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Recovering VAT on Business Expenses in UAE: Timeframe + Essential Information

Input tax, VAT paid by a business for the purchase of supplies and services. VAT in UAE allows all registered businesses in the country to recover tax. That paid for producing goods and services that sold to clients and customers. Input tax that is eligible for a business to recover plays a significant role to a company’s cash flow, as well as operating expenses. 

Here is an example on how input VAT recovery works. A company in Dubai purchases 10 CCTV cameras at Dhs1,000 for every set. For the purchase, the business pays VAT at the rate of five percent which is Dhs500. During the same month, the company has sold 20 CCTV cameras to a customer for Dhs2,000 each. VAT that collected at five percent amounts to Dhs2,000. 

In this scenario, the output tax that payable by the business as it was collect from the customer is Dhs2,000. The input tax that may be recovered by the business is Dhs500. Tax payable is equal to the output tax payable minus the input tax recoverable.

Hence, the company will pay to the local tax authority only Dhs1,500 as Dhs500 (input tax) recovered. 

Input Tax Recovery Conditions

A registered business in UAE may recover VAT. That is paid on all purchases of goods and services which are utilize for business purposes (subject to conditions set by the Federal Tax Authority or FTA).

The conditions that a business has to satisfy are as follows:

  • The supplies have to be used in making taxable supplies - Supplies on which VAT is liable in being paid which are called taxable supplies (input VAT recovery would only be allowed for input that is made in taxable supplies with the exemption of exempt supplies 
  • A tax invoice was given to the recipient and stored – the recipient that is claiming recovery for input tax on business supplies has to make sure that a tax invoice that pertains to business supplies has been received and kept. Tax invoices are to show details of supply made. 
  • Recipient has settled consideration for supply – recipient that is claiming recovery for input tax has to pay or plan on making payment for reconsideration for supply in six months following the payment of supply’s agreed date. 

The provision of input tax recovery in UAE is important for businesses in the country that are registered for VAT. A business, therefore, need to make sure that it is able to identify its supplies correctly on which VAT from business expenses (input tax) may recovered. A business also has to make sure that it fulfills conditions set of claiming input VAT and to claim input VAT on time. All these will ensure that there is optimum cash flow for the business and that it has working capital. Work may made easier with the help of regulated tax agents in UAE. They will handle the accounting of the VAT transactions of a business and process the VAT recovery for you. 

At Farahat & Co, we help businesses with their VAT recovery claims and all matters related to taxation in UAE. Call us today as our team of vat consultants in UAE are dedicated in making sure you are fully compliant to taxation laws in the country while leaving you enough time in focusing on running your business! 

 What are the items that I can't recover VAT from?

 VAT that are charge at zero percent can't be recover. Items considered as zero-rated in UAE include:

  • Export of products and services that are outside GCC  
  • Supplies of certain transportation services via sea, land, and air e.g. ships and aircrafts 
  • International transportation, including related supplies 
  • Certain investment grade metals such as silver and gold of ninety nine percent purity 
  • Supply of certain medical and healthcare services, as well as supply of all relevant products and services 
  • Supply of certain learning and educational services, as well as the supply of all relevant products and services 
  • Newly constructed properties for residential use

Can a business also recover Tax from exempt supplies?

 VAT is only paid for taxable supplies. As exempt supplies do not entail the payment of VAT, there is nothing for a business to recover. Exempt supplies in UAE include:

  • Local passenger transport
  • Bare land 
  • Residential buildings other than residential properties that are not consider as zero rated
  • Financial services including financial services that are not perform for explicit fees, rebate, commission discount or a similar kind of consideration 
  • Life insurance and life insurance reinsurance

This list is subject to change with the discretion of the local tax authority. Which is the UAE Federal Tax Authority. We advise tax registered businesses in UAE to always consult with tax experts regarding concerns and issues pertaining to VAT in UAE.

Ervee is a CPA with international experience in Tax and Accounting. He has over 12 years of experience in accounting and bookkeeping and over a year in VAT implementation, registration, and accounting in UAE. He regularly drives out inefficiencies in company operations and loves the challenge of helping clients find additional ways for an easier and improved compliance and verification of transactions.