Late registrations penalties waived till end of April

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The UAE Federal Tax Authority extended the exemption period for administrative penalties for late VAT registrants until the end of April to help businesses get ready for the five per cent levy introduced on January 1.

“The Board [of directors of the Authority] approved a plan to exempt businesses that are late in registering with the Authority from administrative penalties until April 30, 2018,” the authority said in a statement on Wednesday. “This takes into consideration the lack of readiness of some businesses during the first phase of VAT implementation, and reflects FTA’s commitment to assisting businesses and encouraging them to be compliant with the tax procedures and to avoid administrative penalties.”

About 260,000 companies out of an estimated 350,000 have registered for VAT, the authority’s director general Khalid Al Bustani said in January, but the FTA is showing leniency in terms of imposing fines for late registration. To help companies comply correctly with VAT regulations, the authority extended the deadlines for filing tax returns, a move experts say will help struggling businesses.

However, the VAT will be applicable from January 1, 2018 as for all other businesses.