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The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) Records a 14.41% Surge in Tax Refunds for Tourists

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) Records a 14.41% Surge in Tax Refunds for Tourists
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The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has disclosed a remarkable 14.41% uptick in tax refund transactions for tourists, reaching a total of 4.18 million transactions in 2023, averaging 11,460 transactions daily.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FTA's Director-General, expressed that the electronic VAT refund system for tourists has surpassed expectations, with approximately 14 million transactions processed since its launch in November 2018.

Al Bustani highlighted a consistent increase in daily transactions over the past four years, escalating from 4,130 transactions daily in 2020 to approximately 11,460 transactions daily in 2023. The annual volume of transactions has witnessed a steady rise, from 1.51 million in 2020 to 4.18 million in 2023, reflecting a growth trend in recent years.

The integration of retail systems with the digital VAT refund platform has been pivotal in these achievements, with over 16,480 stores electronically linked by the end of last year, a 60.62% increase from 2020. Al Bustani emphasized the alignment of this expansion with the government's digital strategy, aiming for efficient and user-friendly services.

Moreover, the FTA is committed to deploying self-service devices, facilitating fully automated VAT refund procedures for departing tourists within about two minutes. The number of these devices has increased to 85 by the end of 2023, representing a 19.72% rise from 2020, ensuring convenient access for tourists at major commercial centers and hotels.

Planet, the authorized service provider for the Tourist Tax Refund Scheme, manages these devices, equipped with necessary technological features for seamless VAT refund procedures. Support personnel are also available to assist tourists as needed, further enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of the system.

News Source: Emirates News Agency

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