UAE President issues new Tax Procedures Law

This should help “ease the nation into the VAT and excise tax systems”
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His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, the Emir of Abu Dhabi and the Supreme Commander of the Union Defence Force has issued a new law defining the role of the Federal Tax Authority, FTA.

Federal Law No. 7 of 2017 for Tax Procedures also sets out the foundation for the planned UAE tax system. The law issued yesterday also defines a clear set of common procedures and rules that will be applied to all tax laws in the UAE, namely, VAT and excise tax laws.

This includes tax procedures, audits, objections, refunds, collection and obligations such as tax registration, tax-return preparation, submissions, payment and voluntary disclosure rules.

According to local news agency WAM, the new federal also sets out a list of penalties for non-compliance. It also establishes a clear process for appeals and a fair and transparent environment for the FTA to carry out its mandate.

Speaking on the law, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and FTA Chairman said: “The Law, issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is an all-encompassing legislative framework that lays the groundwork for the UAE’s plan to implement taxes as a means to ensure sustainability and diversify the government’s revenue streams. The increased resources will enable the Government to maintain the momentum of its development and infrastructure for a better future.”

He added: “We are working to establish an optimal legislative and executive environment to ease the nation into the VAT and excise tax systems.

“Implementing these taxes gives the UAE further leverage when it comes to international competitiveness and brings us one step closer towards building the future envisioned by our wise leaders, who have called on all those in charge to innovate and strive to spread happiness among citizens and residents.”

If you’re new to the UAE or to the concept of VAT here’s what you need to know…

The news of the 5 percent VAT was confirmed earlier this year by the Under Secretary of the UAE Ministry of Finance, Younis Al Khouri, who stated that from January 1, 2018, all GCC countries will be enforcing a 5 percent VAT across the broad.

In a bid to soften the blow, the UAE announced that it will most likely be enforcing a waiver on around 100 goods and services, such as food and healthcare.

While businesses with annual revenues of over AED375,000 will be obliged to register for the GCC VAT system, there will be no income tax on salaries.

The cost of cigarettes and energy drinks will increase by 100 percent. According to an official report published by the UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA), a 100 percent selective tax will be implemented on tobacco and energy drinks from the fourth quarter of this year. While a 50 percent tax will be added to all soft drinks.

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