VAT will help SMEs get bank credit easier
Obtaining credit facility from the banks will become easier for the small and medium enterprises in the UAE after the implementation of VAT as the companies will have to maintain their books from next year.
Pankaj Mundra, Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India - UAE (Dubai) Chapter, says the major challenges for SMEs is that they have to maintain their books properly and regularly in order to be VAT-compliant.
"A lot of SMEs will be benefiting from the VAT who never thought of going to banks for credit facilities for expansion or in tough times when you need bank support. Because the companies will keep their books clean, therefore, when there are tough times the book will be ready and they can obtain credit easily. Now people come to us but when we ask for books, they say we don't have them. But now they will have to compulsorily maintain them," Mundra noted.
Naveen Sharma, vice-chairman of ICAI Dubai Chapter, states that the SMEs will be able to get more finance because their turnover will not be questioned by the lenders as their records will be clean.
The UAE Central Bank data showed last year that the bank funding to the UAE-based SMEs tightened as the financial institutions were risk-averse, especially towards small and medium companies. However, the Central Bank's data for July 2017 showed that gross credit by the UAE banks grew in July, reflecting increase business activity in the country. Gross credit increased by 0.2 per cent, rising from Dh1,591.3 billion at the end of June 2017 to Dh1,594.5 billion at the end of July 2017.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Dubai Chapter, on Tuesday evening organised a technical seminar on up-coming value-added tax which was attended by 1,500 people. Justin Whitehouse, partner, indirect tax, Deloitte & Touche (ME), Mayur Batra, managing director, Mayur Batra Group and Pugazhendhi, associate vice-president, Tally Solution, addressed the participants on the challenges faced by the companies and individuals prior to the VAT. The ICAI Dubai chapter added 600 new members in the last one year, reaching 2,200.
To meet the VAT compliance standards, the companies will have world-class systems as they will have to upgrade them, Sharma noted, adding that "in medium to long term period, SMEs and medium term businesses will benefit from the implementation of the VAT because they will be at par with the large corporations as far as their systems are concerned."
In order to to ensure smooth transition, Anish Mehta, secretary, ICAI, Dubai Chapter, says businesses as well as professionals will have to adapt to changes by identifying the impact of VAT on their businesses and assessing capability of their existing accounting and IT systems.
"This will certainly give more opportunities for tax professionals. VAT implementation will also have immediate effects on consumer spending and consumption behavior which gives opportunities for entities to re-assess their business strategy and portfolio," he added.
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