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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

UAE begins online registration for VAT

The country will introduce the 5% levy in January

The UAE will implement VAT on January 1, 2018. Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg
The UAE will implement VAT on January 1, 2018. Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

The Federal Tax Authority has opened online registration for companies subject to value-added tax (VAT) as the government prepares to introduce the 5 per cent levy on January 1, 2018.

Companies subject to VAT and with a threshold of annual turnover of Dh375,000 or above must register for VAT, the authority reiterated.

All businesses with an annual turnover exceeding Dh150 million should register before October 31 and those with an annual turnover of more than Dh10m should register before November 30, the authority said.

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“This is part of our commitment to enhancing the readiness of different businesses and raising their preparedness for the easy application of the distinct tax system that is consistent with global best practices and embodies the leading position of the UAE at all levels,” said Khalid Al Bustani, the FTA's director general. “The Federal Tax Authority is keen to give the business sectors sufficient time to adapt their operating systems to the requirements of the VAT system.”

The UAE is introducing taxes as part of plans of creating new revenues streams as government income from oil dwindles.

It started implementing excise taxes at a rate of 100 per cent on tobacco and energy drinks and 50 per cent on fizzy drinks on October 1.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to be the first Arabian Gulf countries to introduce the GCC-wide VAT on January 1, 2018. Others are expected to join sometime next year.