VAT Return

VAT Return

Understanding VAT Return in the UAE

Understanding Value Added Tax (VAT) return in the UAE is essential for businesses operating within the country's jurisdiction. A VAT return is a periodic report that businesses registered for VAT must submit to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) detailing their taxable sales and purchases during a specific tax period. The VAT return typically includes information such as total sales, output VAT collected from customers, input VAT paid on purchases, and the net VAT payable or refundable. Businesses must ensure accuracy and compliance with VAT regulations when preparing their returns to avoid penalties or audits by the FTA. Additionally, understanding the VAT return process allows businesses to effectively manage their tax obligations, maintain financial transparency, and make informed decisions regarding their operations in the UAE's VAT regime.

The Importance of VAT Return in the UAE

This means that VAT return in the UAE is vital for a number of reasons as it is one of the crucial elements in the country’s taxation system which ensures openness, responsibility and adherence to tax laws among businesses. Businesses need VAT returns so as to notify about their activities that are taxable, calculate the amount of VAT owed or due from Federal Tax Authority (FTA), and settle all taxes payable. FTA can collect tax on time and check if everything was done correctly while filing it by analyzing timely and accurate submission of VAT returns. In addition, VAT returns are used in predicting government revenue collection and economic planning efforts. As regards companies, these declarations help them evaluate their financial performance, know their tax dues and make informed judgments as relates to business decisions. In case you do not respect the requirements for filing this particular form within time limits provided by law, there may be fines; penalties and other legal consequences that apply to you. That said, companies must comply with VAT return legislation in order to fulfill their legal obligations towards state authorities and contribute positively towards UAE’s fiscal ecosystem in general.

Eligibility Criteria

Steps involved in filing VAT Return

In the UAE, filing a VAT return involves several essential steps to ensure compliance with the country's tax regulations. Firstly, businesses must maintain accurate records of all their taxable supplies, purchases, and expenses during the tax period. These records serve as the foundation for calculating the amount of VAT due to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). Next, businesses need to prepare the VAT return using the FTA's online portal or approved accounting software. This involves inputting the relevant financial data, including the total value of taxable supplies, eligible input tax, and any adjustments required. Once the VAT return is prepared, businesses must verify the accuracy of the information provided and ensure that all required fields are correctly filled. Finally, the VAT return is submitted to the FTA within the specified deadline, along with the payment of any VAT due. It's crucial for businesses to adhere to the filing deadlines and maintain compliance with VAT regulations to avoid penalties and legal consequences.

Who needs to file VAT Return in the UAE

Any company that has registered for VAT and whose taxable supplies or imports exceed mandatory/voluntary registration thresholds must file VAT returns with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). This covers all types of enterprises, whether they are involved in manufacturing, retail trade, provision of services or importation. Moreover, even though they do not qualify for input tax credits, suppliers making exempt or zero-rated supplies may still be required to complete a return for their transactions with FTA. Filing VAT returns is a mandatory requirement for registered businesses in the UAE, ensuring transparency and accountability in the country's tax system.

Consequences of not filing VAT Return in the UAE

Failure to adhere to the Federal Tax Authority’s deadline for filing VAT returns within the Emirates can have far-reaching consequences and carry various fines. Late or no submission of VAT returns may lead to financial penalties such as interest charges on outstanding tax liabilities. This is also accompanied by non-compliant businesses facing legal actions like invalidation of their Tax Registration Certificate, prohibition of conducting business activities, or prosecution in some cases. Besides market reputation and credibility loss which could result in loss of customers and business opportunities that go along with this. As such, it is vital for firms to meet the timeframes set by FTA and submit accurate VAT declarations promptly so as to avoid these harmful effects.

Documents Required for filing VAT Return

Documents required for filing VAT returns in the UAE typically include:

  • Tax invoices issued and received during the tax period.
  • Records of goods and services supplied and received, including contracts and agreements.
  • Purchase invoices and receipts for business-related expenses.
  • Records of any intra-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) acquisitions or imports.
  • Credit and debit notes issued and received.
  • Records of any adjustments made to the input or output tax.
  • Bank statements and financial records.
  • Customs declarations for imports and exports.
  • Records of any exempt or zero-rated supplies made.
  • Any other relevant documents supporting the VAT transactions carried out by the business.

It is essential for businesses to maintain accurate and up-to-date records of these documents to ensure compliance with VAT regulations and facilitate the filing of VAT returns in the UAE. Failure to provide adequate documentation may result in delays or errors in the VAT filing process, leading to potential penalties and other consequences.

How UAE Tax Zone can help in filing VAT Return in UAE

  • Professional help: UAE Tax Zone, a team of well-experienced individuals with knowledge in UAE VAT laws and regulations, offers professional assistance during the VAT return filing process by guiding businesses on their obligations, deadlines, updates or changes in the VAT regulations which leads to less chances of errors and non-compliance.
  • Data Compilation: For UAE Tax Zone, its task is to help businesses put together all necessary financial data and documentation needed for VAT return filing; they aid with classification and examination of invoices-receipts and other relevant records for accuracy and completeness in the preparation of VAT returns.
  • Timely Submission: In order to avoid penalties as well as satisfy regulatory demands it is vital that one meets the deadlines provided for under the law for submitting VAT returns. UAE Tax Zone helps businesses submit their VAT returns accurately and timely so that they can beat deadlines set by Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in UAE.
  • VAT Calculation: The calculation of precise liabilities for Value Added Taxes (VAT) may be challenging especially where there are numerous transactions undertaken by an organization. Technologically advanced software tools are used by UAE Tax Zone that takes into account input tax credits, exemptions besides zero-rated supplies among others when calculating tax amounts wrongly due to various factors.
  • Compliance Review: UAE Tax Zone conducts thorough reviews of VAT returns before submission to identify any potential errors or discrepancies. They ensure that all calculations are accurate, and the VAT return complies with FTA regulations, minimizing the risk of audits or penalties due to non-compliance.
  • Ongoing Support: Beyond VAT return filing, UAE Tax Zone provides ongoing support and assistance to businesses, addressing any queries or concerns related to VAT compliance, regulations, or other tax matters. They offer proactive advice and guidance to help businesses stay updated and compliant with evolving tax laws in the UAE.


1. When is the deadline for filing VAT returns in the UAE?

VAT returns must be filed quarterly, with the deadline typically set on the 28th day following the end of the tax period.

2. What information is required to complete a VAT return in the UAE?

Details of taxable supplies (sales) and purchases, input VAT (tax paid on purchases), and output VAT (tax collected on sales).

3. Can I claim input VAT on all business expenses in the UAE?

Input VAT can generally be claimed on business expenses related to taxable supplies. However, there are specific rules and restrictions.

4. What are the consequences of late or incorrect VAT return filing in the UAE?

Late filing may result in penalties and fines. Incorrect filing could lead to additional assessments and adjustments by the tax authorities.

5. Is there any threshold for VAT registration in the UAE?

Yes, businesses with annual taxable supplies exceeding AED 375,000 must register for VAT. Voluntary registration is allowed for businesses below this threshold.

Enquire Now