In response to reports that some bank customers have been receiving emails from unidentified sources impersonating banks and financial institutions requesting personal data with the promise of helping them claim their Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds, the Federal Tax Authority reaffirmed that tax refunds are processed only through the authority's official website.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday, the authority noted that some recipients have been asked to provide personal data, including names, credit card numbers, and PIN codes, claiming that providing the information will allow them to recover VAT.
"Refunding taxes for legally eligible applicants is a direct transaction between the registered business and the FTA, and does not call for any intermediaries," the authority said.
"The process is completed via advanced electronic systems, available on the FTA's official website, which include security features for financial transactions. It is done through official channels using the International Bank Account Number (IBAN), and via systems under the authority of - and electronically linked to - the UAE Central Bank."
The authority added that all of these official systems involve dealing directly with the FTA using Tax Registration Numbers. "They stand out for their accuracy, confidentiality, and data security, in addition to being inaccessible via email or any other medium that may be prone to piracy and hacking," the statement said.
The FTA went on to reiterate its warning to all registered businesses, calling on them to remain vigilant and maintain the confidentiality of their personal data.
It also said that all transactions - registration, submitting tax returns, refunding tax for eligible candidates, etc. - can be completed with a few simple steps via the e-Services portal, available 24/7 on the FTA website: www.tax.gov.ae.