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How does VAT works in the UAE?

By Sakshi Srivastava - 21 Feb 2022 Last Updated: 14 May 2022
How does VAT works in the UAE?

Table of Contents 

  1. 1. What is VAT (Value Added Tax)?
  2. 2. VAT Implementation in the UAE
  3. 3. VAT for Businesses
  4. 4. VAT Purposes and Government Entities
  5. 5. Conclusion

Governments use the axe to gather income to pay for public services. Tax revenues are typically used to fund public services such as hospitals, schools, and universities, as well as defense, infrastructure, and other critical areas of daily life. Dhanguard will assist you and provide the information on VAT implementation in UAE.

There are numerous forms of taxes, including

  • Indirect taxation
  • Direct taxation

What is VAT (Value Added Tax)?

VAT (Value Added Tax) is a type of indirect tax. It's sometimes referred to as a kind of general consumption tax. A VAT is imposed on most purchases and sales of goods and services in a country that has one.

VAT is a sort of consumption tax that can be found all around the world. Over 150 nations, including all 29 European Union (EU) members, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia, have implemented VAT (or its counterpart, Goods and Services Tax).

Each step of the "supply chain" is subject to VAT. The VAT cost is usually borne by the final customer, while businesses collect and account for the tax, thereby functioning as a tax collector for the government.

A company pays the government the tax it collects from customers, and it may obtain a return from the government on the tax it pays to its suppliers. As a result, the "value add" along the supply chain is reflected in tax collections to the government.

Distinction between Value Added Tax (VAT) and Sales Tax

Just like VAT, a sales tax is a consumption tax. Although there may be no discernible difference in how the two forms of taxes operate to the general public, there are some significant variances. In many nations, sales taxes are solely applied to goods transactions. Furthermore, sales tax is only applied to the final sale to the customer. VAT, on the other hand, is a tax on products and services that is levied throughout the supply chain, including at the point of sale. Imports of products and services are also subject to VAT in order to preserve a level playing field for domestic providers of the same goods and services.

VAT Implementation in the UAE

Hospitals, roads, public schools, parks, trash management, and police services are among the various public services provided by the UAE Federal and Emirate governments. These services are funded by government funds. VAT provides a new source of revenue for our country, allowing us to continue to deliver high-quality public services in the future. It also assists the government in achieving its goal of lessening reliance on revenue from oil and other commodities. On the 1st of January 2018, VAT was implemented in the UAE at a standard rate of 5%.

VAT for Businesses

Registering for VAT

If a company's taxable supply and imports surpass the statutory registration threshold of AED 375,000, it must register for VAT. Furthermore, if a company's supply and imports are less than the statutory registration threshold but above the optional registration barrier of AED 187,500, it might choose to register for VAT voluntarily.

Similarly, if a company's expenses surpass the voluntary registration threshold, it might register voluntarily. This later option for voluntary registration is intended to allow small enterprises with little revenue to register for VAT.

Businesses' VAT-Related duties

In the UAE, all firms must keep track of their financial transactions and keep their financial records accurate and up to date. Businesses must register for VAT if their yearly turnover meets the minimal criteria (as proven by their financial records). Businesses that do not believe they should be VAT-registered should keep their financial records in case we need to determine whether or not they should be.

VAT-Registered Businesses

VAT registered businesses generally require following steps

  • Businesses that are VAT-registered are required to charge VAT on taxable products and services they provide.
  • They are entitled to a refund of any VAT they have paid on business-related items or services.
  • Keep a variety of company records that will help the government to verify that everything is in order.

If your company is VAT-registered, you must declare the amount of VAT you charged and the amount of VAT you paid on a monthly basis to the government. It will be a formal submission, and the reporting will most likely be done online.

You must pay the government the difference if you charged more VAT than you paid. You can return the difference if you paid more VAT than you charged.

VAT in Real Estate

The VAT treatment of real estate is determined by whether the property is commercial or residential. Commercial property supplies (including sales and leases) are subject to the regular VAT rate (i.e. 5 percent).

Residential property supplies, on the other hand, are normally VAT-free. This ensures that VAT is not an unrecoverable expenditure for those who purchase their own homes. The initial delivery of residential properties within three years after completion at the time of VAT introduction is zero-rated to ensure that real estate developers can collect VAT on residential property construction.

Sectors with Zero Rating

The following key types of supplies will be subject to a 0% VAT charge

  • Exports of goods and services to countries beyond the Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Transportation and related supplies on a global scale
  • Certain sea, air, and land modes of transportation (such as planes and ships) are in short supply.
  • Precious metals of investment-grade (e.g. gold, silver, of 99 percent purity)
  • Residential properties that are newly developed and supplied for the first time within three years after their completion.
  • Provision of some educational services, as well as the provision of related goods and services
  • Provision of specific healthcare services, as well as the provision of related goods and services

Sectors Exempt from VAT

VAT exemption will be granted to the following types of goods and services

  • The provision of some financial services (clarified in VAT legislation)
  • Residential real estate
  • Local passenger transportation on bare land

Read more :-Excise Tax in UAE

VAT Purposes and Government Entities

VAT is usually charged on supplies made by government agencies. This assures that government agencies do not have an undue edge over private firms.

Certain government supplies, on the other hand, shall be exempt from VAT if they are not in rivalry with the private sector or if the body is the exclusive provider of such products. VAT refunds are available to some government bodies in order to minimize financial concerns and to level the playing field between outsourced and in sourced activity. The treatment of supplies delivered to government bodies is determined by the same supply, not by the recipient of the provision. As a result, even if the supply is delivered to a government entity, the treatment will be the same if it is subject to the ordinary tax rate.


In addition to assisting you with your VAT, Dhanguard may assist you with the establishment of your company.

While the process of forming a company might be stressful, you can make it go more quickly by working with a company formation professional. It's the quickest method to get started in the UAE, because we'll handle all of the details and make sure your application is error-free.

We can also assist you with opening a corporate bank account and provide valuable advice on the type of financial institution that would be best suited to your needs. Connect with Dhanguard if you have any queries related to VAT.

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