Frequently Asked Questions about UAE VAT Return

Starting on January 1st, 2018, businesses in the UAE must adhere to VAT compliance regulations. One key requirement for compliance is the submission of VAT returns. Most UAE businesses are expected to file these returns on a quarterly basis, while some specific types of businesses may need to do so on a monthly basis.

To provide clear insights into the VAT return process, we have compiled a concise list of FAQs below to address your VAT return queries.

1. Is it obligatory for all registered businesses in the UAE to file VAT returns?
A. Yes, it is mandatory for all registered businesses to submit VAT returns.

2. How can I file my VAT return in the UAE?
A. VAT returns in the UAE must be filed online. Registered businesses are required to prepare the VAT return in the prescribed format and submit it through the FTA website.

3. Can I submit a physical VAT return?
A. No, all VAT returns can only be submitted online.

4. What is the VAT return filing period in UAE VAT?
A. The standard VAT return filing period is quarterly. Only a few businesses are required to file VAT returns on a monthly basis.

5. What is the deadline for submitting VAT returns in the UAE?
A. The deadline for VAT return filing is the 28th day of the month following the end of the tax period.

6. Is there a specific format for submitting VAT returns?
A. Yes, the authority has provided a prescribed VAT return format in which registered individuals must report supply details.

7. What is the accepted format for VAT return files by the FTA?
A. Currently, VAT return details must be manually provided by logging into the FTA website.

8. What information must be included in the VAT return form?
A. Broadly, the VAT return form should include details of all your supplies, both purchases and sales, output tax, input tax, input tax recovered, and tax due.

9. Do I need to specify emirate-wise supplies in the VAT return?
A. Yes, you must declare emirate-wise supplies in the VAT return form.

10. I sell goods subject to 5% VAT and export to various countries. How should I report this in the VAT return form?
A. The VAT return form is designed to separate standard-rated VAT supplies (5%) and zero-rated supplies. In your case, you should report both types separately.

11. I’ve imported goods with VAT paid under the reverse charge mechanism. How should I report this in the VAT return?
A. The VAT return form contains a dedicated field for imported goods, where you should provide the necessary details.

12. My input tax exceeds the output tax. How do I adjust and report this in the VAT return?
A. In this scenario, you will have VAT refundable, which can be carried forward to the next VAT return period or claimed as a refund.

13. Can I create the VAT return file using certified software and file it online?
A. Yes, you are allowed to generate the VAT return file using software certified by the FTA. Only return files generated from certified software are accepted.

14. What are the consequences of not filing the VAT return?
A. Failure to submit the VAT return may result in a tax assessment, and you may be subject to administrative penalties.

15. What is the amount of administrative penalties for non-filing of VAT returns?
A. The administrative penalty will not be less than 500 Dirhams but may not exceed three times the amount of tax for which the penalty was imposed.

You can also Register for VAT Registration on our website:

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