The Road to Success: UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) supports businesses every step of the way for easy VAT implementation

Ten months down the line, businesses in the country have embraced the new law positively, syncing well with the economic rhythm

The United Arab Emirates was one of the first countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to implement Value Added Tax (VAT) on Jan 1, 2018. Ten months down the line, businesses in the country have embraced the new law positively, syncing well with the economic rhythm.

“Initially, there were apprehensions about implementation of VAT, however, The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has been very supportive, encouraging businesses to comply with VAT with its comprehensive measures. Since the time VAT has been rolled out, The FTA has been guiding businesses – small and big with several measures to ensure that the transition to this new era is not only smooth and seamless, but also penalty free,” said Mohammed Fathy, General Manager of Al Dhaheri Jones & Clark.

Al Dhaheri Jones and Clark (ADJC) is a consultancy firm established in Dubai, UAE. The company offers customised services into business and financial planning assisted by an expert team of professionals including independent auditors, financial and accounting consultants as well as advisors for specialised business improvement services.

To ensure that businesses have the right information regarding VAT in the country, The FTA introduced several initiatives including roadshows, workshops and seminars to provide support and clarity to businesses. The government authority also introduced a ‘tax clinic’ to raise tax awareness across the country, urging taxable businesses to register with the authority, and promoting compliance including the timely payment of taxes.

“Implementing a new law is a challenging task. However, the UAE government has always been a frontrunner with new things, and to ensure that VAT was introduced organically, the government announced the intention to implement VAT more than a year before the go-live date. This not only settled the apprehensions, but also facilitated easy and quick compliance with the law,” added Mohammed Fathy.

Committed to continuously develop its services, and to ensure flexibility and enable businesses to seamlessly implement the tax system, The FTA also issued a VAT guide and launched a new website aimed at providing businesses with a wealth of information on the introduction of VAT in the UAE.

“The FTA has set up advanced, world-class electronic procedures to facilitate VAT registration and compliance. These initiatives have served impactful in not only helping businesses comply with the law, but also helped the government in implementing an efficient and transparent tax system in the UAE,” concluded Mohammed Fathy.

Recently, The FTA has introduced a new initiative where UAE taxpayers can now connect directly with accredited tax agents – including accountants, lawyers or consultants – via a government website. The new website feature businesses to nominate one or more parties as their official tax agent, who would represent them in all their transactions with the FTA and help them comply with the VAT requirements. VAT payers can appoint agents to oversee VAT registration procedures, tax returns and any other necessary tax transactions on their behalf.