E-commerce is significant in today's business environment, according to legal experts and companies worldwide. The complicated nature of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the United Arab Emirates must be understood by all stakeholders and businesses. VAT is applicable to almost every service and good that includes social media influencers, e-commerce, online sales, Amazon sellers, etc.

A 5% VAT rate applies to eCommerce online sales in UAE including the supply of goods through an electronic platform, such as a website or marketplace. In e-commerce, all online buying and selling operations are included, when conducting sales and purchases electronically. You have VAT duties if you operate in the UAE and provide products or services over the Internet or through other electronic means. 

This article outlines the requirements for VAT compliance for enterprises operating in the E-Commerce and digital services sectors in the UAE that are both resident and non-resident. Businesses can negotiate the regulatory environment and guarantee compliance in the thriving UAE e-commerce market by being aware of the VAT implications.


VAT on Online Sales (E-commerce)

VAT for E-commerce Online Sales Business in UAE

You need to be aware that there is a 5% VAT on online purchases in the UAE. An electronic platform purchase is considered a supply of products in the context of e-Commerce. Deliveries of the goods to the recipient follow the purchase of the commodities.

Depending on where the source, receiver, and items are located, the supply may take any of the following major forms:

For Sellers who are Residents of the UAE,

  • A resident supplier makes a supply to a UAE recipient of items that are made in the UAE or are made elsewhere.
  • A resident provider makes a supply to a customer who is located outside of the UAE, with products coming from both inside and outside the country.
Goods delivered from Goods delivered to VAT on supply VAT on supply accounted by VAT on import**
UAE UAE 5% Supplier No
UAE Outside UAE 0% if export conditions are met; otherwise 5% Supplier No
Outside UAE UAE No N/A Yes
Outside UAE Outside UAE No N/A No


For Sellers who are Non- Residents of the UAE,

  • Delivery of products to a recipient in the UAE from a non-resident source, whether such commodities are from inside the UAE or from outside.
  • A non-resident supplier's delivery of products from inside or outside the UAE to a recipient outside the UAE.


For more details, contact us


Types of VAT for Online Business

Three main types of VAT apply to online businesses:

Consumption Type VAT: VAT of the consumption type is levied on consumer purchases of goods and services. This type of VAT exempts future depreciation from the tax base and does not charge capital goods acquired from other businesses in the year of purchase. The tax is computed using consumer expenditures.


Income Type VAT: Capital goods acquired from other organizations are not excluded from the tax base in the year of acquisition under this form of income VAT. Depreciation in later years, however, is not permitted to be written off. Taxes are levied on both net investment and consumption. Net national income serves as the tax base for this particular sort of VAT.


Gross National Product (GNP) Type VAT: Capital goods acquired by an entity from other entities are not deducted from the tax base in the year of purchase when using the gross national product (GNP) form of VAT. Depreciation for future years is also not removed from the tax base. Gross investment, as well as consumption, are both taxed. The gross domestic product serves as the tax base for this sort of VAT.


VAT on E Commerce Transactions

In the UAE, VAT is charged on all e-commerce purchases, whether they are made online or in conventional brick-and-mortar establishments. The regular 5% VAT tax applies to online transactions made through shopping portals, according to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).

According to Article 18 of the Decree-Law, non-resident providers must register for VAT and provide products or services without any threshold restrictions. This means that the non-resident supplier must register for VAT and abide by local tax laws within the required timeframe if a customer in the UAE purchases a good or service from an online platform (such as social media, gaming, education, e-commerce, music, fashion, or any other service).


VAT on E-commerce Sales in UAE

In e-commerce transactions, physical commodities and electronic services are subject to distinct VAT requirements. These are the primary points:

  • Within the UAE, domestic sales of products or services are subject to a 5% VAT rate.
  • The regular 5% VAT rate also applies to purchases or imports of goods or services made outside the United Arab Emirates.
  • The 5% VAT is calculated and paid by the recipient of the goods or services rather than the non-resident provider if the recipient is a registered UAE VAT taxpayer.
  • The agent or logistics provider bills and submits the 5% VAT to the authority on behalf of end users who are not VAT registered.
  • For non-registered people, the agent or logistics provider is accountable for UAE VAT compliance.


VAT on Electronic Services

Electronic services are subject to VAT depending on where they are supplied. There is no UAE VAT if the point of supply is outside of the UAE. However, VAT at a regular rate of 5% is applicable if the point of supply is inside the UAE. There may be circumstances that qualify for a 0% VAT rate as described in Article 45 of the VAT Decree-Law.

for a better understanding,

Residency Status of supplier Place of use and employment Registration Status of recipient VAT on Supply VAT Accounted by
UAE UAE Any 5% or 0% if specially zero-rated Supplier*
UAE Outside UAE Any No N/A
Outside UAE UAE Not registered 5% or 0% if specially zero-rated Supplier
Outside UAE UAE Registered 5% or 0% if specially zero-rated Supplier
Outside UAE Outside UAE Any No N/A


VAT Consultants in Dubai, UAE

For e-commerce companies, Choosing BMS Auditing for VAT services in UAE has various benefits. We assure appropriate processing of your duties and assist you in maintaining compliance, reducing the danger of fines. By giving us your VAT-related responsibilities, you may save time and money and concentrate on your core business. Our specialized team of VAT experts offers professional support along with specially designed solutions that are catered to your unique needs. You may easily manage VAT rules with BMS, giving you peace of mind and maximizing the potential of your organization.

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