EXHIBITION AND CONFERENCE SERVICES USER GUIDE
The FTA has issued exhibition and conference user guide. It is published to provide direction to suppliers of qualifying services and their customer with respect to licensing process and licensing application form, service request process followed by international customers, filing of tax returns by suppliers and the registration requirements for international customers.
MECHANISM OF THE REFUND
Legal basis for the refund scheme for exhibition and conference services are laid down in Article 75(5) of the Decree Law and Cabinet Decision No (26) of 2018. The legal provisions have enabled the supplier of exhibition and conference services to refund the 5% VAT charged. However, the suppliers can only refund the amount when it does not charge VAT from an International Customer.
CONDITIONS TO BE MET BY THE SUPPLIER TO CLAIM REFUND
- The supplier should either grant the right to access, to attend or participate or to occupy space for an exhibition and conference
- The recipient of the exhibition and conference services neither has a place of the establishment nor a fixed establishment in the state
- The recipient of the exhibition and conference services is neither registered for VAT purposes nor is required to register for VAT
- The supplier has a written declaration from the recipient confirming that the recipient neither has a place of establishment nor a fixed establishment and is not registered or required to register for VAT
- No amount of VAT has been paid by the recipient of the exhibition and conference services to the supplier
The supplier of conference and exhibition services can request for the charged VAT refund after meeting the conditions. The requested refund should either be equal or less than the charged VAT on the supply of services.
- The supplier is required to be registered with and licensed by the FTA if he grants the right to occupy space for conducting an exhibition or conference. The license will be issued for a period of one year.
- In case the supplier grants the right to access, attend or participate in an exhibition or conference, he is required to request a license to enable him to provide such rights for a specific conference or exhibition.
SCENARIO A: TO APPLY FOR A LICENSE TO GRANT THE RIGHT TO OCCUPY SPACE FOR CONDUCTING AN EXHIBITION OR CONFERENCE
The supplier must :
- Be registered for VAT with the FTA
- Have a place of residence in the UAE
- Is in the business of renting out space for conference or exhibitions
- Has a valid trade license issued by a competent government entity where commercial activity is in line with the above-mentioned business
- Owns space for exhibitions/ conference or has the authority to rent or operate space for conferences/ exhibitions
- Supplier’s venue is registered with the competent government entity to ensure that the venue meets the minimum requirement to host an exhibition or conference
He is required to supply the following documents along with the Supplier’s License Request Form:
- Copy of the valid trade license
- Venue registration proof which is issued by the competent government entity. In case this proof is not available, then the supplier can submit :
- Use permit of the area
- Layout drawing of the conference/exhibition space to be rented.
- Three examples of the events facilitated/ hosted/ organized. Details should include the name of the facilitated event, the purpose of events, date of events, size of events. Details are either in the business profile document or in the license form.
- Copy of the passport or Emirates ID of the authorized signatory.
SCENARIO B: TO APPLY FOR A LICENSE TO GRANT THE RIGHT TO ACCESS, ATTEND OR PARTICIPATE IN AN EXHIBITION OR CONFERENCE
The following conditions are to adhere to:
The event duration is seven days or less. The supplier has obtained an event permit from a competent government authority.
In case the supplier is a resident ( local) organizer, he must be :
- A registered with the FTA
- Has a valid trade license where the commercial activity is in line with the event management and organization industry/ sector/ business
- Registered with the concerned competent government entity as an organizer
The supplier must provide proof of establishment in an overseas jurisdiction if he is a non-UAE resident organizer.
He is required to supply the following documents along with the Supplier’s License Request Form :
- Copy of event permit granted by a competent government entity
- Sample ticket illustrating the ticket price and event name
- Copy of the passport or Emirates ID of the authorized signatory
- In case the supplier is a resident, he is required to submit a copy of a valid trade license and valid organizer registration certificate provided by a competent government entity
- In case the supplier is a non-UAE resident, he is required to provide proof of establishment
The supplier is required to mail to Exhibitors@tax.gov.ae after filling the relevant form along and providing supporting documents.
PROCESSING THE SUPPLIER’S APPLICATION BY THE FTA
20 business days are taken to review the application. The FTA issues a license within 5 business days if the application is accepted.
VALIDITY OF THE LICENSE
- In case, the supplier applies for a license to grant the right to occupy space for conducting an examination or conference, the license is valid for one year and is subject to renewal.
- The license is valid for a specific exhibition/ conference in case of applying for a license to grant the right to access, attend or participate in an exhibition or conference.
RENEWAL OF LICENSE TO GRANT THE RIGHT TO OCCUPY SPACE FOR CONDUCTING AN EXHIBITION OR CONFERENCE
The supplier is required to apply for license renewal one month before the expiry of the license. He should apply for renewal using the same form as for the original application.
PROVIDING VAT REFUND ON SERVICES SUPPLIED TO INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS
Before providing services under the refund scheme, the supplier is required to obtain a declaration from the international customer. It should state that it does not have a place of establishment or fixed establishment in the UAE and is neither registered or required to register for VAT in the UAE.
WHERE THE CONDITIONS FOR VAT REFUND ARE MET, THE SUPPLIER MUST:
- Retain the original declaration provided by the International Customer
- Provide a tax invoice to the International Customer. The invoice should charge the applicable VAT and refund the same amount ( or less). It should state that the supply falls under the special VAT refund scheme.
- He should not collect VAT from the International Customer
- Should report the charged VAT in respect of the services as output tax in the relevant tax return. The supplier should further claim a VAT refund of the amount of VAT charged.
The Insurance VAT Guide gives detailed information on the conference and exhibition services. The records of all the documentation received and issued under the scheme are to be retained for a period of 5 years from the end of the tax period in which the license expired.