UAE VAT: Govt Starts Registration for Agents and Software Vendors

VAT is one of the most common types of consumption tax found around the world. Over 150 countries have implemented VAT.

The UAE will start implementing a Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of five per cent from January 1 2018, and businesses in the first phase can start now registering on the website of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).

The FTA’s director-general, Khalid Al Bustani, earlier this month warned businesses eligible for VAT that they need to register before December 3 to avoid being liable for paying the tax themselves.

The impending landmark tax reform in the GCC has opened the floodgates of new opportunities for accounting and tax professionals from across the globe.

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has officially opened registration for individuals who are interested in working as tax agents and for tax accounting software vendors.

The FTA is also providing the necessary technical support to help these vendors as they assist UAE-based businesses to comply with tax regulations. The FTA requested all vendors wishing to register with the authority for the tax accounting software accreditation to review the requirements and guidelines related to the accreditation on the FTA’s official website.

Around six GCC agreed to implement 5% VAT on goods and services in 2016, but only UAE and Saudi Arabia have announced that they would implement the tax on January 1, 2018.

The FTA clearly mentioned the qualification required for a tax agent where in they must be of good conduct and holders of a certified Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in tax, accounting or law from “a recognised educational institution”.

Applicants to become a tax agent should also have at least three years’ recent experience in tax, accounting or law. They also need to show a certificate proving their verbal and written skills in Arabic and English, along with a medical fitness certificate.

In order to qualify as tax agent the applicant must pass an authority’s tax agent exam and also candidates could also been called for an interviews.

Individuals wishing to register as tax agents must apply for registration with the FTA by filling an official application form. The authority may request additional information from the applicant, request a personal interview or ask about the references mentioned in their application. Moreover, the FTA shall examine all applications submitted and make a decision within 15 working days from the date of submission. If the authority requests additional information, the application will be decided on within 15 working days from the date such information is received.

Once the FTA approves an application, it will be registered within five working days from the date of approval – or any other date determined by the Authority – after all due fees are paid. The authority may reject the application for registration in the following two cases: First, if the applicant does not meet the registration requirements, or if his/her registration adversely affects the integrity of the tax system in the country.