Explained: How to File UAE VAT Returns in 8 Simple Steps.

Here’s how to file UAE VAT Returns yourself. No need for any outside help. The whole process simplified with screenshots in 8 simple steps, curated by our VAT team. 

Why what you read below could save you a lot of money:

  1. Make a mistake or any tardiness during the filling process and you will be paying through your nose. 
  2. You also want to be sure that you enter the right numbers and don’t lose out on the opportunity of claiming back the taxes. 
  3. Finally, it is incredibly important to make sure that your business is compliant with all the regulations in UAE.

Once you click on the “New VAT return” you will first be able to see some of the details of your company and reference numbers for this specific return. If you scroll down you will get into the meat of the VAT return. 

I. Box 1a to 1g

As you can see, Box 1a to 1g is divided into standard rated sales from each emirate. Here you divide your sales based on the fixed establishment most closely related to that respective sale. 

In these boxes, you fill in the standard rated sales (i.e. 5% sales) and the respective VAT, to the right emirate.

You can also see an adjustments column, this is to be only used for 2 reasons

  1. Bad debt relief – That is for a sale that was conducted in the past, and has met the conditions to be treated as bad debt.
  2. Sale of any Commercial Property – The buyer of the property will pay this VAT directly to the FTA, therefore can be directly deducted in the adjustment column.
how to file UAE VAT Returns

II. Box 2

The Box 2 of the return is only applicable to businesses that have enrolled in the tax refunds for tourist schemes. If your business is enrolled in this scheme, then you need to mention the amount of refund provided to tourists.

If you are not involved with the scheme, make sure to leave this box blank.

how to file UAE VAT Returns

III. Box 3

In box 3, you would need to include all items that fall under the reverse charge mechanism, which is not included in box 6 & 7. This mainly includes the following –

  1. Import of services
  2. Import of goods without an import declaration
  3. Certain type of supplies in the oil and gas industry

IV. Box 4 to 5

Here, we enter the remaining sales of the company. Make sure to divide the sales correctly into the zero rated and exempt category. These sales do not have any VAT charged, which is why the second column does not appear.

Note – Out of scope sales is not included in this section. This sale is not disclosed in the return at all.

how to file UAE VAT Returns

V. Box 6 to 7

Box 6 will be pre populated by all the imports you made  using your import code. You can see a detailed break up of this if you click the “view details” button.

You should enter numbers in box 7 if and only if you want to adjust the number in box 6. For example, if an import made by you did not get pre populated, it is your responsibility to disclose this here.

If you still are not sure about how to file UAE VAT Returns, drop us a line on our LinkedIn Account, Whatsapp Number (on the top of the screen) or on the Contact Page.

VI. Box 9 to 10

In box 9, you simply enter the recoverable expense amount and its corresponding VAT.  Make sure not to include input VAT that is not recoverable. When in doubt it is always better to claim less, to avoid the risk of penalties and voluntary disclosures.

In box 10, you have the opportunity to recover the output VAT disclosed in box 3, 6 and 7. Make sure to include only those that are recoverable for your business. The amount mentioned in this box cannot be greater than the total mentioned in box 3, 6 and 7.

how to file UAE VAT Returns

VII. Box 12 to 15

These boxes will get calculated automatically. It will automatically show you how much you need to pay to the FTA, or claim back. In the case of refund, box 15 will automatically appear, asking if you need to request for a refund.

how to file UAE VAT Returns

VIII. Profit margin scheme

This is only applicable for businesses that are involved with this scheme, which is quite rare. This scheme is mostly for businesses that sell second hand or collectible products.

how to file UAE VAT Returns


You have now reached the end of the return submission process. You will need to enter the email address, you want to be contacted at. Make sure to click the check box to declare the accuracy and completeness of the information provided by you.

You will also receive a confirmation email, stating the return is submitted. Make sure to make the payment before the deadline to avoid penalties.

To avoid making some of the common errors when filing your VAT return click here.

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