UAE FTA Highlights Seven Key Information on Registering for VAT

Press release
Published April 8th, 2018 - 09:00 GMT
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FTA Director General
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FTA Director General

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has stressed that all businesses subject to the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) should be fully aware of key on registering for Value Added Tax.

HE Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FTA Director General, urged business sectors to learn and understand key information, which has been identified based on the first period of VAT implementation, with the new taxation system coming into effect from January 1, 2018.  He said that it was incumbent on all businesses to ensure that they are compliant and properly registered.

"This continuous follow-up is a commitment by the FTA to adopt the highest standards of transparency and accuracy in its efforts to achieve optimum implementation of tax systems locally and to avoid misconceptions that can lead to the arising of issues that can have a negative impact," H.E said.

"This information is being added to the existing guidelines, laws and regulations available through the FTA’s website:, as well being made available in the form of infographics, short film presentations and induction workshops in the UAE. The messaging has been designed to guide community members and business sectors to the mechanisms of calculating VAT, to explain the steps and procedures related to it, and to outline the obligations of each party,” H.E added.

The FTA clarified that included in the information were seven essential pointers to ensure optimum VAT implementation, including:

  1. Businesses whose supplies are less than AED 375,000 are not required to register for tax

Businesses must register for VAT if their taxable supplies exceed AED 375,000 over the previous 12 months, or expected to exceed the threshold in the next 30 days. Businesses with supplies less than voluntary registration of AED 187,500 cannot register with the Authority to obtain a tax number and are not required to have a tax registration number (TRN).

  1. Natural persons are subject to VAT if their supplies exceed the mandatory threshold

A natural or legal person in business is required to register for VAT if their taxable supplies exceed the mandatory registration threshold of AED 375,000 000 over the previous 12 months, or expected to exceed the threshold in the next 30 days. They should register as soon as possible to avoid late penalties and the accumulation of payable tax duties.

  1. The tax registration number (TRN) is sufficient to carry out all commercial activities.

Providing a TRN is sufficient to carry out any business or other economic activity, which can be verified using the service of the TRN verification through the FTA website at Businesses do not need to wait for the completion of a VAT registration certificate in order to trade – a TRN is sufficient. This policy is in line with FTA’s continuous efforts to ensure there’s no negative economic impact on businesses that could result from not being permitted to trade.

  1. Registration is continuous

Registration for VAT is continuous for either new business or businesses reaching the mandatory registration threshold or late registration cases for which the legal process will be applied upon registration.

  1. Computation of the mandatory limit according to revenues.

The mandatory registration threshold shall be calculated on the basis of total business turnover relating to taxable supplies provided no explicit provision for exemption has been issued. The registration threshold is calculated on the value of imported goods and services and not based on profits.

  1. Exemption from the late registration penalties only until the end of April.

The FTA’s decision to exempt late business sectors from VAT registration procedures applies only up until the end of April 2018. All taxable businesses are still required to settle all due taxes due from January 1, 2018.

  1. Unregistered businesses are not entitled to impose tax

Unregistered businesses are not entitled to impose a tax on their customers and therefore cannot issue tax invoices. Such businesses will still have to pay tax on imported goods before they clear customs outlets. Violating parties will be required to pay an administrative penalty of AED 20,000.

Background Information

Federal Tax Authority

By virtue of this Federal Law by Decree a public federal authority shall be established under the name of the Federal Tax Authority. The headquarters of the authority shall be located in the city of Abu Dhabi. The authority shall be in charge of managing and collecting federal taxes and related fines, distributing tax-generated revenues and applying the tax-related procedures in force in the UAE.

The authority shall be managed by a board of directors chaired by the Minister of Finance and a sufficient number of members to be appointed and remunerated by a Cabinet resolution, based on the chairman’s nomination. The authority shall have an independent annual budget that shall be deemed as public funds and exempted from all taxes and fees.

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