Companies doing business in the United Arab Emirates benefit from enhanced tax representation.

TMF UAE is now an accredited tax agent and can act as a tax representative for clients doing business in the Emirates.

Clarence Dominguez, Accounting and Tax Manager at TMF UAE, says the enhanced capability is particularly beneficial for international businesses:

"Non-resident entities without establishment incur VAT on purchases here. If they're only operating in the UAE temporarily, the VAT paid on business-related expenses can be refunded."

Around 4% of global business travel spend offers refundable VAT. The process can be administration-heavy, particularly for companies without adequate expense management systems in place. However TMF Group's tax experts say it's well worth the effort, particularly for multinationals which can be entitled to very large VAT refund amounts.

The role of the tax agent includes lodging refund paperwork on behalf of clients, and if there's a dispute or delay with an application, the agent is authorised to act as the clients' local representative.

TMF UAE Tax Manager Akram Ragaa Mostafa explains:

"We speak Arabic and can meet with the FTA and resolve any issues. Without a tax agent, non-resident entities doing business in the UAE are much more likely to simply forfeit their VAT refund, which is a real missed opportunity."

Valid receipts are needed to lodge a VAT refund application with the FTA. Electronic submissions are accepted but entities without establishment need to leave hardcopy documents with their local tax agent. These documents include:

  • a copy of their certificate reference number (CRE)
  • tax invoices
  • any customs declarations issued for imported goods
  • bank account validation letter or certificate.

Talk to TMF Group

VAT refund applications – particularly in non-resident jurisdictions – can be onerous and require local support on the ground. As a registered tax agent, TMF UAE can:

  • identify eligible receipts
  • lodge the VAT refund application and deal with any tax authority queries in the local language.

We can also establish the correct procedures for logging future VAT expenses and provide your business with a system to manage them. For more information about our accounting and tax services, contact us today.

How much of a boost could VAT refunds give to your bottom line? Download our FAQ sheet to find out.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.