UAE VAT EmaraTAX: Claims Tax Refunds on Mosques
EmaraTAX Now allows to collect refund for running the mosque operations.
The EmaraTax digital tax services platform of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) is now accepting requests for refunds of Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on the operation of mosques, as per the Cabinet and Ministerial Decisions that apply to all UAE mosques.
To be eligible for a refund, requests must be submitted within specified timeframes, depending on the date when the mosque started operating. For mosques that commenced operations before January 1, 2022 (covering the period from 2018 to 2022), the FTA will receive tax refund requests between April and September 2023.
During the period from October to December 2023, the FTA will accept requests for tax refunds for mosques that commenced operations on or after January 1, 2022, for the year 2022. For any subsequent year after 2022, mosques must submit their tax refund requests for operations carried out between January and April of the following year.
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, the Director-General of the FTA, announced that in November, a mechanism was launched by the Authority to retrieve Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on the construction and operation of all mosques across the UAE. The process for VAT recovery is uncomplicated and can be accessed via the EmaraTax platform, which offers digital tax services.
The criteria for submitting applications, the specific expenses that can be reclaimed for mosque construction and operation, and the necessary documents are outlined in the Cabinet Decision. A Ministerial Decision was also issued, which specifies the deadlines for submitting applications based on the mosque’s construction completion date, to facilitate and accelerate the refund process.
Additionally, to increase public awareness regarding tax system developments and ongoing updates, the FTA issued a guide on the procedures for VAT recovery on the construction and operation of mosques, which is available on the FTA’s website. The guide contains comprehensive information on the eligibility criteria for refunds, the required documents, recoverable expenses, and the online procedures for a hassle-free refund issuance.
The Director General of the FTA has urged all stakeholders to carefully review the Cabinet Decision, the Ministerial Decision, and the guide on the procedures and timelines for refund requests.
The FTA has explained that to be eligible for a refund of input tax incurred on mosque operation, certain conditions must be met as per the Cabinet Decision. The operator can apply for a refund on input tax for goods or services directly associated with the mosque’s operation or maintenance, excluding commercial facilities related to the mosque. Moreover, the mosque must be registered with the appropriate authority as a mosque, and the operator must have a valid written authorization from the competent authority for the refund request period.
The Authority has also provided a list of necessary documents to complete the refund application for input tax incurred on mosque operation. These documents include a copy of Emirates ID or passport, a bank account certificate, a breakdown of expenses incurred for operating the mosque, and a copy of the top five tax invoices.