What is Reverse Charge Mechanism

As a business owner, you may not have heard of the value-added tax (VAT) concept and how its application can significantly impact your bottom line. But do you also know about the reverse charge mechanism? The reverse charge mechanism is an integral part of the UAE VAT system that could have an even more significant effect on purchasing within the single market. In this post, we’ll explain what exactly it is – and why it’s essential for any entrepreneur operating in UAE to understand how it works. Awe will also talk about why vat registration in UAE is important.

Reverse Charge Mechanism

The reverse charge mechanism is a process whereby the receiver of goods and services, rather than the supplier, pays the VAT directly to the government. This means that instead of receiving an invoice from the seller with VAT included, you would pay the applicable tax rate directly to your national tax authority. It’s also sometimes known as a ‘self-assessment’ system.

When Is Reverse Charge Applicable?

Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) is applicable in the UAE when supplies of goods and services are provided by a non-resident supplier who does not have a business presence in the UAE. It is also applicable in cases where the supplies are between two taxable persons within the same state or between two persons outside the UAE.

Under RCM, the recipient of the supply is responsible for paying the Value Added Tax (VAT) directly to the Federal Tax Authority instead of paying the supplier. The amount of VAT paid by the recipient can then be deducted from their total VAT payable at the end of each tax period.

RCM is applicable in the following cases:

• When goods or services are imported into the UAE from a foreign state, the recipient of the supply must pay the VAT to the FTA.

• When goods are supplied between two taxable persons in the same state, such as from one business to another, RCM applies, and the recipient must pay the VAT to the FTA.

• When goods or services are supplied between two taxable persons outside of the UAE, RCM applies, and the recipient must pay the VAT to the FTA.

RCM is a complex and ever-evolving area of taxation, so it is essential for businesses operating in the UAE to seek professional advice when dealing with any reverse charge-related matters. This will ensure that all relevant taxes are paid in full, on time, and by the UAE’s tax laws. If a business fails to comply with RCM requirements, it may incur penalties or fines from the FTA. Companies must also keep thorough records of all transactions under RCM to remain compliant. This includes invoices, other pertinent documents, and forms of payments made to the FTA.

By understanding how and when the reverse charge is applicable, businesses can ensure they stay compliant with all UAE tax laws. Such compliance will help them avoid any delays or legal complications arising from non-compliance.

The UAE has established a robust framework for the taxes it collects from businesses and taxpayers, including those applicable under RCM. By familiarizing themselves with these laws, companies can ensure they remain compliant. This will help them stay on top of their tax obligations and avoid any penalties or fines from the FTA.

Considerations for Reverse Change Mechanism

It’s essential for any business operating in UAE – regardless of whether they are a supplier or a buyer – to be aware of the reverse charge mechanism and its implications. They could find themselves with unexpectedly large tax bills or other financial penalties from their national authorities if they don’t. Understanding how it works can help ensure that all transactions comply with UAE VAT regulations and avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.

In short, the reverse charge mechanism is an integral part of any business operating in the UAE, and it’s essential to understand how it works. By doing so, you can be sure that all your VAT payments are handled correctly and save yourself from penalties down the line. The more you know about it, the better prepared you’ll be for navigating this crucial part of the EU VAT system.

Requirements For The Reverse Charge Mechanism

Under the UAE VAT Reverse Charge Mechanism, certain supplies of goods and services are subject to reverse charge provisions where instead of the supplier charging and collecting taxes from the customer, the customer is obligated to pay the tax directly.

The following criteria must be met for the reverse charge mechanism to be applicable:

1) All taxable supplies of goods or services must be registered with the Federal Tax Authority.

2) The supplier and customer must be located in different countries, although intra-GCC supplies are exempt from this rule.

3) Both parties to the transaction must have a valid tax registration number (TRN).

4) All taxable supplies of goods and services must be subject to the average rate of taxes (5%).

5) The customer must be registered for VAT in the UAE.

6) The supplier must charge zero percent VAT.

7) The customer must report and pay VAT on reverse-charge supplies within 10 working days after the end of the month it received the goods or services.

Therefore, before commencing any transactions subject to the reverse charge provisions, it is essential to ensure that all of the criteria above are met. If any of these criteria are not met, the RCM will not be applicable, and suppliers must charge and collect VAT from their customers.


Overall, the Reverse Charge Mechanism is an essential tool for businesses in the UAE to ensure compliance with their VAT obligations and make sure they are correctly collecting taxes from customers. By understanding the requirements and ensuring they are met, businesses can comply with VAT regulations and avoid penalties.