VAT to be refunded to tourists; penalties waived

By Sheena Amos

DUBAI 1 March 2018: A plan to exempt businesses that are late in registering with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) from penalties until April 30, 2018, was approved by the FTA board which met under the chairmanship of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.

Value Added Tax (VAT)  went into effect on January 1, 2018, while Excise tax commenced in the last quarter of 2017.

The FTA Board took into consideration the lack of readiness of some businesses during the first phase of VAT implementation, and reflects FTA’s commitment to assisting businesses and encouraging them to be compliant with the tax procedures and to avoid administrative penalties.

Sheikh Hamdan also reviewed the outcome of the tourist refund tender. The authority has developed the project to achieve top-level readiness by implementing it in line with international best practices. The integrated refund system will cover outlets and shops in the country. The board urged to complete procedures for implementing the system.

It also reviewed the clarifications and directives issued by the authority regarding the compliance of businesses with taxes and penalties, based on FTA’s jurisdiction in administration, collection and enforcement of taxes under the Federal Decree-Law No. (13) of 2016 on the Establishment of the Federal Tax Authority

The board examined and evaluated the progress made on existing projects. These include an integrated electronic system of tax administration; the results of the registration for excise tax and VAT; and the plan to increase awareness among business sectors and consumers about the tax system and its mechanisms as well as the rights and responsibilities of all parties concerned.

Sheikh Hamdan  said that the UAE has succeeded in establishing an integrated tax system that is now considered as one of the best in the world.

The Federal Tax Authority has accomplished major achievements within a short period of time, he explained, adding that it is part of its strategic and operational plan to provide the best services for the business sectors in the administration, collection and enforcement of federal taxes and the application of tax procedures efficiently and flexibly.