UAE Federal Tax Authority’s Board of Directors Approves Plan to Exempt Penalties for Businesses

Press release
Published March 1st, 2018 - 06:37 GMT
The Board of Directors adopted results of tender for VAT refund system for tourists.
The Board of Directors adopted results of tender for VAT refund system for tourists.

At its fourth meeting held under the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, the Board of Directors of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) reviewed its achievements following the successful implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT) system, which went into effect on January 1, 2018.

The meeting underlined the high levels of coordination and cooperation between the Authority, business sectors and the consumers, which led to increasing awareness on VAT and achieving positive results in the first two months since its implementation. This complements the success achieved in the implementation of the excise tax system that commenced in the last quarter of 2017.

At the meeting held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance in Dubai, the Board approved a plan to exempt businesses that are late in registering with the Authority from administrative penalties until April 30, 2018. This takes 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.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid 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.

The Board 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 of Directors 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.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum 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.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid said: “The FTA is actively contributing to achieving the long-term strategic objectives of the tax system. The foremost goal is to promote economic diversification by providing sustainable sources of income for future generations to finance strategic projects such as infrastructure development and deliver more public services for citizens and residents.”

“The results of the periodic follow-up show that the response levels to the tax system by the business sectors and all segments of society are very satisfactory. There is a steady increase in the tax compliance ratios, which confirms the success of the model adopted by the FTA which is based on encouraging self-compliance by businesses through easy electronic registration and electronic compliance with tax obligations according to the tax legislation designed to the highest international standards.”

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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