Ask for tax registration number, not tax certificate

Ask for tax registration number, not tax certificate
The right understanding will help UAE firms conduct business in the VAT era smoothly.

Dubai - Complaints received regarding VAT dives 85%

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Sat 27 Jan 2018, 7:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Jan 2018, 10:56 AM

The UAE's Federal Tax Authority (FTA) on Saturday said that businesses are not required to present a tax certificate in order to conduct their activities and can simply use their tax registration number (TRN).
The FTA stressed that a tax registration certificate cannot be printed or downloaded using a provisional TRN.
However, businesses that have acquired their TRN can conduct their business activities normally. The FTA website allows individuals to verify the TRN of any company registered with the FTA for value added tax (VAT) purposes.
A tax certificate is issued by the FTA after a successful VAT registration with the authority. It serves as an official confirmation from the FTA. The purpose of the certificate is to inform that the company is registered. Usually, the date on the certificate serves as an official date of registration, said Naveen Sharma, chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (Dubai Chapter).
He noted that there are still some misconceptions among businesses in the market that without a TRN certificate, they cannot deal with their suppliers/customers and there is no other way to verify the TRN number but to get the copy of the certificate from the supplier/customer.
"Companies are asking for a tax certificate to verify the TRN number provided by the suppliers/customers. Many companies are not aware that they can verify the TRN number using the official website and therefore, there is no need for the tax certificate to verify the TRN provided to them," Sharma pointed out.
The FTA noted that businesses that submitted their registration applications after the deadline set by the authority last December were given provisional TRNs to allow them to conduct business and comply with their tax obligations.
These businesses, however, are required to complete their tax registration and provide the authority with all required documents and rectify any pending errors.
The provisional TRNs are sufficient for conducting business and verifying the legal status and compliance of taxable persons.
They do not, however, allow for issuing the tax certificate, which becomes available once the final TRN has been issued.
The authority had issued these provisional TRNs to help businesses comply with tax regulations and to ensure that their operations are not disrupted.
VAT complaints drop
Meanwhile, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, on Saturday said in a statement that the number of complaints from consumers have decreased over time as all authorities concerned have coordinated to ensure that consumers' rights are protected.
The minister's remarks came at a meeting of the Higher Committee of Consumer Protection at the Ministry of Economy in Dubai.
"The committee received growing calls from consumers during the first days of VAT application. People had some concerns, but their worries have ebbed with the passage of time and by the end of the first fortnight of the application, the calls received by the committee declined from 3,261 on the first day of the application to 493 on January 15," Al Mansouri said during the meeting.
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director-general of the FTA, said the most of the complaints received by the committee were related to price hikes, TRNs and erroneous calculation of VAT on some commodities.
"Traders and departments against whom the complaints were filed have been notified and were given a grace period to rectify their strategies as per the tax rules and condition," Al Bustani added.

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