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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

VAT in UAE: Too many shops 'still not returning proper change'

FNC member claims businesses are still running out of coins

Some shops say they are willing to absorb small extra charges in the interests of avoiding unnecessary stress for customers. Silvia Razgova / The National
Some shops say they are willing to absorb small extra charges in the interests of avoiding unnecessary stress for customers. Silvia Razgova / The National

Too many businesses are failing to return the proper change to customers, in part due to a shortage of small coins, a Federal National Council member said on Tuesday.

Salem Al Shamsi claimed there is a shortage of 10, 5 and 1 fils coins in the market, and said number of banks do not have a sufficient supply.

This means stores round up when giving out change, and customers lose out as a result, the Ajman member said.

Abu Dhabi's Department of Economic Development originally said businesses could round up prices to the nearest 20 fils, but later changed the decision after complaints from customers.

"There are banks who refuse to deal with the fractions of a dirham and we hope the Central Bank could force them to do so," Mr Al Shamsi told the council.

"The fractions exist all around the world, to solve the issue of change owed to customers. We also hope consumers will be made aware of their rights."

Earlier this month the Central Bank said there was a sufficient number of coins in circulation and on Tuesday Obaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, told the council that many shops do not ask the banks to supply them with small denominations.

He said there are millions of fils coins available upon request from banks and money exchange centres.

The supply as of January 25 was 3.4 million for 1 fils coins, 42.4 million 5 fils coins, 48.7 million 10 fils coins, 262 million 25 fils coins, and 363.8 million 50 fils coins, he said.

“The ministry is following up on the local currency circulation on a daily basis, and is constantly studying the need for denomination coins, and if there is a need for an extra supply the Central Bank will produce them," he said.

He said the number of complaints received by the ministry on issues related to VAT is dropping, now that the first month of application has almost passed.

Earlier this month, some shopkeepers said they were rounding down in the customers' favour, in order to make matters easier and satisfy customers.

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Read more on VAT:

Central Bank: Sufficient number of small coins circulating in UAE

No more rounding up... shops in Abu Dhabi must now give correct change

Shopkeepers willing to absorb small losses to make transactions easier