Value Added Tax (or VAT) is an indirect tax. VAT is charged at each step of the ‘supply chain’. Ultimate consumers generally bear the VAT cost while Businesses collect and account for the tax, in a way acting as a tax collector on behalf of the government.
A business pays the government the tax that it collects from the customers while it may also receive a refund from the government on tax that it has paid to its suppliers. The net result is that tax receipts to government reflect the ‘value add’ throughout the supply chain.
The UAE Federal and Emirate governments provide citizens and residents with many different public services – including hospitals, roads, public schools, parks, waste control, and police services. These services are paid for from the government budgets. VAT will provide our country with a new source of income which will contribute to the continued provision of high quality public services into the future. It will also help government move towards its vision of reducing dependence on oil and other hydrocarbons as a source of revenue.
VAT will be introduced across the UAE on 1 January 2018 at a standard rate of 5%.
VAT registration will start from 1st October 2017
A business must register for VAT if their taxable supplies and imports exceed the mandatory registration threshold of AED 375,000. Furthermore, a business may choose to register for VAT voluntarily if their supplies and imports are less than the mandatory registration threshold, but exceed the voluntary registration threshold of AED 187,500. imilarly, a business may register voluntarily if their expenses exceed the voluntary registration threshold. This latter opportunity to register voluntarily is designed to enable start-up businesses with no turnover to register for VAT.
VAT-registered businesses generally:
must charge VAT on taxable goods or services they supply;
may reclaim any VAT they’ve paid on business-related goods or services;
keep a range of business records which will allow the government to check that they have got things right
Any taxable person must retain VAT invoices issued and received for a minimum of 5 years.
VAT will be charged at 0% in respect of the following main categories of supplies:
Exports of goods and services to outside the GCC;
International transportation, and related supplies;
Supplies of certain sea, air and land means of transportation (such as aircrafts and ships);
Certain investment grade precious metals (e.g. gold, silver, of 99% purity);
Newly constructed residential properties, that are supplied for the first time within 3 years of their construction ;
Supply of certain education services, and supply of relevant goods and services;
Supply of certain Healthcare services, and supply of relevant goods and services.
The supply of some financial services (clarified in VAT legislation);
Bare land; and
Local passenger transport
Penalties will be imposed for non-compliance.
Examples of actions and omissions that may give raise to penalties include:
A person failing to register when required to do so;
A person failing to submit a tax return or make a payment within the required period;
A person failing to keep the records required under the issued tax legislation;
Tax evasion offences where a person performs a deliberate act or omission with the intention of violating the provisions of the issued tax legislation.