An image depicting a VAT Clearance Certificate

FTA’s New Online VAT Clearance Option

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The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched a new convenient e-service for Value Added Tax (VAT) registered businesses to apply for clearance certificates digitally. This online system aims to save time and paperwork hassles.  

What is a VAT Clearance Certificate?

A VAT clearance certificate is an official standardized document issued by the FTA. It certifies that the VAT registered business:

  • Has filed all required VAT returns to date
  • Settled any VAT and tax dues owed 
  • Complied with all UAE tax rules and regulations

This confirms the company has fulfilled all VAT regulatory obligations. The certificate is signed and stamped by the FTA for credibility.

Why Should Businesses Obtain VAT Clearance?

VAT registered companies must legally obtain VAT clearance certificates from FTA in situations like: 

  •  Before cancelling your VAT registration – To show all dues cleared
  •  When importing goods customs clearance – To get import permission 
  •  When exporting goods overseas – To satisfy export documentation
  •  Selling or closing your VAT registered business – To transfer liabilities to new owner

Banks may also ask for VAT clearance when opening a corporate account. The certificate verifies your tax compliance. 

Benefits of Online VAT Clearance Facility

The digitized application process offers major benefits:

  • Fast turnaround- Get certified within 1-2 working days only
  • No paperwork- Apply directly without physical documents submission  
  •  Track application status- Check updates real-time and get email alerts
  • Lower cost – Minimal charges compared to manual application 

This results in great savings of time, effort and expenses for companies. 

Types of Businesses That Require VAT Clearance

Exporting companies

Exporters must get VAT compliance certificate showing all taxes paid before shipping goods overseas. UAE customs authorities mandate this for approval. 

Importing companies

Importers should acquire clearance certifying they have no unpaid VAT dues before importing goods into the country to avoid penalties. 

Selling your VAT registered organization

Obtain the certificate prior to selling your business showing all previous taxes settled so new owner does not inherit unresolved dues.

Step-by-Step Guide to Apply Online

Follow these steps to get VAT clearance easily:  

1. Visit FTA e-Services portal and login with registered credentials   

2. Enter digital signature key and select VAT clearance certificate service 

3. Choose the appropriate application reason  

4. Attach scanned copies of documents required as per form  

5. Pay fees of AED 100 through online payment gateway  

6. Review then submit application  

You will receive the digitally signed VAT clearance certificate directly on your registered email ID within 1-2 working days. 

Documents Required for Application

Keep these documents handy before starting the online application:

  • Copy of valid passport  
  • VAT registration certificate
  • Last 3 months VAT returns filed   
  • Proof of previous VAT payments 

Common Queries and Issues Faced

What if my VAT clearance request gets rejected? 

FTA will reject applications instantly if documents uploaded are missing or incorrect. In such cases, businesses can simply reapply with all complete papers within 30 days for fresh processing without additional charges.

Can I still apply if my business is registered in another emirate?  

Yes, the online VAT clearance facility is available for all VAT registered organizations regardless of which emirate they are based in across the UAE.


The automated VAT clearance system is a game changing initiative by FTA aimed at simplifying processes for registered tax payers. Exporters, importers or sellers should proactively apply online to receive certified clearance faster without paperwork. This enables focusing on business growth fully compliant.


How long is the online issued VAT clearance valid for? 

The online VAT clearance is legally valid for 60 days from the date it is issued. You must submit it to the relevant authorities within this duration before expiry.  

Can I save and continue an incomplete VAT clearance later?

Yes, you can save the draft application at any stage and continue to complete it within 30 days. The portal allows you re-login flexibility to complete application.



Ms. Vibha Modi, CA, is supported by 13+ Years of Corporate Tax, International Taxation and Accounting Expertise.

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