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UAE Releases Regulations Clarifying Tax Obligations

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

06 October 2017

The United Arab Emirates has released guidance on regulations approved by the Cabinet on September 13, 2017, on tax procedures and taxpayer obligations.

The regulations create requirements or give further details relating to a number of the responsibilities of persons liable to pay tax, and outline the procedures followed by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in enforcing the UAE's tax rules.

Among its provisions, the Executive Regulation permits the submission of accounting records and commercial books in English rather than Arabic, at the FTA's discretion.

The law additionally explains the process for applying to register or de-register for tax purposes, or amend details of registration, looks at how the government will allocate unidentified payments, such as those missing information as to which tax and which tax period a payment relates to; explains the time period in which a taxpayer can voluntarily disclose any errors made in a tax return, based on certain thresholds, and the subsequent procedures; and details the procedures for listing a tax agent in the register and the rights and obligations of tax agents.

In addition, for tax agents, it includes education and qualification requirements, insurance indemnity requirements, and the process for submitting applications.

It further outlines the right of the FTA to conduct a tax audit, and details the circumstances under which the FTA will audit or re-audit a taxpayer, giving an explanation of the FTA's power to seize documents, mark assets, and its obligations to store and provide access to retained documents. It details how results of an audit will be notified, and the steps to comply with notifications.

The published regulation explains that where an amount of tax or an administrative penalty has been assessed, it shall be deemed to be a debt to the Authority, and may be collected accordingly.

It also details the process for applying for a tax refund and the subsequent approvals and payment process; explains the responsibilities of the appointed trustee of a business that is subject to bankruptcy proceedings, and how they shall be treated as representing and carrying out the business; and outlines the circumstances under which an FTA employee, or former employee, can disclose information that would otherwise be kept confidential, and explains the circumstances under which any administrative penalties imposed by the FTA can be reduced or waived, for example where an acceptable justification can be given, with evidence to back up the claim.

TAGS: United Arab Emirates | tax | law | audit | regulation | penalties | Tax

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