The UAE had announced its intention to the introduce value added tax (VAT) in the country starting January 1, 2018. The issuance of the final tax law has set the stage for implementation of VAT and meeting the implementation deadline.
The new law comes after the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Finance, ratified the Common Value Added Tax (VAT) Agreement of the States of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Common Excise Tax Agreement of the States of the Gulf Cooperation Council, following Federal Decrees No. 31 and 32 of 2017, issued by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It is a follow up step from Federal Decree-Law No. 13 of 2016 on the establishment of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) tasked with executing tax laws in the UAE.
The Tax Procedures Law also establishes the register of tax agents who may interact with the FTA on behalf of taxpayers, specifies the basic requirements for appointing tax agents, and sets the standards for maintaining confidentiality by the authority as well as its officers.
Provisions of the law
The law requires any person conducting any type of business to keep accounting records and commercial books, as well as any tax-related information as determined by the Law.
Tax returns, data, information, records and documents must be submitted to the authority in Arabic. The FTA may, however, accept documents in any other language, as long as the person provides a translated copy in Arabic at their expense and responsibility, if so requested.
Furthermore, any person obliged to register for taxation must do so, as stipulated by the law.
Registrants must include their Tax Registration Number (TRN), in all correspondence and transactions with the authority or with others. They must also inform the authority by filling the form of any circumstance that might require the amendment of information related to their tax record within 20 working days of the occurrence of said circumstance.