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Tax Consultants & Bookkeepers in the UAE

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VAT FAQ's

Expert VAT Opinions

Does a company branch have to be registered separately for taxes?

From a legal perspective, a branch is seen as an extension of the main company. Therefore, branches do not need to be registered separately for VAT as they will automatically fall under the main registration you completed in December 2017 ahead of the introduction of the tax in January.

Do not consider the branch revenues and costs as separate from the main business; from a VAT perspective these should all be combined. Read more...

Do I need to re-register if my company's name has changed?

What the FTA has advised in this situation is that you file an amendment to your existing registration and update the registration with the new name and trade licence.

They also require a letter on company letterhead, signed and stamped, that explains why you have changed your business name. Once approved, they will make an amendment to the VAT registration name to reflect the updated company branding. Read more...

Should I pay tax on the sale of company assets?

Legislation states that VAT is charged on taxable supplies made in the normal course of your business. Some argue that selling fixed assets, such as furniture, is outside the normal course of business and is not vatable.

The purchase of assets used to generate taxable sales are part of most businesses' normal activities. When you purchase the new office furniture you will be charged VAT on the purchase, which you can recover in full against your output VAT on taxable sales. Read more...

I tried to de-register a year ago but now have Dh5,000 in fines

The rules around de-registration are a little complicated. A person registered under VAT can apply to do this in two circumstances:

First if you stop making taxable supplies and do not expect to make any over the next 12-month period. Second, if your taxable supplies or taxable expenses incurred over the last 12 consecutive months is less than the voluntary registration threshold of Dh187,500 and you do not anticipate crossing this threshold in the next 30 days.

However, if you originally voluntarily registered for VAT; you are not allowed to de-register until 12 months have passed. Also, once you have registered, you are obligated to file quarterly VAT returns regardless of your turnover. Read more...

Can suppliers issue invoices without VAT?

Small businesses or start-ups whose taxable turnover is below the mandatory VAT registration threshold of Dh375,000 do not need to be VAT registered.

A perfectly legal, licensed small business may never need to register, and this is fine. In this case you would expect to be invoiced without any VAT added or mentioned anywhere on their invoices. It is each business's responsibility to register for VAT when they are legally required to do so and as a customer you would not expect to have visibility of total taxable sales. Read more...

FTA VAT FAQ's

No VAT on donations, grants, sponsorships in some cases: FTA

The Federal Tax Authority, FTA, has clarified that donations, grants and sponsorships are outside the scope of Value Added Tax, VAT, only when no benefit is received in return.

Any benefit in return for such payments will be subject to VAT, the authority said. Read more...

FTA clarifies VAT on healthcare of employees' families

The Federal Tax Authority issued a clarification on insurance that states that an employer would only be able to claim the input VAT on the health insurance provided to employees' families if it is the legal obligation of the employer to provide the insurance.

Pratik Shah, partner at Dhruva Advisors, said there is no legal obligation in Dubai on the employer to provide health insurance to the family of an employee, whereas Abu Dhabi mandates employers to provide such extended benefits. Read more...

Compensation payments are not subject to VAT, the Federal Tax Authority says

Companies and consumers in the UAE will not be taxed on payments listed in their business and legal contracts, such as a speeding ticket or a late-delivery fine, unless these payments are related to the supply of goods and services, according to the Federal Tax Authority. Read more...

FTA clarifies VAT for independent director fees

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has confirmed that the date of supply for value-added tax (VAT) with regard to independent directors' services is determined either in accordance with the general rules or the special rules, depending mainly on whether the fees for the said directors were known from the outset or not. Read more...

Profit margin scheme applies only to goods already subjected to VAT: FTA

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has reaffirmed on Monday that the profit margin scheme - which allows a taxable person to calculate value added tax on eligible supplies on the basis of the profit margin earned instead of the original selling price - cannot be used in cases where VAT was not earlier charged.

Such instances include if the goods were purchased by the taxable person prior to the implementation of VAT, or if stock in hand was also acquired prior to January 1 2018, the FTA clarified. Read more...

Excise FAQ's

What is tax?

It is a monetary contribution imposed by a government on individuals and organizations to raise revenue to pay for public services.

What is Excise Tax?

It is a tax on specified goods that are intended for consumption in the UAE. Tax is due when goods enter free circulation in the UAE. It is not a transaction-based tax, which means that goods do not need to be sold for the tax to be due.

What is the effective date of Excise Tax in the UAE?

Federal Decree-Law No. (7) of 2017 on Excise Tax was issued on 17th August, 2017 and is effective from 1st October, 2017.

Which goods are subject to excise tax in the UAE?

  • Carbonated drinks – 50%
  • Energy drinks – 100%
  • Tobacco – 100%

On which value will excise tax apply to?

Excise tax will be applied to the retail selling price of specified goods at the applicable rates.

What are the details of retail selling price issued?

You can find a list here.

Who is required to register for excise tax?

Producers, Importers, Stock pilers and Warehouse keepers of Excisable goods.

What should businesses required to pay excise tax do?

Register with the FTA, submit monthly excise tax returns and pay the excise tax due on the same date as submitting the tax return.

When is excise tax due?

Excise tax is due when goods enter free circulation in the UAE.

Will excise tax be payable by travellers entering the UAE?

Travellers will not need to pay excise tax on goods if the value of goods is below the Custom Duty exemption threshold. Where the value of excise goods exceeds the exemption threshold, then excise tax will be due on the total value of goods.

Will refunds of excise tax be available?

Excise tax is paid once in the supply chain and a refund will be available under limited circumstances.

Can payment of excise tax be delayed until the goods are sold?

Since excise is due at the point the goods are released for consumption in the UAE, payment of excise tax cannot be delayed till goods are sold.

Will excise tax apply to goods released for consumption in a free-zone?

Yes, including a free-zone that is registered as a designated zone.

Will samples be subject to excise tax?

Regardless of whether or not they are intended for sale, excisable goods will be subject to excise tax.

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