FAQs

Who is eligible for Tax Free Shopping?
All non-UAE residents above 18 years old.

I’m a work permit holder in UAE. Can I shop Tax Free?
No, only shoppers residing permanently outside of the UAE are eligible for Tax Free Shopping.

How do I know which stores offers Tax Free shopping?
Look for stores displaying the Planet Tax Free logo or ask in-store whether they offer Planet Tax Free services.

What goods are eligible for Tax Free Shopping?
All taxable goods except for:

  1. Goods that have been used, fully or partly.

  2. Goods that are not accompanied by the Overseas Tourist at the time of leaving UAE.

  3. Food and drinks intended for immediate consumption.

  4. Motor vehicles, boats and aircraft.

Is it necessary to get a Tax Free tag?
Yes. Tax Free tags, affixed to the back of the sales receipt, are mandatory to benefit from Tax Free Shopping. They are issued at the point of sale.

How much do I need to spend to benefit from Tax Free Shopping?
The minimum purchase amount is 250 AED.

How much can I receive back for my purchases?
You will receive 85% of the VAT, minus a 4.80 AED fee per Tax Free tag. The amount is calculated automatically at the point of sale and validation point.

How much time do I have to complete the procedure?
Your tax free tag needs to be validated within 90 days of the purchase date. For instance: a form issued on 1st of January is valid until 1st of April. If this is not done, the Tax Free tag expires, and the VAT cannot be claimed anymore

I have completed the in-store procedure. What are the next steps?
You should keep your sales receipts with the Tax Free tags with you until the day of your departure. Please arrive at the airport or land/sea border earlier to allow time for completing the procedure. Once there, please approach our staff or go to one of our self-service kiosks to have your forms digitally validated before checking in, dropping off your luggage and going through security.

What is ‘export validation’?
Export validation is a confirmation that the goods are leaving the UAE and the VAT can be reclaimed for these purchases.

How can I find you at the exit points? Where are you located?
Until 16th of December there will be 3 exit points through which you will be able to validate your Tax Free forms. These are Dubai International, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah airports where we operate 24/7.

From the 16th of December you will be able to obtain your export validation in 9 additional locations. These are:  Dubai - Al Maktoum airport, Abu Dhabi Port Zayed, Al Ain airport, Al Ain land border, Al-Fujairah airport, Ras Al Khaimah airport, Al Ghuwaifat land border, Hatta land border and Dubai Mina Rashid Harbour.

To find us just follow the signs for Tax Free Refunds and you will find our staff wearing Planet Tax Free uniforms, or our self-service kiosks.

Is it necessary to receive export validation?
Yes, without confirmation that the goods are leaving the UAE it is impossible to receive a VAT refund.

What should I carry with me to validate my forms? Which documents are necessary to complete the procedure?

  • Contact Planet Tax Free staff or look for the self-service kiosks landside at the airport, sea or land border crossing (i.e. before security control or luggage check in).

  • Have your passport and boarding pass ready to confirm your eligibility for VAT refund. You may be asked for the Tax Free form as well to carry out further checks.

  • Planet Tax Free employees, or the self-service kiosk, will validate the forms digitally and confirm once done.

  • NOTE: You might be asked to present your goods to confirm they are unused. In certain cases you might be asked for an additional inspection of the goods airside, i.e. after security control. If that is the case, you will be instructed accordingly by our staff (or the self-service kiosk).  

Can someone validate my Tax Free tags or collect the refund on my behalf?
No.  Only the owner of the passport under which the Tax Free forms are registered is entitled to validate them and collect the refund.

What are the refund methods?
There are two refund methods – Credit Card or Cash. When validating your Tax Free tags you will be asked for your preferred refund method.

I want to receive my refund in Cash. What do I need to do?
Once the tags are validated, please approach our refunding partner. Our staff and the self-service kiosks will direct you there. You will be asked to present your passport and your Tax Free tags to receive your refund in cash.

I want to receive my refund to my credit card. What do I need to do?
Please state you would like to be refunded to your Credit Card once your Tax Free tags are validated. You can enter your card details on the self-service kiosk or give the details to our staff, who will update the system accordingly. We accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX and CUPS. Your refund should appear in your account within the next 3 weeks. You can track your refund status via our Track My Refund option on our website.

What will be the currency of the refund?
In most cases, the refund amount will appear in the currency of your credit card. 

I validated my Tax Free tags but didn’t collect cash. How can I claim the refund now?
If you forgot to collect your cash refund, or ran out of time before you left the UAE, you can click on Track My Refund and select your refund option online, entering your card details when you select “credit card” as your refund method.

Are there any additional fees?
No. All fees are already included and calculated at the point of sale and validation points.

I have left UAE without validating my Tax Free tag. Is there anything else I can do to receive my refund?
In such a situation the only option would be to return to UAE within the expiration period of your Tax Free tag under the condition that the goods are still unused and in their original packaging. You will need to undergo the standard export validation procedure when departing from the UAE. Otherwise you will not be able to get your refund once you left the UAE without validating your forms.

How can I register for the Tax Free service with Planet and the FTA?
Simply click on the registration button on our website or the FTA’s website, and follow the instructions on the screen.

How do I know if my company is eligible to register?
Merchants must be registered for VAT with the FTA to provide a Tax Registration Number (TRN), be up-to-date with their VAT returns and settlement of payable tax, be a seller of goods eligible to receive tax refunds as determined by the FTA, submit your request to join the scheme online and be subject to a credit check.

What goods are eligible to receive tax refunds?
All taxable goods except for:

  1. Services

  2. Goods that are not accompanied by the Overseas Tourist at the time of leaving UAE

  3. Food and drinks intended for immediate consumption

  4. Motor vehicles, boats and aircraft

What documents will I need to provide during the registration process?
Merchants will have to sign a contract and credit check consent form, and provide a copy of their TRN and Trade Licence certificates plus an example of the signature of the contract signatory. If the signatory of the contract is not named on the Trade Licence, then we will also need the power of attorney for that person to be a signatory. 

What does it cost to join the Tax Refund scheme?
There are no upfront costs to join. We will provide you with access to our web app (or smartphone app, depending on your set-up) to issue Tax Free tags, plus training for your staff. You will also receive Tax Free tags to add to the receipts, and marketing material to advertise the fact you offer Tax Free services at your stores.

What do my shop assistants need to do at the point of sale?
They will issue a sales receipt as they normally do, plus affix a Tax Free tag (which we will provide to you) to the back of the receipt. They will then either scan the tag using our smartphone app or the web portal, and enter the transaction amount plus tourist details (passport number, expiry date, country of issue and residence). The web portal or the app will calculate the VAT refund due so the tourist knows what they will receive.

What is your invoice for?
We will send you a monthly invoice for the total VAT amount related to the Tax Free tags validated in the previous month. You will pay that VAT to us, and enter that amount in the VAT return adjustment field so it is reduced from your payable tax due with the FTA.

Will my VAT return process change?
No. You will submit your VAT returns as usual, and simply add the total amount we invoiced you that month in the adjustment field so the amount comes off your payable tax amount that period.

How much will tourists receive back for their purchases?
The tourist will receive 85% of the VAT, minus a 4.80 AED fee per Tax Free tag. The amount is calculated automatically at the point of sale and validation point.

Can I issue Tax Free tags for several receipts at once?

Yes, as long as all the receipts are from the same store and the same day. You can simply staple them together and issue one Tax Free tag for all the receipts combined (you need to make sure all the goods purchased are eligible to receive tax refunds).

When can I issue the Tax Free tags?

You can issue the tags at the same time as the sale transaction takes place, or ask your customers to go to a central service point within your shop and provide the Tax Free tag there. The only requirement is that the Tax Free tag be issued on the same date as the sales receipt (you can combine receipts as long as they’re from the same store).

How long does the Tax Free tag issuing process take?

You can issue a tag, register it on the system, and enter all necessary details in under 2 minutes.

How do I know the tourist is eligible to receive tax refunds?

You will have to ask the tourist which country they are a resident of, and ask for their passport. Only tourists who are not resident in the UAE are eligible for the scheme.

Who is eligible for Tax Free Shopping?
All non-UAE residents above 18 years old.

How much do I need to spend to benefit from Tax Free Shopping?
The minimum purchase amount is 250 AED.

Which exit points can tourists use to validate their tax free tags?
Until 16th of December there will be 3 exit points through which tourists will be able to validate their Tax Free tags. These are the Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah International Airports where we operate 24/7.

From the 16th of December tourists will be able to obtain their export validation in 9 additional locations. These are:  Dubai - Al Maktoum airport, Abu Dhabi Port Zayed, Al Ain airport, Al Ain land border, Al-Fujairah airport, Ras Al Khaimah airport, Al Ghuwaifat land border, Hatta land border and Dubai Mina Rashid Harbour.

To find us the tourist just needs to follow the signs for Tax Free Refunds and they will find our staff wearing Planet Tax Free uniforms, or our self-service kiosks.

How much time do tourists have to complete the procedure?
The Tax Free tag needs to be validated within 90 days of the purchase date. For instance: a form issued on 1st of January is valid until 1st of April. If this is not done, the Tax Free tag expires, and the VAT cannot be claimed anymore

Once the tourist completes the in-store procedure, what are the next steps?
The tourist should keep your sales receipts with the Tax Free tags with them until the day they depart. They should arrive at the airport or land/sea border crossing earlier to allow time for completing the procedure. Once there, they can approach our staff or go to one of our self-service kiosks to have their Tax Free tags digitally validated before checking in, dropping off their luggage and going through security.

What is ‘export validation’?
Export validation is a confirmation that the goods are leaving the UAE and the VAT can be reclaimed for these purchases.

Can someone validate the tourist’s Tax Free tags or collect the refund on their behalf?
No.  Only the owner of the passport under which the Tax Free tags are registered is entitled to validate them and collect the refund.

What are the refund methods?
There are two refund methods – Credit Card or Cash. When validating their Tax Free tags the tourist will be asked for their preferred refund method.