harbour.
The operator further said tourists could be asked to present their goods to confirm they are unused. Planet said all non-UAE residents above 18 years old will be eligible for tax-free shopping. However, only the owner of the passport under which the tax-free forms are registered will be entitled to collect the refund. Tax Free Form is an official export document. It can be obtained at affiliated stores only after having purchased goods with the Registered Retailers.
“Planet” has issued guidelines setting a minimum limit of Dh250 to claim VAT refund.The tourists will receive 85 per cent of the total VAT amount after deduction of an administration fee of Dh4.80 per tax-free form.
Citing an example, if a tourist buys electronic goods worth Dh210 from a store and spend another Dh315 on buying souvenirs from another store, he can claim tax refund of Dh15 on purchases of Dh315 and not against electronics purchase of Dh210 as it’s below the minimum spend limit set by the authority.
“If the tourist spends Dh315 in the UAE, he/she will get refund of Dh7.95.
Tourists will be able to receive VAT refund for their purchases made from Registered Retailers only.
According to Planet, the tourists’ tax-free tag needs to be validated within 90 days of the purchase. If receipts are not validated within 90 days, the tax-free tag expires, and VAT cannot be claimed.
“The tourist can take goods and tagged receipt to the airport, seaport or border crossing. He will be required to visit Planet’s validation point (through self-service kiosks) to validate the invoice. Once validated, the tourist will choose a refund method – cash or credit card.
WHICH GOODS ARE NOT ALLOWED FOR REFUND?
- Motor-vehicles, aircraft & boats
- Goods such as food & drinks which are intended to consume
- Goods which are fully/partially consumed
- Any type of Services (intangible)\
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
“Overseas tourist” i.e. any Natural Person who is not resident of UAE and who is not a crew member on a flight or aircraft leaving UAE.
HOW MUCH DOES THE TOURIST GET BACK?
The tourist will receive 85% of the total VAT amount paid, minus an admin fee of Dh4.80 per Tax-Free form.
WHAT THE TOURIST HAS TO DO?
- The tourist takes goods and digital Tax-Free Form (Tagged Receipt) to the airport, seaport or border crossing.
- The tourist goes to a planet validation point: – For airports: Before checking in and going through security.
- Once validated by Planet, the tourist chooses a refund method (cash or credit card refund)
- Planet processes the refund.
WHAT THE RETAILERS HAS TO DO?
- All the Registered Retailers affiliated with the PLANET can avail the benefits of Tax-Free Shopping to its customers.
- Each retailer must get registration under the Tourist Refund Scheme through automated online registration process via: planetpayment.ae.
- Planet would invoice monthly for the total VAT, and the retailer can adjust the VAT return to effectively recover the VAT amount refunded.
- Planet will provide each Registered Retailer with a smartphone with the app pre-loaded, QR code tags, Point of Sale material.