The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has released the Cabinet Decision No. (1) of 2019 on the Refund of Value Added Tax Paid on Goods and Services Connected with Expo 2020 Dubai and a User Guide for its implementation.
- The Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai (‘the Bureau’) shall be the governing body for the refund scheme.
- A person holding a valid Expo 2020 trade license number with no intention to use more than 20% of the exhibition space or presentation for non-official or commercial purposes is eligible for the refund of VAT (referred to as ‘Official Participant’)
- Refund of VAT is allowed on the import or supply of goods/ services used for specified purposes.
- The Official Participants registered for VAT may seek VAT refund through the annual VAT Returns.
- The Official Participants (whether registered for VAT or not) need to obtain the Certificate of Refund Entitlement from the Bureau to be eligible to claim a refund of the VAT.
- The Official Participants can claim upfront VAT exemption on import of goods by using the special TRN (Tax Registration Number) allocated to the Bureau, in coordination with the Bureau.
- The Official Participants cannot sell the goods on which VAT refund has been claimed for consideration or transfer the products to another party free of charge without the prior consent following the procedures agreed upon between the FTA and the Bureau, and without payment of the Tax.
- The procedure, periodicity and necessary forms for claiming refund application are prescribed in the Decision read with the VAT Guide.
- The VAT guide by the Cabinet to the implementation of the refund scheme assimilated that any official participant holding a valid Expo 2020 trade license number with no intention to use more than 20% of the exhibition space or presentation for non-official or commercial purposes can reclaim the refund of the VAT.
The refund of the VAT can be claimed for the following categories of the goods and services:
I. Directly connected with the construction, installation, alteration, decoration, and dismantlement of their exhibition space
II. Directly connected with the operation of their exhibition space and any presentation within the Expo 2020 site
III. Related to the actual operation of the office of the Official participant, provided that the value of each excellent/ service for which a claim is made is not less than AED 200
IV. For the personal use of the Official participant’s Section Commissioner-General, Section Staff and the Beneficiaries
After the applicant has successfully applied for the reclamation of the refund of the VAT, the Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai performs the initial check on the refund claims received from
the Office of the Official Participants following the forms prepared by the Authority. Where the refund claim is correct, the Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai requests the Authority to refund the amount.
Once the Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai and the Authority agree on the procedural, evidential, and verification requirements that are needed to be met by the office of the Official Participants or any other person who is eligible for the refund of the claim.
The Certificate of entitlement for the claim should be granted to only the Official Participants who are under the first two categories [ i.e. (I.) and (II.)],
Note: An Official Participant (both registered and not registered for VAT) needs to apply for the Certificate before attempting to claim VAT on goods and services under categories (I.) and (II.) above.