UAE takes steps to prevent ‘profiteering’ from VAT

By Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 8 January 2018: The UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), have launched an integrated programme to facilitate the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT), to protect consumers’ rights and prevent profiteering.

The announcement was made at a meeting at the Ministry’s headquarters yesterday attended by Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy; Khalid Al Bustani, Director-General of FTA; and representatives of Economic Development Departments and other entities responsible for protecting consumer rights in the country, said Wam.

Preventing businesses from taking advantage of the introduction of the VAT to increase prices was the main subject on the agenda. The meeting concluded with the adoption of an integrated programme that will allow FTA and the Ministry to cooperate with other authorities to detect tax violations and take the required measures against violators, as well as to educate consumers about their rights.

The framework includes joint awareness campaigns on taxable and exempt products, as well as requirements for invoices issued by shops and outlets offering taxable services.


Meanwhile, a cooperation agreement between the FTA and economic departments was signed during the meeting to monitor markets and allow inspectors in these agencies to verify the authenticity of the Tax Registration Numbers, TRN, printed on invoices, and coordinate regarding violations to take the necessary actions.

Plans to organise training programmes for inspectors in the economic departments were discussed during the meeting to familiarise inspectors with tax procedures and laws and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their processes to prevent violations.

Al Shehhi said, “The Ministry is here to ensure all business sectors can play their part in contributing to national economic growth. This meeting is part of the Ministry’s efforts to safeguard the rights of consumers and protect them from profiteering, as well as to prevent businesses from using the introduction of the VAT to make unjustified price hikes. Therefore, and in partnership with the Federal Tax Authority and other stakeholders, the Ministry supports efforts made by all parties to protect consumers’ rights in accordance with UAE’s strategic vision”.

Al Bustani said: “The efforts made by the Ministry of Economy towards protecting consumers are a crucial step in establishing systematic and accurate supervision of the market, as well as ensuring the implementation of the tax system according to the highest global standards, helping the UAE achieve sustainable development and boosting the performance of key sectors for the good of the entire society”.

The FTA has linked its systems with Customs systems at all entry ports to collect taxes from importers, noting that the country is witnessing a high activity in imports movement and goods entry.

Check Your Invoice

The FTA emphasised that consumers should check that invoices issued by UAE businesses include “Tax Invoice” displayed, the Tax Registration Number, that prices include VAT and the amount of tax charged.

The authority called on citizens and residents to be wary of uninformed and unreliable sources of information which are circulating misleading data around the introduction of VAT in the country. The FTA emphasised the importance of referencing and checking official sources of information, such as statements issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Authority; via the FTA’s official website and the official social media account handle @uaetax.

The FTA’s official website is continuously updated with comprehensive, detailed and accurate information and answers to tax-related questions and inquiries in the UAE.

Public warned of VAT misinformation

Earlier, FTA called on UAE citizens and residents to be “wary of uninformed and unreliable sources of information who are circulating misleading information around the introduction of VAT in the country.”

The FTA emphasised in a statement Saturday on the importance of referencing and checking accurate sources of information, such as the statements issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Authority, through the FTA’s official website: and the official social media account handle, @uaetax.

The FTA’s official website is continuously updated with comprehensive, detailed and accurate information and answers to tax related questions and inquiries in the UAE, said the statement.

False VAT claims following customer complaints

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (DED), has received five complaints last Monday regarding violations of VAT claims made by a number of entities – immediately following up with the affected consumers either directly or via its complaint system linked to its call centre in Abu Dhabi (800555).

Ahmed Taresh Al Qubaisi, Acting Director of DED’s Commercial Protection Directorate, said that the department received the complaints, on the first working day of this year, over the dishonest application of the VAT including suspected exploitation by traders, unjustified price increases and failure to disclose important information.

The department responded by transferring the complaints – with the accompanying evidence – to field inspection teams for investigation.

Al Qubaisi has called on consumers to communicate with the department through its call centre in the event of any suspected violations.

Registration for VAT continues

FTA has urged the business sector to complete the registration requirements for Value Added Tax, VAT, purposes, commending the commitment and high turnout in the registration process.

The FTA confirmed that the registration process is continuing and other businesses that did not register to date should register immediately to avoid fines and legal proceedings. It also urged natural and legal persons doing business in the UAE with taxable supplies and imports of goods and services that exceeded Dh375,000 over the previous 12 months or coming 30 days to register for VAT.

Taxable supplies are identified as all supplies of goods and services made that are not exempt, as well as imports of goods and services.

The Authority stressed the importance of completing all registration requirements, and obtaining a tax registration number, TRN, as well as to carefully review it and ensure its flawlessness before submitting, as faulty data could lead to the rejection of the application.

Businesses are required to validate their entitlement to request for an Exception from VAT registration, which means that all their supplies must be zero rated, if not, the application will be sent back to registrant for amendments, which might delay the process of receiving a TRN.


Registration is available 24/7 through the Federal Tax Authority’s website. Businesses are required to visit the official website, select the e-Services portal, sign up and create an account.

The FTA has called on businesses to provide accurate information and make sure they enter it properly into the application form. To complete the registration process, scanned documents must be attached, including the business or trade license, passport or Emirates ID of the manager or owner of the business, and the authorised signatory – if the signatory is not the manager him/herself – , as well as proof of authorisation for the manager or signatory – including articles of association, power of attorney attested by notary, among others.

More information can be found in the Legislation and Guides sections, on the FTA website.