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FTA adds requirement to submit bank account validation letter with VAT refund request

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has published a new version of the VAT Refund User Guide, with the important addition of a requirement that taxable persons submit a bank account validation letter when submitting a VAT refund request form.

According to the guide, bank account details must be provided on the registration form; refund requests which do not provide these details will be rejected. Further, a bank account validation letter/certificate must be submitted to the FTA with the refund request. The letter must be issued and stamped by the taxable person’s bank and include the following details:

  • Account holder name (which must match the taxable person’s name as it appears in its registration with the FTA)
  • Bank’s name
  • Bank’s address
  • SWIFT/BIC
  • IBAN

The letter or certificate will be uploaded as an attachment with the refund application.

The guide notes that if the taxable person’s bank is international and does not have a correspondent bank in the UAE, it can take more than five business days for the refund payment, and the taxable person will incur the transfer fees charged by the bank.

In essence, the additional information required by the FTA is likely to assist in smoothing the actual payment of refunds as well as protecting both the taxpayer and the FTA from situations where the refund could be paid to the wrong recipient.

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