Sunday 21 October 2018

Saif Mohammad Al Hajiri

VAT ‘contributing to weaning UAE off oil’

ABU DHABI, January 2, 2018

The concerns emanating from the application of the value-added tax (VAT) are overrated, as its impact on the country's business sector will be in the minimal and will rather generate myriad benefits for the economy, said a top official.

"The application of VAT effective January 1, 2018 will reflect positively on the country's developmental drive as it ideally goes in harmony with the government's vision to ensure a robust, sustainable and diversified economy to ultimately wean the country off oil in the future," Saif Mohammad Al Hajiri, chairman of the Department of Economic Development (DED) - Abu Dhabi was quoted as saying by Emirates news agency Wam.

"The Department has ensured the development of a well thought-out strategy across the emirate of Abu Dhabi to control prices and open up channels of communication with consumers and monitor any misuse of the tax application," he added, noting that the UAE is applying the world's lowest rate of VAT, which is 5 per cent.

VAT Registration is mandatory for companies and individuals doing businesses in the UAE, having an annual turnover of more than Dh375,000 ($102,080). All companies and individuals coming under the above threshold limit - subject to the provisions of the relevant law- have to register for VAT effective December 31, 2017. Registration for VAT in the UAE is an online process which is accessible in the Federal Tax Authority’s online portal.

For his part, Khalifa Salem Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary of the DED, has affirmed that the department has taken all necessary pre-emptive measures to nip in the bud any attempts to use consumers under the pretext of VAT, noting that the DED has dedicated different channels of communications with the public to report any violations, including the DED website and social media platforms, etc.

"The DED inspection teams have developed a comprehensive database on all commodity prices over the last months of 2017 that will help monitor the slightest price hikes that go counter to the law across all sales outlets in the emirate," he said, adding that inspection campaigns will intensify during the first quarter of the new year to ensure the price rise will not exceed 5 per cent as per the law.

Tags: UAE | VAT | Value-added tax |

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