FAQs

What is GIBAN shown on my FTA tax page?

The GIBAN is a special bank account number created for every taxpayer by FTA to facilitate the payment of VAT via any UAE bank. You can add FTA as a beneficiary and use the GIBAN assigned to you as their IBAN (Account number). Now when you make a payment using this GIBAN to FTA, it will be credited to your account.

It is advisable that you check on the FTA site after 24 hours to ensure that the payment is reflected against your account. This can be viewed under Transaction History tab.

GIBAN PAYMENT USER GUIDE SUMMARY

Will there be a common system of VAT registration so you can check whether you are dealing with a taxable person?

The GCC Agreement envisages an electronic matching system for intra-GCC systems. In practice, we do not think this system will be available for a while and so it is likely a VAT number checking system will be made available country by country.

Source: Deloitte

Will associations of persons (e.g. open consortium) be considered as a taxable person?

Whilst the GCC Agreement does make reference to companies being able to form VAT groups, it does not specifically confirm the legal form required to be VAT registered.

Source: Deloitte

Do we need a VAT expert or advisory company to prepare for VAT in UAE?

Concerned businesses will have time to prepare before VAT will come into effect. During that time, businesses will need to meet requirements to fulfil their tax obligations. Businesses could start now so that they will be ready later. To fully comply with VAT, We believe that businesses may need to make some changes to their core operations, their financial management and book-keeping, their technology, and perhaps even their human resource mix (e.g., accountants and tax advisors). It is essential that businesses try to understand the implications of VAT now and once the legislation is issued make every effort to align their business model to government reporting and compliance requirements. We will provide businesses with guidance on how to fully comply with VAT once the legislation is issued. The final responsibility and accountability to comply with law is on the business.​​

What are the VAT-related responsibilities of businesses?

All businesses in the UAE will need to record their financial transactions and ensure that their financial records are accurate and up to date. Businesses that meet the minimum annual turnover requirement (as evidenced by their financial records) will be required to register for VAT. Businesses that do not think that they should be VAT registered should maintain their financial records in any event, in case we need to establish whether they should be registered.

VAT-registered businesses generally:

  • must charge VAT on taxable goods or services they supply;
  • may reclaim any VAT they’ve paid on business-related goods or services;
  • keep a range of business records which will allow the government to check that they have got things right

If you’re a VAT-registered business you must report the amount of VAT you’ve charged and the amount of VAT you’ve paid to the government on a regular basis. It will be a formal submission and it is likely that the reporting will be made online.

If you’ve charged more VAT than you’ve paid, you have to pay the difference to the government. If you’ve paid more VAT than you’ve charged, you can reclaim the difference.

How should a business determine the place of supply?

The place of supply will determine whether a supply is made in the UAE (in which case the UAE VAT law will apply), or outside the UAE for VAT purposes.

For a supply of goods, the place of supply should be the location of goods when the supply takes place with special rules for certain categories of supplies (e.g. water and energy, cross-border supplies).

For the supply of services, the place of supply should be where the supplier is established with special rules for certain categories of supplies (e.g. cross-border supplies between businesses).

Will there be VAT grouping?

Businesses that satisfy certain requirements covered under the Legislation (such as being resident in the UAE and being related/associated parties) will be able to register as a VAT group. For some businesses, VAT grouping will be a useful tool that would simplify accounting for VAT.

Under which conditions will businesses be allowed to claim VAT incurred on expenses?

VAT on expenses that were incurred by a business can be deducted in the following circumstances:

  • The business must be a taxable person (the end consumer cannot claim any input tax refund).
  • VAT should have been charged correctly (i.e. unduly charged VAT is not recoverable).
  • The business must hold documentation showing the VAT paid (e.g. valid tax invoice).
  • The goods or services acquired are used or intended to be used for making taxable supplies.
  • VAT input tax refund can be claimed only on the amount paid or intended to be paid before the expiration of 6 months after the agreed date for the payment of the supply.

Will non-residents be required to register for VAT?

Non-residents that make taxable supplies in the UAE will be required to register for VAT unless there is any other UAE resident person who is responsible for accounting for VAT on these supplies. This exclusion may apply, for example, where a UAE business is required to account for VAT under a reverse charge mechanism in respect of a purchase from a non-resident.

Will the goods exempt from customs duties also be exempt from VAT?

Not necessarily. Some goods that are imported may be exempt from customs duties but subject to VAT.