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UAE launches new website to prepare for VAT

Federal Tax Authority sets out guidance for businesses ahead of imposition of VAT

UAE launches new website to prepare for VAT
The Excise Tax and VAT laws are expected to be issued during the third quarter of this year.

The UAE's Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched a new website intended to help businesses prepare for the forthcoming introduction value added tax (VAT) and excise duty - the so-called ‘sin tax' on tobacco and fizzy drinks.

The new website, www.tax.gov.ae, contains information on VAT and other tax legislation, as well as advice and guidance for businesses.

There is also a list of upcoming FTA-run training sessions and webinars to help UAE businesses prepare for the taxes.

The FTA also announced that business owners will be able to pre-register their companies for VAT and excise duty via the website from mid-September.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director-general of the FTA, said: "The UAE has reached a very advanced stage regarding the legislative aspects of the tax system that is among the best in the world.

"Through the Ministry of Finance, which is authorised to issue tax legislation and policies, the Tax Procedures Law was issued [earlier this month], which will govern the relationship between the FTA and the taxable persons."

He added: "The tax laws and procedures will strengthen the UAE's economic development and enable it to be a real competitor among the world's advanced economies.

"This will be led by providing resources to support the expansion of key sectors that are related to the community, and providing the best services, especially in the fields of healthcare and education, and infrastructure projects."

The new excise duty law was published last week, imposing a tax of 100% on tobacco and energy drinks and 50% on sugary drinks. The UAE is the second country in the GCC to introduce excise taxes after Saudi Arabia began implementing the tax in June.

The Excise Tax and VAT laws are expected to be issued during the third quarter of this year and the regulations concerning both laws, along with federal tax procedures are expected to be issued during the fourth quarter, Al Bustani added.

They are expected to boost the inflation rate by a one-off 1.4%, he said, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts the introduction of VAT will boost the region's GDP by around 1.5%.

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