Charged 5% VAT on Salik in Dubai? You can get a refund

Residents who were charged an extra 5 per cent value-added tax (VAT) upon buying Salik recharge cards or tag can now ask for a refund, Khaleej Times can reveal.

It is confirmed that VAT does not apply to Salik recharge cards or tag when purchased from petrol stations or supermarkets.

However, system glitches at several petrol stations caused customers to pay the extra five per cent, especially when the cards or tags were purchased on January 1, the first day of VAT implementation.

Residents can claim a refund of the VAT value upon showing their Salik purchase bills.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, a resident, who refused to be named, said he was asked to pay Dh5 extra when he bought a Dh100 Salik recharge card from a petrol station in Dubai on the first of January. However, when he approached the petrol station a week later, the cashier gave him a refund.

“I went to buy another Salik recharge card, and when I asked the cashier if I will be charged an extra Dh5, he said no. That’s when I showed him my old bill and asked why I was recharged during my first purchase a week ago,” the resident said. “The manager apologized, and said it was an automatic addition from the system that’s now fixed.”

A petrol station staffer confirmed to Khaleej Times that on the first day of VAT implementation, the system automatically added five per cent on all items. However, the station got confirmation the next day from authorities to exempt Salik and Etisalat and Du recharge cards from the tax. The system was fixed over the next day.

“Whoever was charged with the extra five per cent can show us the bill and we will refund right away,” the staffer said, noting that three customers already approached the station for refunds on Sunday.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) had also clarified that VAT will not apply on toll gates or on public transport facilities. There will also be no VAT when you buy a recharge card or tag whether online or from a petrol station or supermarket. It will still cost a Dh4 to pass under a toll gate.

“Passengers and commuters of public transport facilities like the buses, metro, tram and maritime transport, as well as cab passengers, will not be subject to VAT,” RTA said in a previous statement to Khaleej Times.

“The authority has always endeavoured to provide all means of convenience and comfort to customers, and encourage and incentivize them to use the various means of transport in the emirate,” the statement added.