Covid impact: UAE reduces penalties on VAT, excise tax

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on May 6, 2021

(KT file)

The new provisions will be applicable 60 days as from April 28, 2021.

The UAE has reduced old penalties on value-added tax (VAT) and excise tax in order to help companies and individuals better cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to newly-released Cabinet Decision No. 49 of 2021, tax payers who currently have penalties pending can see those reduced to 30 per cent, provided they settle them before December 31, 2021.

Going forward, late payment penalties will be reduced to four per cent per month, a substantial reduction from one per cent per day while an overall cap stays at 300 per cent.

The new provisions will be applicable 60 days as from April 28, 2021.

Thomas Vanhee, founding partner of Aurifer Middle East, said technical provisions now determine that late payment penalties should only be calculated as from 20 weekdays after submitting the voluntary disclosure.

He said the Cabinet decision constitutes a very important reduction in the penalties and provides an excellent opportunity for tax payers to get a fresh start.

Anurag Chaturvedi, managing director of Chartered House, said this is a best relief provided by the government to the pandemic-hit businesses in the UAE.

“A number of businesses in the UAE succumbed to administrative penalties on account of delay in submission of the due tax. The new regime of administrative penalties are at par with global standards. The most relieving change is maximum penalty of four per cent of unpaid tax per month compared to one per cent of unpaid tax for each day of delay as per the old provisions,” said Chaturvedi.

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