VAT was introduced in the UAE on January 1, 2018 and while school education is exempt for tax, higher education is not.
Private universities have been charging the 5% tax, and have reported no hurdles so far.
Professor Abdullah Al Shamsi vice-chancellor of The British University in Dubai (BUiD), told Gulf News that there had been “no issues” in the levying of VAT at the postgraduate establishment.
“The students were fully aware of VAT and they have accepted to pay it, which is a very straightforward and simple process.”
Most universities have clarified and posted VAT related announcements on their websites.
Manish Chetwani, head of finance at Curtin University Dubai said that they notified students well in advance so that there was no misunderstanding or misinformation.
“The VAT is charged on the undergraduate and postgraduate tuition fees and on books, after deducting any bursary, financial aid or scholarship awarded to our students. For our registration fee and student service fee, we have adjusted the amount so that, inclusive of VAT, they remain the same as they were before VAT.”
Government owned institutions or universities funded more than 50% by the government are not subject to VAT. However, services like issuing certificates, ID cards and non tuition fee related services will be taxed at 5%.