UAE begins new era as excise tax rolls out on October 1


UAE begins new era as excise tax rolls out on October 1

Dubai - A new levy of 50 per cent will be imposed on carbonated soft drinks, and 100 per cent for tobacco products and energy drinks.


Issac John

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Published: Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:03 PM

The UAE will mark the beginning of a new era in its 46 years of history on Sunday as it starts implementing excise tax, exactly three months ahead of the launch of value added tax, or VAT, another landmark region-wide tax initiative.

From October 1, as the new tax regime comes into effect, a new levy of 50 per cent will be imposed on carbonated soft drinks, and 100 per cent for tobacco products and energy drinks.
UAE starts online registration for excise tax

The excise tax is a precursor to the GCC-wide VAT, which is on track to be rolled out in the UAE and Saudi Arabia from January 1.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director-General of the Federal Tax Authority, said with the launch of the excise tax, the UAE celebrates a new milestone in its journey to achieve the visions of leaders for the future of the UAE.

"Implementing excise tax in accordance with international best practices is the culmination of an extensive process," Al Bustani said at a media briefing.
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He said the FTA worked with some of the world's leading companies to develop a tax system that suits the UAE. The excise tax has been adopted to reduce the consumption of goods that damage people's health."

The tax affects specific "excise" goods that are produced in the UAE, imported into it or stockpiled in the Emirates, as well as excise goods released from a designated zone.

The FTA pointed out that any person or businesses importing excise goods into the UAE would need to provide a transaction ID to the Customs Department at the port of entry, stating that the shipment has been duly declared for excise tax purposes.
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"Without this transaction ID, the customs official will not clear the shipment. Those producing excise goods must complete a monthly declaration stating the excise goods produced, the quantity and the destination," FTA said.

"The authority seeks to provide a simple, seamless and intuitive tax system," Al Bustani noted. "Therefore, we opened the 24/7 registration process through the FTA website from Sunday, September 17, 2017. The website witnessed a huge turnout for registration and all 250 excisable businesses are projected to be registered by the end of September. This reflects the effective partnership we forged with all strategic stakeholders, and demonstrates their commitment to achieving an effective tax system," said Al Bustani.

The FTA said individuals and businesses whose operations involve products subject to excise tax must determine whether or not they are required to register with the FTA. "Excise goods must be documented and declared by the end of September 30, 2017. The inventory must be audited and approved by an accredited auditor, and the taxable person is required to learn about tax-related legislations and procedures to know their rights and responsibilities."

Soft drinks include all carbonated/aerated beverages, with the exception of non-flavoured carbonated water, as well as any concentrates, gels or extracts that can be processed into soft drinks. Energy drinks, meanwhile, include beverages that may contain stimulants or substances that induce mental or physical stimulation, including but not limited to: caffeine, taurine, ginseng and guarana, as well as any substances with similar effects.

The FTA plans to release lists of new prices for products eligible for excise tax, which is calculated based on the retail market price.

The retail price on which tax shall be charged is the higher of the following: the price published by the FTA, which will be available on the FTA website, for each product based on the price in the local market, or the retail selling price, as clari?ed in the Excise Taxable Person Guide, the FTA said.

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