VAT in UAE: Businesses scramble to register
Companies that have not completed their VAT registration before December 31 will have to pay a Dh20,000 fine
With just 10 days into the dawn of the new tax regime on New Year, most businesses in the UAE are in last-minute preparations to adapt to the reform by expediting compliance procedures to avoid heavy penalties.
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in a circular had cautioned businesses whose taxable supplies and imports of goods and services exceed Dh375,000 over the past 12 months to expedite the registration process for value added tax (VAT) to meet the January 1, 2018, deadline.
Experts warn that companies that have not completed their VAT registration before December 31 will have to pay a fine worth Dh20,000.They will also be prevented from operating until they get the tax registration number or tax registration certificate.
Businesses can register for the five per cent VAT through the e-services section on the FTA website. However, they need to create an account first.
Anandaday Misshra, a leading tax advisor and advocate, said mandatory registration is required only if the taxable supply of the company exceeds Dh375,000, otherwise the firm has to take registration voluntarily.
Under the tax regime, businesses will be responsible for carefully documenting their business income, costs and associated VAT charges. Businesses that meet the minimum annual turnover requirement (as evidenced by their financial records) will be required to register for VAT. Businesses that do not think they should be VAT registered should maintain their financial records in any event, in case the ministry needs to establish whether they should be registered.
Penalties for non-compliance range from Dh3,000 to Dh50,000, depending on the nature of non-compliance. If a person fails to keep required records and other information specified in the laws, he will be fined Dh10,000 in the first instance and Dh50,000 in case of repetition. For failure to display prices, inclusive of excise tax, there will be a fine of Dh15,000. Failure to comply with conditions and procedures related to keeping the taxable goods in a designated zone or moving them to another designated zone will incur a penalty of Dh50,000 or 50 per cent of tax, whichever is higher, paid on the goods that resulted in the violation.
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