VAT & Excise Tax


Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax that is levied from each stage of goods supplied, and services bought and sold. The administration of VAT in the UAE is managed by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).

The VAT which businesses charge to their customers is also known as “Output Tax”. VAT, which is incurred on expenses, is also known as “Input Tax”. Where the conditions to allow recovery of Input Tax are met, the taxpayer is able to deduct the Input Tax from the value of the Output Tax, this results in the net VAT payable to the FTA in each tax return period.


Public health has always been one of the top priorities of the UAE government. To enhance physical well-being and help prevent fatal or chronic diseases, the UAE government took an initiative and introduced the Excise Tax across the UAE in 2017.

The Excise Tax is a form of indirect tax levied on specific goods, typically those that are harmful to human health or the environment. In the UAE, Excise Tax is currently applied on the following goods at the following rates:

  • Tobacco & Tobacco products 100%
  • Carbonated drinks (note that this excludes sparkling water) 50%
  • Energy drinks 100%
  • Sweetened drinks 50%
  • Electronic smoking devices and tools 100%
  • Liquids used in electronic smoking devices and tools 100%