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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

UAE shoppers urged to ask for receipts to catch out tax-dodging businesses

Federal Tax Authority said consumers can help to stop attempts to 'manipulate the tax system'

Silvia Razgova / The National
Silvia Razgova / The National

Shoppers across the UAE have been urged to ask for a receipt with each purchase to help to catch out tax-dodging businesses.

The Federal Tax Authority on Sunday said the move would work to "prevent attempts to manipulate the tax system".

Inspectors from various authorities have already seen businesses incorrectly implementing the 5 per cent levy, whether accidentally or intentionally.

In a statement, the authority "urged all taxable businesses to issue tax invoices when providing any supply, in order to avoid administrative penalties".

As part of the FTA’s consumer awareness campaign Be Aware of Your Rights, it stressed that failure to issue a tax invoice or receipt when making any supply will expose the taxable business to a penalty of Dh5,000.

It urged consumers to verify the VAT amount on prices displayed in tax invoices, in case the amount has been worked out wrongly or is absent.

Various online instruments and services can enable consumers to easily verify the value of the tax – namely, the VAT Calculator, launched in January – as well as to ensure that the issuer of the invoice is actually registered with the tax authority.

The authorities have already punished retailers that introduced tax early on December 31 and have warned businesses to give exact change.

In January, Ahmed Tarish Al Qubaisi, acting director of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development's Commercial Protection Directorate, said some of the 350 complaints received from the public were related to the increase in prices, while others complained that they were not given a bill after the purchase.

Some shops calculated an amount that was much higher than 5 per cent, while others said that the sellers did not return change to the consumer after the purchase.

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