• March 24, 2023


    As a result of the various tax and reporting requirements faced by Expo 2020 participants, those who participate must maintain accurate records of their transactions. A variety of regulatory authorities in the United Arab Emirates will need to be notified of the transactional and financial details of the event at various stages. Expo participants may struggle to find adequate resources to keep track of records, but by obtaining the services of one of the leading accounting firms in Dubai, the process will be made easier.

    In order to accurately categorize and account for the expenses, participants require an expert accountant’s assistance. Expo 2020 participants must categorize their expenses in order to determine their eligibility for VAT refunds if they claim the expenses incurred.

    Expo 2020 is scheduled to be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The official participants of the Expo can claim the VAT incurred on the expenses. The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) had announced Cabinet Decision no. 1 of 2020 on the ‘Refund of VAT on Goods and Services connected with Expo 2020 Dubai’ and also released a User Guide for Official Participants of Expo 2020, which explains the conditions/eligibility to claim the VAT refund, the process to be followed to claim VAT, information required to complete relevant forms.

    Participants may claim a refund of Tax incurred on the import or supply of Goods or Services provided that the Goods and Services are any of the following:

    In direct connection with the construction, installation, alteration, decoration and dismantlement of their exhibition space.

    •In direct connection with the works and activities of organizing and operating the Official Participants’ exhibition space and any presentations and events within the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

    •In connection with the actual operations of the Official Participants, provided that the value of each Good or Service for which the Office of the Official Participant makes a claim exceeds the amount set by a decision of the Minister.

    •In connection with all operations, services and activities provided for the purpose of participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, whether located within or outside the boundaries of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

    Key takeaways of the Refund Scheme

    Eligibility: An Official Participant, holding a valid Expo 2020 trade license number and having no intention to use more than 20% of the exhibition space or presentation for non-official or commercial purposes, is eligible to apply for VAT refund.

    How does it work?

    Official Participant needs to obtain a Certificate of Refund Entitlement (CRE) from the Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai (Bureau) to claim the refund. The Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai performs the initial check on the refund claims received from the Office of the Official Participants in accordance with the forms prepared by the Authority. Where the refund claim is correct, the Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai makes a request to the Authority to refund the amount.

    Where Official Participant is registered for VAT, it shall claim VAT refund via its UAE VAT return. A non-registered participant shall apply for VAT refund through the Bureau by submitting a special refund request.

    Documents required for claim of VAT refund by Expo 2020 participants

    Essential documents to be maintained by Expo 2020 participants with respect to the tax refund claim are below:

    •Expo license

    •Certificate of entitlement for applicable participants

    •Underlying valid tax invoices and other supporting relating to the amounts reported in  the VAT return or refund application

    •Customs documents relating to the import of goods

    •Documents that prove the employment of and relationships with staff/beneficiaries of participants

    •Bank account validation letter from bank, in case of refunds

    Maintenance of additional documents can be required by the Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai or FTA on review by them on a case to case basis.

    For more information get in touch with Excellence Auditing now, we can assist you in the Accounting and VAT refund application process. 

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