Federal Tax Authority Records More Than 107.1% Growth in VAT Refund Applications From UAE Nationals on Building New Residences

Press release
Published October 18th, 2021 - 11:10 GMT
Federal Tax Authority Records More Than 107.1% Growth in VAT Refund Applications From UAE Nationals on Building New Residences
FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani.
The Authority processed more than 9,640 requests from UAE citizens to recover the Value Added Tax (VAT) they incurred on building new residences.

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has processed more than 9,640 requests to recover Value-Added Tax (VAT) incurred by UAE nationals on building their new residences by September 2021 – more than 107.1% growth from the figure reported in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the total number of processed requests until the end of 2020.

In a press statement issued today, the Authority highlighted official statistics, which reveal that in the first nine months of 2021, over 4,984 applications from citizens requesting a refund of the VAT they incurred on building their new residences were approved, up from the 3,147 requests completed in 2020, 1,399 applications processed in 2019, and just 110 requests in 2018 – the year the VAT Refund Scheme for UAE Nationals Building New Residences was launched.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani attributed the massive growth in the number of citizens benefiting from the Scheme to the developments the Authority has made to the process and the wide-reaching awareness campaigns it has implemented since the launch. “The Federal Tax Authority will continue to streamline the process for UAE citizens eligible for a VAT refund, allowing them to submit their requests on the FTA website,” he asserted. “This is in line with the UAE leadership’s vision to develop a modern housing system that caters to citizens’ needs and offers them the best quality of life available.”

“The Authority launched the Online Platform for UAE Citizens’ VAT Refund Requests on Building New Residences,” H.E. continued. “The FTA coordinated with certain housing programmes that implement its required procedures and provide expenditure data. The objective was to reduce the audit requirements for VAT refund applications submitted by UAE citizens. The programmes will, for their part, collaborate with the FTA to provide the necessary assurances to support refund requests.”

The Authority intensified its efforts to raise awareness and familiarise UAE citizens with its e-Services, launching an Online Platform for Processing VAT Refund Requests from UAE Citizens on Building New Residences on the official FTA website, in an effort to facilitate and expedite the process. Additionally, the Authority has launched the ‘Your Voice is Heard’ initiative, which includes new services that offer UAE nationals new, broader, and more diverse sources of information regarding procedures to recover the VAT they incurred on building their new residences via the quick and user-friendly e-Services portal on the FTA official website.

The initiative included four services that aim to raise the target audience’s awareness. The ‘Virtual Session’ is a weekly interactive virtual workshop that allows UAE citizens to receive consultations and clarifications about the VAT refund process. In addition, the initiative offered a ‘Personal Assistant’ service, where applicants can book an appointment to communicate directly with FTA employees about the refund process and the legal requirements for VAT incurred on building new residences for Emirati nationals, allowing them to expedite the procedures.

The initiative also provided a series of remote, web-based interactive sessions to gauge citizens’ feedback, remarks, suggestions, and preferences regarding the VAT refund process for UAE nationals on building new residences. In addition, the initiative offered a series of videos and a newsletter titled ‘VAT Refund on UAE Nationals Building New Residences’ published on social media channels and via SMS. The content will explain the VAT refund procedures for UAE nationals building new residences, from submitting the request along with the required documents to receiving the refunded amount in the applicant’s bank account.

Background Information

Federal Tax Authority

By virtue of this Federal Law by Decree a public federal authority shall be established under the name of the Federal Tax Authority. The headquarters of the authority shall be located in the city of Abu Dhabi. The authority shall be in charge of managing and collecting federal taxes and related fines, distributing tax-generated revenues and applying the tax-related procedures in force in the UAE.

The authority shall be managed by a board of directors chaired by the Minister of Finance and a sufficient number of members to be appointed and remunerated by a Cabinet resolution, based on the chairman’s nomination. The authority shall have an independent annual budget that shall be deemed as public funds and exempted from all taxes and fees.

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