Reverse Charge Mechanism under VAT

UAE VAT reverse charge mechanism

Reverse Charge Mechanism under VAT 
What is Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM)? 

Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) under VAT eliminates the responsibility for the businesses outside the UAE to register for VAT in UAE. The reverse charge mechanism under VAT is mainly used for transactions from cross the border.

In a typical business, the supplier supplies goods to the customers and collect VAT from the customers, which is later paid to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). Under reverse charge mechanism (RCM), the supplier does not charge VAT to the customer, the buyer or end customer pays the tax directly to the government authority. 

The supplier does not have to pay VAT on import items, so the obligation of reporting a VAT transaction is shifted from the seller to the recipient.

The recipient will have to record the VAT on purchases (input VAT) and the VAT on sales (output VAT) in their VAT return each quarter.

If the supplier is from outside the country and does not have a business in the UAE, the VAT does not implement on the businesses who are not in UAE. Hence, recipients who are residents of the UAE and receiving goods from the supplier who is not in UAE are made to pay VAT on reverse charge basis.

Reverse charge is applicable in the following cases:

Import of goods/services from other GCC and non-GCC countries. The supplier of these goods/services must be located in another country and they may or may not have a business in the UAE. 

Purchase of goods from a designated zone

Supply of gold and diamonds 

Purchase of gold and diamonds for resale or further production/manufacture 

Supply of hydrocarbons for resale by a registered supplier to a registered recipient in the UAE

Supply of crude/refined oil by a registered supplier to a registered recipient in the UAE

Supply of processed/unprocessed natural gas by a registered supplier to a registered recipient in the UAE

Production and distribution of any form of energy supplied by a registered supplier to a registered recipient in the UAE

How does reverse charge mechanism work?

To understand the concept of reverse charge mechanism under VAT in UAE, let’s look at an example using an imported products:

XYZ is a VAT-registered firm in UAE, they are importing goods from an ABC firm which is in UK. As ABC firm is not registered in the UAE, they do not have to file any UAE returns or pay UAE tax. Because ABC firm in UAE has acquired products from a non-UAE-based supplier, they will have to record the reverse charge on their relevant VAT return. In this example, because the recipient accounts for the VAT under the reverse charge mechanism, the place of supply for VAT purposes is the UAE.

Reverse Charge Mechanism in UAE VAT

The conclusion of the above mentioned example is that the net result of reverse charge mechanism is same as that of forward charge basis.

The only difference in reverse charge VAT is the shift in the responsibility of paying VAT which is moved from supplier to the recipient.

In the above illustration, it is moved from ABC Firm to XYZ firm. In a way, the concept of reverse charge mechanism helps to alleviate the difference between local and international suppliers and puts both into the same position.

How would recipients deal with the reverse charge transaction?

Businesses should calculate the amount of tax to be paid to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), self-account the VAT amount as output tax during the purchase and then declare it in their VAT return. Businesses may claim input credit if possible. Make sure you maintain the necessary documents like invoices for future reference.

What are the requirements for the reverse charge mechanism?

  1. The receiver of the goods or services must be registered for VAT.
  2. Every registered business owner must keep proper records of their supplies that incur reverse charge.
  3. Invoices, receipt vouchers, and refund vouchers should all specify whether the tax payable for that particular transaction is through reverse charge.

How and when to use the concept of Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) is a complex question and it needs professional and experienced opinion to define the mechanism as per the VAT law in UAE. SAB is authorized Tax Agent by Federal Tax Authority (FTA) who can help you in understanding the concept of Reverse Charge Mechanism under VAT. 


14 thoughts on “Reverse Charge Mechanism under VAT

  • Hi Good day
    We already filled and pay our 4th quarter 2019 VAT return last 20 Jan 2020. It was by mistake that we did not apply the reverse charge for the Imports of goods from Non GCC country. We record the amount of VAT on Goods imported into the UAE in Box 6, but failed to include or record in Box 10 the amount of VAT on Supplies subject to the reverse charge provisions. Can we apply these amount as an input tax credit on the next VAT Return?

      • good day.

        Same scenario with us sir. But the problem we are not recording it in box 10 all the amount that is subject for reverse charge provision since the first quarter of filing the vat. Can we still recover this amount?

    • Hi All,

      I have the same query as Alvin Regalado above. May I please obtain your feedback on this query?

      Thank you and best regards.

  • Good day,

    are there specific requirements to be reflected on the invoice from the supplier to indicate its reverse charge and that the responsibility lies with the UAE vat resident to apply the reverse charge?

  • hey

    We have the similar query. We did not record the transaction at all with regards to RCM. Your feedback is much appreciated

    Thank you and best regards.

  • Hi,

    We have the same issue. We did not record the transaction at all with regards to RCM. Can we still claim this as input tax in the next period?

    • No, you need to submit voluntary disclosure. You cannot claim it in the next quarter. If you want us to submit a voluntary disclosure, feel free to contact us. Thank you

  • We have AED 100,000/- RCM value for the current vat period and AED 50,000/- sales. So in this condition, is it a Vat refundable or payable?

  • Dear Sir,

    We have question on REVERSE Charge Mechanism. We are filing VAT returns quarterly.
    In month of March 2022 we imported goods from UK. There is VAT amount showing against imported goods in line 6 (Goods imported into the UAE).

    Goods which we imported still not sold till to date (24-04-2022).

    My question is : In line 10 (Supplies subject to the reverse charge provisions) in VAT returns forms, can we mention the same amount of imported goods and recoverable VAT amount keeping in mind the goods are still not sold.

    Appreciate your valuable advise at the earliest.

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