VAT Return

VAT Return

What is a tax return?

A tax return is a document containing a summary of all of the sales and purchases you made during a particular tax period. This includes imports, exports, and exempt supplies, along with the VAT paid or collected on every transaction. This document must be generated based on your invoices and filed through the FTA e-portal. 

Every registered tax payer in the UAE is required to generate and file a VAT return once every tax period. The tax period is either a month or a quarter (3 months) depending on the prescriptions given by the FTA on your VAT certificate.

Important Filing Dates

The last day to file any VAT return, be it monthly or quarterly, is the 28th day of the month following the end of the VAT return period. For instance, if you are filing a quarterly VAT return for the quarter that runs from February to April, then the last day to file this return would be the 28th of May.

Note: The first tax period for the year 2018 can vary from business to business (based on the individual instructions that each one of them receives from the FTA)

For instance, if your first tax period is between January 1, 2018 and Jan 31, 2018, then you will be required to file your VAT return for this period on or before February 28, 2018 (or the next business day if February 28 happens to be a public holiday/weekend).

There are some cases where, the first tax period for a business can be greater than 3 months. For example, if your first tax period is between January 1, 2018 and April 30, 2018, then you have to file your VAT return on or before May 28, 2018 (or the next business day if May 28 happens to be a public holiday/weekend).

Contents of the VAT Return

A typical VAT return contains two sections:

Now let’s look at both sections in detail.


All details under this section will be pre-populated with your data, including the form type, document locator, tax form filing type, and submission date.

VAT on Sales and all other Outputs

This series of sections capture the details of all sales and supplies you made during the tax period. The information under this section is organized in tables showing the following three values:

This part of the return is divided into 9 sections.

VAT on Expenses and all other Inputs

This series of sections captures all of your purchases and expenses during the tax period. The information is arranged in tables shows the following three values:

This part of the return is divided into 3 sections.

Net VAT due

This section will show the amount of VAT you owe to the government using the total output VAT payable minus the amount of VAT you can recover from your inputs.

This part of the return is divided into 4 sections.

Additional Reporting Requirements

Profit Margin Scheme

This applies to vendors who sell secondhand goods and have applied for the profit margin scheme, in which inputs are exempt from VAT and VAT is applicable only to the profit made during sales. Select yes if you have enrolled yourself under this scheme.

Transfer of own goods to other GCC implementing states

This section applies to businesses that transfer goods to their own branches in other GCC countries, such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar or Saudi Arabia. Like the table above, this table captures the taxable value of the goods in three numbers: Amount (AED), VAT amount (AED) paid on inputs for which you recovered VAT, and any Adjustments (AED) made to the goods’ value. 

Recoverable VAT paid in other GCC implementing states

This section is an extension of subsection 10. Here you are required to list any recoverable VAT you might have on purchases made in each GCC country individually.

Declaration and Authorized Signatory

In this final section, you are required to vouch for the authenticity of the data that you have provided in the all the fields above, using the check box. All of your personal information will be auto-populated below the declaration.

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