VAT on Commercial Property in UAE: A Comprehensive Guide

The Federal Tax Authority in the UAE defines a residential building for VAT purposes as a residential building or part thereof prepared and designed to be occupied by a number of individuals, including any building occupied by a person as his main residence. The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) adds that the residential building does not include:

  • Any place that is not a fixed building on the ground or may be moved without damaging.
  • Any building used as a hotel, hostel, accommodation, hospital, or the like.
  • Any hotel apartment that provides services in addition to providing accommodation.
  • Any building constructed or converted without a legal license.

A commercial building for VAT purposes is defined as any building or part thereof other than a residential building as:

  • Offices
  • Stores
  • Hotels
  • Shops

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in the UAE has set the conditions and controls for the real estate sector with regard to VAT.  Commercial real estate supplies, whether sales or rent, are subject to the basic rate of VAT, i.e., 5%, while residential real estate is exempted from the tax in general, except for the first supply during the first three years of its construction, to be subject to the zero rate.

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 VAT Registration for Commercial Property in UAE

According to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), the owner of a residential building does not register for VAT if he does not have other business activities.  If he has any other business activities, he must register.

The owner of any non-residential building must register for VAT if the amount of his supplies exceeds the VAT Registration Threshold, in the previous 12 months, or his revenues are expected to exceed in the next 30 days.

Vat Registration Process for Commercial Property and in UAE

Step 1: Assess Which Commercial Properties Are Taxable

  • Commercial properties in the UAE, whether leased out or sold, are taxable unless provided they are for residential use.
  • Any Non-Resident property owners and/or tenants cannot escape 5 % VAT for commercial property. If the landlord and tenant are both non-residents, the landlord has to register for VAT if the property is in the UAE.
  • Lease incentives, such as free office fit-outs, could be subject to VAT.
  • VAT will also be applicable to rents payable under commercial rental contracts.
  • Any property, which is not fixed to the ground and hence movable, would also be considered commercial for VAT purposes. Mobile homes, for example.

Step 2: Determine Your Eligibility to Register for Commercial Properties

  • If the value of taxable supplies exceeds AED 375,000, a business can undergo mandatory VAT registration.
  • If taxable supplies exceed AED 187500 to AED 375000, then the company can undergo voluntary VAT registration.

Step 3: Submit Details to Tax Experts

  • Details of the applicant

Supply the details of the person who is operating the real estate business. whether he is an individual or a business, details of the applicant must be submitted to the tax experts.

  • Supply Details regarding the VAT amount

The applicable VAT amount on the sale of the property should be declared (mentioned in the tax invoice provided by the seller.)

  • Seller’s TRN

The Tax Registration Number of the seller should be furnished to the tax expert as mentioned in the tax invoice.

  • Details of Property number

The official property number as provided by the seller or the land registration department should be furnished.

  • Date of purchase

This is the purchase date of the commercial property as mentioned on the tax invoice.

After providing the above-mentioned details to a tax expert, they will forward all the information to FTA which will scrutinize the information provided. After the approval, the entity is registered for VAT in UAE.

According to Federal Tax Authority, a taxable person also requires additional documents or authorization, depending on the business activity, the jurisdiction of the business, and more such factors.

Consequences for Non-registration of Vat for Commercial Property

A commercial property owner that misses the VAT registration UAE cutoff date or fails to complete the VAT registration process under the deadline set by Federal Tax Authority must settle a fine not less than AED 20000 (estimated fine) To determine exact penalties seek the guidance of a VAT consultant in UAE.

Residential and Commercial Building Supplies

The supply of a residential building for the first time within three years of its construction is subject to a zero rating.  While all subsequent supplies are exempted from the tax, even if they were during the first three years from the completion of its construction.  All supplies of commercial buildings are subject to VAT at the rate of 5%, and it includes all non-residential buildings or any parts thereof.

Dual-Use Buildings

There are dual-use buildings, i.e. residential and commercial at the same time. The process of selling or renting the residential part of the building is subject to the zero-rate in the event of a first supply, or exempt from tax if there is a subsequent supply. And if the commercial part of the building is sold or rented, it becomes subject to VAT at the rate of 5%.

The building owner must divide the tax he paid in the event of a tax-exempt supply. Therefore, it is possible to recover the portion related to the taxable supply, i.e., that which is subject to the zero rate, as well as that subject to the 5% rate. In addition to the above, renting a residential building is exempt from tax, but renting a commercial building is subject to VAT at a rate of 5%.

VAT Refund for Commercial Real Estates

If the service applicant is eligible to recover VAT and has original invoices, this is not sufficient to claim a refund of his tax. Having a comprehensive knowledge of when applications are submitted and the amounts are also very important elements.

The VAT refund system can help the service seeker recover his VAT in the UAE. However, there are some requirements and criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for this.

The owner of a residential building cannot recover the VAT related to the costs he incurred on the supply of the tax-exempt residential building, but the owner of a commercial building has the right to recover the VAT related to the costs he incurred on the supply of the building.

VAT Deregistration  for Commercial Properties in UAE

The registrant’s tax registration shall not be Deregistered unless the following conditions are met:

  • Submit a request to cancel registration within twenty days of fulfilling the cancellation conditions.
  • If the registrant stops making taxable supplies.
  • If the value of supplies within twelve months is less than the voluntary registration limit.
  • If the registrant pays the total tax and administrative fines due from him.
  • He submitted all tax returns that must be submitted for the period in which he was registered in accordance with what was stipulated in the tax legislation provided by the Federal Tax Authority in the UAE.

How VAT Registration UAE can assist

It is advisable for businesses to seek the expert services of trusted Tax Consultants in UAE to seamlessly register for VAT and to ensure compliance. VAT Registration UAE are prominent tax advisors. We provide VAT registration services for commercial property and other Taxable Persons. Therefore, contact us today and we shall be glad to assist you.

You can seek the help of our VAT experts in UAE, as they can help you register VAT for commercial property. We give necessary VAT-related information also provide full-fledged assistance with regard to VAT; we are right here to make VAT registration a smoother experience for businesses. Call us now for further consultation.

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