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In UAE, obligatory VAT registration is needed just for those companies whose value of products exceeds AED 375,000 in the previous 12 months or prepared for to surpass in the next thirty days during the current financial year. For organizations with the value of Products/ Taxable Costs exceeding AED 187,500 in previous 12 Months or prepared for to surpass in the next thirty days throughout the present fiscal year, the VAT registration is optional.

All those organizations whose worth of products are less than the specified threshold limitation will not be allowed to register under UAE VAT. However, this does not stop or limit them to obtain VAT registration in the future, when the value of supplies surpasses or is anticipated to go beyond the specified VAT registration limit. This ultimately causes a service circumstance, in which, companies were not registered on the 1st January 2018, the date on which VAT was carried out however over the time period, they have surpassed the specified limit and have actually been signed up under UAE VAT.

If you take a close take a look at the above circumstance, there are 2 stages to the journey of the businesses, Pre-Registration, and Post-registration. In the pre-VAT registration stage, they needed to pay VAT on their purchase/expenses, however, were unable to recover Input VAT. This is due to the fact that only the registered service is enabled to recover the input VAT. In the post-registration stage, they are needed to collect 5% VAT on taxable supplies and also, they are allowed to recover the Input VAT paid on purchases/expenses.

While the above conversation looks clear, the confusion has to do with recovering the Input VAT paid before registration? Are companies allowed to recuperate the VAT paid prior to VAT registration?

Yes, the UAE VAT laws allow the healing of input tax paid on items, services, and imported products prior to the date of  VAT registration. This will be permitted, only if the goods and services were used to make products that give the right to input tax healing upon tax registration. This implies that the purchases/expenses on which VAT was paid before registration were used in making taxable products after registration.

The recovery of Input VAT will remain in accordance with the general provisions of input TAX recovery and more importantly, the healing should be carried out in the VAT Return sent for the very first Tax Period following Tax Registration.

Nevertheless, the UAE VAT also stipulates certain exceptional scenarios in which VAT paid prior to registration can not be recuperated. The following are the circumstances:

1. Product and Solutions acquired for the function of making non-taxable Supplies. This indicates that you can recover the VAT, only if it is utilized for making taxable supplies including zero-rated supplies.

2. Input Tax related to the part of the Capital Assets that depreciated before the date of Tax Registration. This indicates that If part of the property is diminished then Input tax can not be recuperated on such possessions to the degree such properties are diminished. For instance, if you acquire a fixed possession with an anticipated life of ten years and when you register for VAT the possession has only 3 years of use left. In this case, you can recover just 30% of the VAT you originally paid.

3. Input VAT on service received more than 5 years prior to the date of tax registration will not be enabled to be reclaimed. This restriction is applicable just for services and not applicable for goods.

4. If such products were moved to another GCC country before tax registration.
Except for the instances listed above, in all other cases, you will be qualified to recover VAT paid before registration, if it is used for making the taxable supply.


Enabling business to recuperate the VAT paid prior to registration prevents cascading of taxes on the end customers. The businesses registered after 1st January 2018, must understand the benefit offered by this arrangement in recovering the Input VAT. Any absence in knowing this arrangement of law will lead to loss of Input VAT healing. Also, it is important for companies to note that reclaiming of VAT paid prior to registration is allowed only while filing VAT returns for the first return period post-registration. Thus, organizations should make sure to submit a return for the very first tax period after thoroughly analyzing the arrangements gone over above. After, the filing of return of the very first tax duration, recovery of input tax paid before tax registration can not be made.

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