Thursday 07, September 2017 by Jessica Combes

UAE FTA outlines plans for period to come and prepares for tax law implementation


The Board of Directors of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) finalised plans for the upcoming period–including procedures for the introduction of excise tax next month and value-added tax (VAT) early next year–at its second meeting held in the Ministry of Finance’s Dubai headquarters.

span style="font-size: small;">Chaired by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, and attended by members of the Board, the meeting saw the Board explore the latest developments around the planned nation-wide federal tax laws, namely: Federal Law No. (7) of 2017 for Tax Procedures, Federal Decree-Law No. (7) of 2017 on Excise Tax and Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on Value Added Tax. Moreover, the Authority is working to issue the Executive Regulations for each respective law to educate taxable persons on their rights and responsibilities, explained His Excellency Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Deputy Chairman of the FTA Board of Directors. 

“We continue to steadily move forward in our preparations for the nation-wide tax laws in the UAE,” asserted Sheikh Hamdan. “The system we are developing will provide ample support for the sustainable social and economic development of the UAE; it will diversify revenue streams and establish sustainable sources of income, allowing the Government to carry on with its ambitious plans to develop future-ready infrastructure, and to continue providing high-quality services for the people.”

He added that the UAE is entering a new phase in the implementation of the tax laws. The Federal Tax Authority’s website has been designed to meet the highest international standards, facilitate registration and offer a bundle of tax-related services.

The Board of Directors adopted the proposed fees and fines, in accordance with the Authority’s responsibilities stipulated in Federal Decree-Law No. (13) of 2016 on the Establishment of the Federal Tax Authority. Also adopted were the violations outlined in Federal Law No. (7) of 2017 for Tax Procedures, Federal Decree-Law No. (7) of 2017 for Excise Taxes and Federal Decree Law No. (8) of 2017 on Value Added Tax.

The Board additionally went through the proposed designs for the FTA’s new logo, and looked back on what’s been achieved in the workshops and programmes carried out across all emirates. The first series of awareness sessions on the tax system took place from March to May 2017, whereby 25 awareness workshops were conducted and attracted more than 15,000 attendees from different business sectors.

The Authority has put in motion the second series of workshops in August 2017 in cooperation with the Chambers of Commerce in the local governments across all emirates, targeting such sectors as real estate, retail and exports, in addition to companies that are subject to excise tax. There have so far been 10 workshops, attended by more than 5,000 professionals representing companies from various sectors. The FTA will also organise workshops for the financial services and insurance sectors, as well as education, health, government, and international organisations and diplomatic missions in the UAE. Phase two of the session will continue until the end of October 2017, with a total of 18 workshops for the business sector and nine for the government sector, both local and federal.

The awareness campaign was launched by the Ministry of Finance and the FTA in March 2017. The campaign seeks to raise awareness among companies about the objectives of applying indirect taxes, their role in economic diversification, and their impact on the expansion of infrastructure projects and improving the quality of services provided by the government.

Representatives from the FTA applauded the large and diverse turnout at the awareness workshops, as well as the audience’s dynamism and interaction with the FTA through the call centre, e-mail and the website launched on August 26, 2017. They went on to present the latest developments regarding the Authority’s projects, namely, the inauguration of excise tax on 1 October 2017, and value-added tax (VAT) on 1 January 2018, and the coordination and joint action that it entails from government and private entities.

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has recently launched its website, with information about the Authority itself, as well as the different types of indirect taxes in the UAE, the legislations regulating them, and the objectives and benefits to the UAE economy. For businesses, the website provides advice and guides to help them determine if they are eligible to register, as well as guidance on the registration process.


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