UAE has declared a refund of VAT on operating expenses of the participants in the Expo 2020 Dubai. The Federal Tax Authority of UAE has taken a cabinet decision in this direction according to which the official participants in the Dubai Expo 2020 can claim a refund of Value Added Tax. The participants do not need to be UAE VAT registered. On the other hand, the official participants whose supplies related to the Expo 2020 are taxable, will be required to apply for a refund of the VAT by registering with UAE VAT. They also have to submit their VAT returns.

The duration of Expo 2020 will be from 20 October 2020 to 10th April 2021. The official participants are from the countries and intergovernmental organizations. They have been invited by the UAE Expo 2020 as an exhibitor in the expo. The official participants will be entitled to the refund on the import and services concerning the Expo 2020.

Publications Regarding Decision VAT Refund for Expo 2020 Dubai

There are the following publications concerning the decision:

There is Cabinet Decision of 2019 on the refund of VAT connected with the Expo. There is a user guide for official participants that was published in January 2019.

Eligibility of Refund VAT Refund for Expo 2020 Dubai

There is a distinction between operating expenses made connected to offices of participants and the expenses related to the exhibition. All official participants will be eligible for the claim of refund. The refunds will be in connection with the following:

  • Refunds for the expenses made for the supplies that are used for the operations of the office of the participants.
  • The value of each good or service should be AED 200 or more.
  • The goods imported for the personal use of the official participants’ representatives, personnel and other members will not be charged any tax.
  • There is a condition that these goods cannot be sold without prior permission of the authority and payment of proper tax.

The official participants can claim input tax on supplies concerning the following:

  • The construction and dismantling of the space provided in the exhibition.
  • The cost of operation and presentation within the precincts of the expo.

Apart from operating expenses, the VAT registered official participants can get the refund on input tax made on making the supplies available during the exhibition. But the official participants will be compulsively obliged to register for VAT if the supplies exceed the amount AED 375, 000.

There is a refund procedure and also there is a process of entitlement of refund. There may be an occasion that the participant is not registered. In this situation, the participant has to request for the refund of the operating expenses to the Bureau which will check the claim. It might approve the request, and in this event, FTA will make the refund to the participant.

The official participants who wish to get the recovery of VAT charged in Expo 2020 operating expenses don’t have to get them registered for VAT.

If the official participants are making supplies that may be taxed, they will be recovering the VAT subject to commercial activities under the VAT rules for a tax refund. In this case, the official participants have to register with the FTA.

There is clarity about tax refund applicable to official participants but there is lack of information about the tax treatment related to other entities like companies.

GCC Filings is a professional body of accountants and tax consultants under the banner of operational in the Gulf Nations. It provides professional services for VAT registration and return and as a tax consultant. It also provides service to a person who wants to establish a business in the UAE and KSA. 

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