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VAT in the UAE – A Progress Report August 2017 from Kanaan & Associates
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A progress report on VAT in the UAE from BKR member firm Kanaan & Associates partner, Roy Kanaan.

Dear Friends and Clients,

I hope the summer of 2017 has been a great one so far.

With all the media attention, seminars, and WhatsApp messages in full circulation surrounding the expected introduction of a unified GCC value-added tax (“VAT”) regime in the UAE, we are pleased to share our “Progress Report” at this point in time to help alleviate any concerns that you may have and clarify the current situation on VAT in the UAE.

VAT is a consumption tax that is collected and added throughout the stages of the supply chain and at final sale to end users. It is designed so that the ultimate burden falls on the end user.

Similar to a sales tax, VAT is regressive in nature, placing a higher burden on lower-income taxpayers.

With effect from 1 January 2018, businesses in the UAE will be required to pay the VAT charged to customers, while obtaining a credit for VAT paid to suppliers. This results in a net payment based on the “value added” or business margin throughout the supply chain.

VAT is commonplace in the European Union and is used by 160 of the world’s 193 countries, except the United States, which employs a sales tax as the closest alternative to VAT.

Based on recent announcements by the UAE Federal Tax Authority (“FTA”), the online registration for VAT should be open from mid-September 2017 in a highly efficient and integrated system designed in accordance to the highest international standards. Registrations are expected to be performed in the e-services section of the FTA’s website, which will be launched in the second half of August 2017.

Although significant questions remain pending the release of the UAE VAT Tax Law, this update is meant to provide information on what we know and what we don’t know to date (August 2017) in a simple bullet-point format and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns there may be in the interim.

Kind regards,

Roy M Kanaan, CFA, CPA


For and on behalf of:

Kanaan & Associates Certified Public Accountants

Independent Member Firm of BKR International

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Progress Report August 2017

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