Tax Consultants & Bookkeepers in the UAE

FTA Press Releases

Federal Tax Authority launches strategy to explore future of tax sector, strive for global leadership

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched its strategy to explore the future of the tax sector and strive for world-leading tax procedures. The strategy is built on a thorough assessment and follows comprehensive plans developed to map out the future of the UAE tax system, in line with international best practices.

In a press statement issued today, the Authority explained that launching the strategy formed part of its activities to mark World Future Day 2022, which began last week.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said: “The Federal Tax Authority’s strategy for exploring the future of the tax sector primarily aims to identify the basic motives, scenarios, and proactive measures required for sustainably upgrading tax procedures in the UAE, and promoting a culture of future-mapping within, paving the way for it to become a world leader in the field.” Read more..

Federal Tax Authority activates new and improved digital tax administration platform, EmaraTax

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched its new integrated and fully developed digital tax administration platform EmaraTax today (Monday, 5 December 2022). The platform has been successfully actiVATed, with all services now made available to taxpayers using the latest technologies implemented in the tax field around the world.

In a press statement, the FTA asserted that the transition from the electronic tax system that was previously used, to the new platform, was done seamlessly, with data of all existing users successfully migrated to EmaraTax, enabling them to easily use the new digital platform, with no effect on the transactions carried out by any of the Authority’s customers. All transfer procedures were completed over the National Day holiday.

The Authority noted that the EmaraTax smart application will be launched soon and made available for mobile devices. Read more..

Federal Tax Authority sets 31 December 2022 as deadline to apply for Re-determination of Administrative Penalties on Taxes

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has called on registered taxpayers to benefit from the Decision to Re-determine Administrative Penalties on taxes to be worth 30% of the total outstanding amount of penalties that were not paid before 28 June 2021, and to ensure they meet the conditions set out in the Cabinet Decision on re-determining administrative penalties imposed on tax law violations in the UAE.

The FTA stressed that taxpayers who are eligible to benefit from the Decision must complete all related procedures through the e-services portal on its official website before 31 December 2022 to be able to benefit from these facilities.

In a press statement issued today, the Authority explained that according to the relevant Cabinet Decision, which went into effect on 1 January 2022, tax registrants who were unable to meet the criteria for benefiting from the re-determination by 21 December 2021 will be able to apply for re-determining administrative penalties to be equal to 30% of the total outstanding fines by fulfilling the necessary conditions no later than 31 December 2022. Read more..

The UAE Federal Tax Authority is launching EmaraTax on 5 December 2022

Further to the announcements by the Federal Tax Authority during the past weeks, the Federal Tax Authority confirmed its intention to launch the EmaraTax platform on 5th December 2022.

The migration to EmaraTax will commence from the end of day on Wednesday 30 November. EmaraTax will be available for use on 5 December.

To minimize disruption to taxpayers the FTA has planned this migration to EmaraTax to coincide with the National Day holiday and well in advance of the usual tax return submission and payment dates.

EmaraTax significantly enhances the way that taxpayers can access the FTA’s services, pay their taxes and obtain refunds. The new online platform also greatly enhances the ability of the FTA to administer taxes in the UAE, enables better, faster decision-making and earlier engagement with taxpayers that need support.

The new online platform aligns with the UAE Digital Government Strategy 2025 and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, to leverage emerging technologies and build a solid digital infrastructure that serves the people and business community of the UAE. Read more..

Federal Tax Authority refunds tax incurred on building and operating mosques

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched a mechanism for refunding value added tax (VAT) incurred on building and operating mosques on the FTA’s e-Services portal, in light of Cabinet Decision No. (82) of 2022 in that regard, which began to be implemented as of yesterday Saturday 29 October 2022, covering all mosques in the UAE, provided that the refund applications are submitted within time limits based on the completion date of the mosque’s construction.

In a press statement issued today, the FTA announced that it will begin accepting applications for refunding input tax incurred on building mosques as of Tuesday, 1 November 2022, via the FTA’s e-Services portal. Refund applications for the refund of tax incurred on operating mosques will be accepted at a later date on the same portal.

FTA’s Director General, His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani emphasized on the importance of the decision, which is in line with the wise leadership’s directives to encourage charity work and public benefit activities that are practiced in accordance with the legislation in force in the UAE. Read more..

Federal Tax Authority showcases its latest digital initiatives at GITEX Global 2022

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) will be showcasing its latest digital initiatives at the 42nd GITEX Global 2022, which is set to be held over five days starting from Monday, 10 October, at the Dubai World Trade Centre with more than 5,000 companies joining from over 90 countries.

In a press statement issued today, the Authority revealed that its participation at GITEX will highlight its latest digital initiatives, launched as part of the continuous development plans it carries out in accordance with the best standards. The initiatives are in line with the UAE Digital Government Strategy, designed to drive the smart transformation of all services, and introduce seamless and proactive digital services. The objective is to provide innoVATive models that embody the leadership and excellence of the government systems, and strengthen efforts to meet taxpayers’ aspirations and process their transactions quickly and efficiently.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said: “Through its participation at GITEX , the world’s largest tech event, the Federal Tax Authority aims to achieve two main objectives. The first is to introduce the FTA’s experts to the latest technologies and smart digital systems in the field of tax administration, which can be built upon to ensure the continuous development and modernisation of the FTA’s services. This, in turn, supports our efforts to fulfil the directives of our wise leadership and make the UAE one of the best countries in the world, safeguarding the Emirates’ advanced competitive position – all in line with the ‘Principles of the 50’, which act as a reference for all activities in the government sector moving forward.” Read more..

Business Advisory Group for Tax Agents holds first meeting to enhance improvement plans of the FTA’s services

The Business Advisory Group for Tax Agents has held its first meeting, chaired by His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), attended by FTA officials and representatives of the Authorised Tax Agents sector in the UAE – members of the Group.

Held at the FTA headquarters, the meeting discussed the Group’s operations and ways to achieve its goals, which include supporting the FTA with improving the administration of tax, operation of the tax system and implementation of tax policy; allowing the FTA to better understand and obtain a wider view of the commercial environment and challenges of business and tax agents; and building and maintain effective relationships with tax agents; to leverage the feedback for the improvement of FTA services.

The meeting also explored the most important current tax issues and developments in the tax system, including the specialised tax agent project, topics raised by group members, and how to tackle common errors in the market. The discussions held highlighted the importance of adhering to the group’s mandate to achieve its goals of bridging communication with the tax agents sector as a whole, in order to ensure that the sector is represented by the tax agent group members, raising its challenges and suggestions. Read more..

Majalis Abu Dhabi at the Presidential Court hosts an awareness session on FTA’s procedure for refunding VAT to UAE Nationals on building new residences

As part of the lecture series at Majalis Abu Dhabi at the President’s Court, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) held an awareness session that was broadcast live on Majalis Abu Dhabi’s Instagram account on the procedure for UAE nationals to recover the Value Added Tax (VAT) incurred on building their new residences.

The session was held remotely, bringing Emirati citizens together with a team of experts from the FTA who explained the process for refunding VAT to UAE citizens on the construction of their new residences.

Speakers at the session clarified the steps to take in order to recover VAT through the FTA’s e-Services, starting with submitting the refund request with all supporting documents, all the way to receiving the refund amount by bank transfer to the applicant’s account, upon informing them of the final approval.

During the session, the FTA’s team of experts outlined the criteria for submitting a request for refund of the VAT incurred on the construction of new residences by UAE citizens, explaining the steps needed to create and verify an e-Services account for new users, as well as how to create a special refund requests account, submit and track a refund request, the deadline for submitting a request, and the required documents. They also highlighted which potential applicants are eligible to recover VAT on their new homes, as well as which taxes are refundable. Read more..

Authorities foreclose Dubai-based establishment for violating regulations and trading tobacco products unmarked with Digital Tax Stamps

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) carried out an inspection campaign in collaboration with the General Department of the Federal Criminal Police at the Ministry of Interior and Dubai Police General Headquarters – represented by the General Directorate of Criminal Evidence and Criminology (Department of Anti-Economic Crime) – which led to the foreclosure of a commercial establishment in the Emirate of Dubai that was trading tobacco products unmarked with Digital Tax Stamps.
In a press statement issued today, the FTA revealed that all products in violation at the establishment were confiscated – a total of 5,430,356 packs with AED91,833,016.40 in due taxes. The Authority implemented the necessary legal measures against the non-compliant establishment, as part of its efforts to strengthen control over markets in order to combat tax evasion, promote tax compliance, and protect consumers.

The Authority indicated that the joint campaign forms part of its continuous efforts to monitor the market, in collaboration with the relevant authorities. Read more..

FTA intensifies its efforts by increasing inspection visits 104% in 6 months

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) significantly expanded its efforts in collaboration with various government departments, ministries and authorities to protect consumers from non-compliant products, combat tax evasion, and ensure compliance with tax legislations and procedures.

During the first half of this year, the FTA carried out 9,948 inspection visits in local markets across the country in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security and various departments of Economic Development across the country.

Inspections conducted in the first half of 2022 increased by 104 percent compared to 4,878 inspections conducted in 2021 in the same period.

In a press statement issued today, the Authority confirmed that the campaigns come within the framework of its keenness to strengthen market control through intensified market inspections across all the emirates.  The FTA’s plans aim to ensure laws, legislation and tax procedures are followed to guarantee the protection of the national economy, provide the highest levels of protection for consumers, combat commercial fraud and prevent the trade of inferior and counterfeit products that harm public health and the national economy. Read more..

The Federal Tax Authority launches its Youth Council to develop a generation of future leaders

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced the launch of its Youth Council, an initiative launched in alignment with the Federal Youth Authority. The new forum aims to support and empower youth while simultaneously enabling the FTA to benefit from the council members' ideas and vision.

The new council will fulfil several key objectives, including adopting its members’ suggestions to continuously improve work mechanisms, preparing a new generation of future leaders, providing a platform for innoVATion, and linking its outputs with the FTA senior management for use in implementing the Authority’s future strategies.

His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the FTA, stressed that this important step comes within the framework of government directions to enhance the empowerment of young people in various sectors and facilitate their role in public, community and business life.

He said that the establishment of the council would play an instrumental role in investing the energies and talents of young people, with youth the builders of both the present and a promising bright future, thereby enabling the UAE to cement its position as one of the best countries in the world in all areas. Read more..

Federal Tax Authority Confirms ‘Systems for VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists Are Ready’ for Steady Growth in Tourist Footfall

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) confirmed that the VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists is witnessing continuous development, advancement, and expansion by introducing more facilities to streamline and speed up the refund process for tourists eligible for a tax refund.

The Authority noted that the system witnessed a significant increase in demand recently, as travel restrictions are gradually relaxed. The tourism sector in the UAE started showing signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by mega event Expo 2020 Dubai and the government’s efforts in supporting the travel industry.

During the Global Tourism Forum Pre – Post the COVID-19 Pandemic – which was held at Expo 2020 Dubai and organised by the Federal Tax Authority in collaboration with Planet (FTA’s authorised VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists operator) – the Authority showcased the pandemic’s implications on shopping patterns and purchasing consumers’ behaviours along with economic indicators of the recovery of the tourism sector globally and locally. Read more..

The FTA encourages registrants to take advantage of penalty redetermination

The Federal Tax Authority has called on tax registrants in the UAE to benefit from the penalty redetermination scheme introduced by Cabinet Decision No. 49 of 2021 on Amending Some Provisions of Cabinet Decision No. 40 of 2017 on the Administrative Penalties for Violation of Tax Laws in the UAE, which will be effective from 28th June 2021.

In a press release issued today, the Authority stressed the three conditions that must be met in order for tax registrants to benefit from the re-determination of unpaid administrative penalties imposed prior to 28 June 2021, to equal 30% of the total unpaid penalties.

The first condition is that the administrative penalty must have been imposed under Cabinet Decision No. 40 of 2017 before 28th June 2021, and some or all of it remains outstanding.

The second condition is that the tax registrant settles all payable tax by 31st December, 2021, so that there is no outstanding tax payable by the end of 2021. Finally, the third condition requires tax registrants to settle 30% of any administrative penalties payable and unsettled by 28th June, 2021, on or before 31st December 2021. Read more..

FTA continues Inspection Campaigns in Local Markets to Ensure Compliance

The number of inspection campaigns organized by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) witnessed notable growth during 2020 across UAE markets, some were conducted in collaboration with Departments of Economic Development and other relevant entities throughout the Emirates, to protect consumer rights and increase the level of tax compliance.

 In a press statement issued today, the Authority emphasized that these campaigns were carried out within the framework of the Authority's extensive efforts to contribute towards strengthening market performance and ensuring compliance with all tax legislation and procedures to protect legitimate trade and prevent the sale of contraband within the UAE and tax evasion. Read more..

FTA issues a public clarification regarding VAT registration of ‘Sole Establishments’

The Federal Tax Authority (“FTA”) clarified that a natural person owning a number of sole establishments may only obtain one tax registration for all its sole establishments, and not a registration for each establishment separately.

The FTA indicated that a sole establishment (also referred to as sole proprietorship) is a legal form of business which is 100% owned by a natural person, and a sole establishment does not have a legal personality independent of its owner, as the sole establishment and its owner are considered to be the same person.

This announcement was issued in a new public clarification regarding the registration of ‘sole establishments for the purposes of VAT within the framework of the public clarification service provided on the FTA website. These public clarifications aim to familiarize persons with the tax aspects which need simplified explanations, enabling them to apply the tax principles accurately and efficiently.

3 years of achievements since the introduction of VAT

During 2020, the Federal Tax Authority has maintained ever-increasing performance rates and has continued to implement its development projects across all areas of its work in accordance with its target plans.

 His Excellency Khalid Ali Al-Bustani, Director General of the Federal Tax Authority - in a press release issued today marking the third anniversary of VAT application -  has confirmed that for the third consecutive year, the FTA continued to achieve rising performance rates while continuing its efforts to manage, collect, and implement federal taxes with procedures and mechanisms distinguished by their ease of use, transparency, and clarity through its modern electronic systems, pointing to the high compliance rates among taxable persons in light of the greatly increased awareness in business sectors, and the ease and flexibility of the procedures.

 His Excellency said: “During 2020, the Authority maintained increased results, with preliminary statistics showing that the number of registrants for VAT increased to 332.39 thousand registrants of business and Tax Groups and its members, compared to about 312,000 registrants at the end of 2019 and 296,000 registrants at the end of 2018 (the first year of VAT).”

FTA to ban the sale (supply), transport, storage or possession of water pipe tobacco products and electrically heated cigarettes that are not marked with Digital Tax Stamps with effect from 1st January 2021

The Federal Tax Authority, FTA, has confirmed that as of 1st January 2021, it will not be permitted to sell (supply), transport, store or possess any type of water pipe tobacco or electrically heated cigarettes in the UAE unless they bear the Digital Tax Stamp (DTS).

As per Cabinet Decision No. (33) of 2019,  the Authority urged those concerned and affected by the decision to comply, including local suppliers and manufacturers, to ensure that their water pipe tobacco products and electrically heated cigarettes carry a tax stamp to avoid the violations mentioned in the Cabinet Decision No. (33) of 2019 on administrative penalties for violations of procedures related to the implementation of marking excise goods.

UAE Federal Tax Authority conducts its second virtual workshop for 225 tax agents on tax treatment of e-commerce

The Federal Tax Authority(“FTA”) confirmed that several general Value Added Tax (VAT) rules apply to e-commerce transactions, in addition to a number of special VAT rules specifically applied to e-commerce transactions. The FTA outlined that e-commerce generally refers to the supplies of goods and services that take place on digital platforms, where the supply of goods and services are obtained electronically, including via computers or mobile phones for purchase from websites or electronic applications.

This announcement was made during its second virtual workshop for accredited tax agents, on the tax treatment applied to the supplies of goods and services made through electronic means, such as the internet and similar electronic platforms.

FTA Board of Directors hold 13th Meeting

The FTA Board of Directors, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Authority’s Board of Directors, approved a number of executive decisions related to the Authority’s operational activities and organizational and administrative policies during its thirteenth meeting.

The Authority’s financial statements for the period covering the first quarter ending on March 31st, and the period ending on June 30th, 2020, were approved. This was in accordance with the international accounting standards related to reviewing the quarterly financial statements. During the virtual meeting, the Board reviewed indicators of FTA’s performance adopted by the Authority in all areas relevant to its activities during the first nine months of 2020, including registration systems, filing returns, tax refunds for groups legally qualified to recover, such as UAE nationals’ homebuilders refund, tax refunds for tourists and for foreign business visitors.

UAE Federal Tax Authority conducts workshop for 213 approved tax agents to review procedures for recovering input tax

The Federal Tax Authority has held an online virtual workshop for accredited tax agents, which addressed the timeframe for input tax recovery and redemption procedures.

During the workshop, which was held with the participation of 213 accredited tax agents and a number of Authority officials, participants' inquiries were answered, clarifying the criteria and procedures for recovering input tax incurred for specific expenses. Such expenses included those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, marketing and entertainment expenses, vehicle expenses, and events beyond taxation control.

The Authority clarified that with regard to the expenses associated with COVID-19, such as the sterilizing of workplaces and the testing of employees, are considered general expenses. Input tax is recoverable in the event that the supplies and services made by the business are themselves taxable. In the event that the business is making taxable supplies only, the input tax is fully refundable. However, in the event that the business is making taxable and tax-exempt supplies, the input tax will be partially refundable.  The FTA also indicated that input tax cannot be recovered on the expenses of testing employees’ families unless the employee bears the cost.

FTA calls on Registered Businesses to take benefit of streamlined Tax payment procedure

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has reported an increase in tax payments made using the Generated International Bank Account Number (GIBAN) via the UAE Fund Transfer System (UAEFTS), which allows users to pay taxes through branches of 77 banks, exchange offices, and financial firms in the UAE.

In a press statement issued today, the Authority called on businesses registered in the tax system to use their GIBAN on UAEFTS to take advantage of its many benefits, such as transferring funds online from their bank accounts to the FTA. This eliminates the need for cash and helps prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

GIBAN is a special International Bank Account Number (IBAN) that is issued by the FTA for each tax registrant and used for transferring funds from various financial institutions in the UAE and abroad, the Federal Tax Authority explained. This method can be used to pay Value Added Tax (VAT), Excise Tax, and any administrative penalties due.

FTA issues directive on alternative deadline to file tax returns

In light of its commitment to supporting VAT registrants and the unprecedented intensive precautionary measures undertaken by the UAE to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) imposing 24-hour restrictions on the movement of individuals and vehicles implemented in certain areas of the UAE, which coincided with deadlines for filing VAT Returns, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) issued a directive on an exceptional basis providing an alternative date of 28 May 2020 for the deadline of submitting VAT returns and the payment of due tax for the Tax Period ended 31 March 2020, enabling Taxable Persons to meet their tax obligations without facing any difficulties.

In a press statement, the FTA confirmed that, as per the directive, VAT registrants who have monthly tax periods must submit their returns, and settle the payable tax for the tax period from 1 to 31 March, 2020, no later than Thursday, 28 May 2020.

Federal Tax Authority urges all businesses registered in the tax system to use its official channels and not respond to electronic messages that could be fraudulent

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has called on all businesses registered in the tax system to maintain the confidentiality of their information to avoid the risk of fraud. 

Urging vigilance and caution, the Authority warned that it is imperative that businesses do not disclose to any third party their private financial or accounting information, in order to avoid exposure to financial fraud that has become a global phenomenon. It added that preventing financial abuse requires the cooperation of all parties of financial transactions, especially customers.

Federal Tax Authority Announces Exceptional Extension of Tax Period for Excise Tax Registrants in Light of the 24-Hour Movement Restriction in Some Areas

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has reiterated its full commitment to supporting taxpayers and enabling them to fulfil their tax obligations during these exceptional times, as authorities ramp up their precautionary efforts to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

With that in mind, the FTA issued a decision to extend the Tax Period, which began on March 1, 2020, for businesses registered for Excise Tax for one month on an exceptional basis. The Period now covers the months of March and April 2020, and ends on April 30, 2020, allowing registered businesses sufficient time to fulfil their tax obligations before the deadline. The FTA noted that Excise Tax registrants are required to file two separate Tax Returns, one for March and one for April 2020, and settle the total amount due for the two months no later than Sunday, May 17, 2020.

Federal Tax Authority reports great success for Awareness campaign on Tax Invoice Requirements in Abu Dhabi markets

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has reported great interaction from retailers and consumers alike with its campaign to raise awareness about Tax Invoice requirements and urge all registered businesses to issue invoices for all transactions.

Titled “Tax Invoices: Your Right and Assurance”, the campaign was launched on January 28 to shed light on Tax Invoices and the conditions legally required to issue them, in addition to fostering greater cooperation between the Authority, the various Departments of Economic Development, and other relevant authorities and entities across the UAE.

Federal Tax Authority Classifies 'Eligible Goods' for Calculating VAT as per 'Profit Margin Scheme' into 3 Categories

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has determined three main categories of “eligible goods” for calculating Value Added Tax (VAT) on the basis of the profit margin scheme, namely: Second-hand goods, meaning tangible moveable property that is suitable for further use as it is or after repair; Antiques, i.e. goods that are over 50 years old; and Collectors’ Items, such as stamps, coins, currency and other pieces of scientific, historical or archaeological interest.

The Authority asserted that only those goods, which had been subject to VAT before the supply in question, may be subject to the profit margin scheme. The profit margin is defined as the difference between the buying and selling price of an item, and is inclusive of taxes.

Federal Tax Authority announces Features of 'Digital Tax Stamps', Urges Cigarette Producers and Distributors to Comply with Scheme's Timeline

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced the features of the official “Digital Tax Stamps”, which are required to be placed on all cigarette packs circulated in local markets, making it possible to electronically track them from the production facility to the end consumer to ensure all Excise Taxes due have been paid.

The Authority also called on all producers and distributors of tobacco and tobacco products to comply with the timeline set for the “Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme”, which went into effect on January 1, 2019.

Federal Tax Authority Sets Requirements for recovering Tax on Entertainment Services for Employees

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has determined the “Entertainment Services” supplied to employees, for which registered businesses cannot recover the taxes they incurred, explaining that these are mainly the expenses associated with activities to entertain personnel, such as staff parties that are free to attend.

Businesses Registered for Tax Urged Not to Disclose Information to Anyone Not Officially Authorised by the Federal Tax Authority

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has reiterated its call for registered businesses not to disclose their tax information to any individual or organisation not officially authorised by the FTA to handle this data.

Federal Tax Authority: Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme Ready for Tourists at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah International Airports Starting next Sunday

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced that the digital system for the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme will be ready to issue and process VAT refund claims for eligible tourists to recover tax incurred on their purchases as of Sunday, November 18, 2018, at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah International Airports.