FTA Launches ‘Tax Support’ Initiative for 2023

Date: 31 Jan, 2023

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Dubai January 31, 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched the ‘Tax Support’ initiative to raise tax awareness among business sectors in the UAE. The initiative aims to achieve awareness through direct and sustained contract, as a means to enhance compliance with tax laws and regulations.

The first workshop under the initiative was held on January 24th and 25th as a collaboration between the FTA and On Time Business Solutions Centre, which is located in Oud Metha, Dubai.

The Authority stated that the activities of the ‘Tax Support’ initiative will continue throughout the year and cover all seven emirates, in collaboration with relevant centres and entities in the government and private sectors, where experts from the FTA will go on several tours in accordance with a comprehensive timeline.

The initiative targets taxpayers and aims to facilitate the process of paying taxes for them, in an effort to raise the rate of tax compliance and awareness around the UAE, in addition to responding to taxpayer enquiries and observations, directing them to the available tax guidelines, and correct procedures.

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FTA Invites Select Businesses to Start their CT Registrations

Date: 30 Jan, 2023

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Dubai January 30, 2023:

Big businesses and public companies get their first shot at registering for Corporate Tax (CT) via EmaraTax. A staggered approach for CT registering gives mid- and small businesses more time to be ready and get their processes in order. At the same time, it gives the tax authorities to fine-tune all of the related processes before the implementation date for the Corporate Tax from June 2023.

Currently, the ‘big corporates and public joint stock companies (PJSC) have been invited to do their CT registrations through the EmaraTax platform. The early registration period will continue until May. Registration is open for certain categories – i.e. a ‘Legal Person’, which includes PJSCs and UAE private companies.

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Are you ready for UAE corporate tax 2023? Chat with our tax experts now.

KSA: Voluntary Participation in Phase 2 of E-invoicing

Date: 26 Jan, 2023

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Riyadh January 26, 2023:

The Saudi Arabian Tax and Customs Authority ZATCA, has recently changed its approach to voluntary participation in Phase 2 of E-invoicing in the Kingdom.

Previously it has not been allowed to voluntarily start the implementation of Phase 2, however, with the update of the guideline published in December 2022, taxpayers now have the option to start following Phase 2 requirements on a voluntary basis before their integration enforcement date.

View the guideline.

FTA Releases User Manual on Login to EmaraTax using UAE PASS

Date: 25 Jan, 2023

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Dubai January 25, 2023:

The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) released a User Manual on Login to EmaraTax using UAE PASS. This manual helps taxpayers navigate through the application and depicts the steps in an easy-to-understand manner.

Here is the manual for anyone interested in knowing more about the login procedures.

FTA opens Pre-registration for Corporate Tax through EmaraTax Platform

Date: 22 Jan, 2023

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Dubai January 22, 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched early registration for corporate tax through the EmaraTax platform for digital tax services, in line with Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2022 on the Taxation of Corporations and Businesses, which stipulates that Taxable Persons will become subject to Corporate Tax from the beginning of their first financial year that starts on or after 1 June 2023.

The Authority explained that the early registration period is available from January 2023 to May 2023 for certain categories of companies operating in the UAE. These selected companies will be receiving invitations from the FTA by email and SMS, allowing them to register via the EmaraTax platform.

Following this phase, the FTA will announce at a later date when registration will be open for other companies and businesses. The FTA will make sure to give ample time for companies and businesses to apply for registration and meet their legal obligations. When registration opens, priority will be given to companies and businesses that have a financial year starting on 1 June 2023.

The Authority welcomes any feedback and suggestions during this phase to ensure continuous improvements of registration procedures and processes.

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New UAE Rule- Mandatory Attestation required for Import Invoices more than Dh 10000

Date: 18 Jan, 2023

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Dubai January 18, 2023:

Companies in the UAE will soon be required to attest import invoices with a value of Dh 10,000 and above, according to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The attestation cost of Dh 150 per commercial invoice will be applicable, and customers will have a grace period of 14 days after the declaration of goods to comply with the attestation. Failure to do so will result in a penalty of Dh 500 per invoice levied by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Mofaic) on the non-complying businesses.

According to a tweet issued by Mofaic — as per Cabinet Resolution No. 38 of 2022 regarding fees for certification of invoices and certificates of origin for imports into the UAE — this new rule will come into effect on February 1, 2023. This new regulation will apply to all goods imported into the UAE with a value of Dh 10,000 and above and the attestation of Invoices will be done electronically.

Contact our tax experts for more details.

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ZATCA confirms Liquor will not be Sold at Duty-free Shops in KSA

Date: 16 Jan, 2023

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Riyadh January 16, 2023:

Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has confirmed that liquor will not be sold at the newly established duty-free markets in the Kingdom’s entry ports.

According to the rules for establishing duty-free markets, only goods and products that are permitted to be traded in the Kingdom will be allowed at the duty-free markets, ZATCA said.

The authority has set the customs rules, requirements and procedures for establishing duty-free markets at air, sea and land ports, in accordance with the unified customs law for the GCC countries, which includes the conditions related to the operation of duty-free markets. The authority stressed that the decision will contribute to supporting supply chains and improving logistical services provided to duty-free markets by providing a wide range of goods and products for travel shopping.

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ZATCA Issues Tax Circular on VAT Treatment of Certain Supplies in the Financial Services Industry

Date: 15 Jan, 2023

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Riyadh January 15, 2023:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has issued a new circular to clarify the VAT laws and provisions concerned with certain supplies of services in the financial and their application in specific circumstances.

The circular provides information and guidance on the application of VAT rules in respect of two types of transactions that involve banks and financial institutions in KSA:

  • Supplies of services by international banks established in KSA to non-resident customers.
  • Incentives provided by credit card companies to banks in return for achieving operational targets.

The circular is based on the unified VAT agreement of the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council ( Unified VAT Agreement), Value Added Tax Law (VAT Law) and Value Added Tax implementing regulations as well as the general practice with respect to applicable rules.

View the circular.

Dubai: New Custom Duty Applicable on International Shopping exceeding AED 300

Date: 12 Jan, 2023

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Dubai January 12, 2023:

Dubai has introduced new customs duty on goods bought internationally with a value of more than AED 300. This means that residents shopping internationally with a value of over AED 300 will have to pay a 5 percent import customs duty and 5 percent value-added tax (VAT).

“Customs duty rate has been set at five percent of the goods if their value exceeds AED 300, except where a rate of zero percent exemption applies according to the Unified Customs Tariff for the GCC States of 2022,” said Abdelhak Attalah, partner, maritime and international trade practice, Galadari Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Attalah further added that tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and vaping liquids are subject to a higher customs duty at the rate of 200 percent in addition to the sin tax which is applied also to sugary drinks.

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ZATCA to Host 30 Specialized Workshops in February

Date: 11 Jan, 2023

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Riyadh January 11, 2023:

Zakat, Tax and Customs Conference to be held in Riyadh on 8th – 9th February 2023 will feature more than 30 specialized workshops in the tax sectors. Those interested to attend can register for the conference by logging onto A group of specialized experts will present on various topics in both Arabic and English.

The conference, organized by the Authority, comes under the slogan ‘An Integrated Digital System to Sustain the Economy and Enhance Security’ and is sponsored by the Minister of Finance, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, His Excellency Mr. Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan. It aims to discuss the most important global and local experiences and developments in the zakat, tax and customs sectors, and the digital transformation witnessed by the system.

Through organizing workshops accompanying the conference, the authority aims to enhance the tax culture and raise the level of compliance and public awareness of taxpayers, importers and exporters and all relevant parties.

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ZATCA urges Taxpayers subject to Selective Goods Tax to submit Returns by Jan 15, 2023

Date: 10 Jan, 2023

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Riyadh January 10, 2023:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has called on taxpayers from the business sector subject to selective goods tax to submit their tax returns for the past November and December, on January 15, 2023, at the latest.

The authority urged its taxpayers to quickly submit their declarations through the website ( ​) , in order to avoid a fine for failure to submit a declaration within the specified period at 5% of the value of the tax that should have been declared for every 30 days of delay in submitting the declaration.

The selective goods tax is one of the tax systems in force in the Kingdom, which is imposed on goods that have negative effects on public health or the environment in varying proportions, and includes soft drinks, energy drinks, sweetened drinks, tobacco and its derivatives.

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Kuwait: KD 900M Collected in Taxes during Past 5 Years

Date: 04 Jan, 2023

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Kuwait City January 4, 2023:

The Kuwaiti government collected about 900 million dinars in taxes from companies during the past five years, from April 2017 until the end of March 2022.

The total taxes were 787.6 million dinars, which came in the form of income tax from foreign companies and from Kuwaiti companies to support employment, zakat proceeds from Kuwaiti companies, and companies’ contributions to state services, in addition to about 110 million dinars from profits distribution and revenues for issuing tax certificates or others.

The data disclosed fiscal 2018/2019 witnessed the highest rate of collection of taxes on income, profits, and capital gains from companies and other projects, during which they collected 181.3 million dinars, in addition to a non-recurring rate of ‘dividend profits’ of about 109.94 million dinars, which is equivalent to the value of income tax from foreign companies for the same year bringing the total collection to 291.2 million dinars.

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READ ALSO : No New New Taxes Eyed in Kuwait

KSA: ZATCA Implements the Integration Phase of E-invoicing

Date: 03 Jan, 2023

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Riyadh January 3, 2023:

The Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has begun applying the second phase of E-invoicing ‘Integration Phase’ since January 1, 2023, to the enterprises that were chosen within the first group which met the conditions necessary to complete this phase.

The Authority stated that the enterprises that began to connect their E-invoicing systems with the Fatoora platform were chosen based on the level of revenues subject to VAT for the year 2021 whose revenues exceed 3 billion Riyals.

ZATCA stressed that this phase aims to link and integrate the E-invoicing systems of taxpayers subject to the E-invoicing regulations with the Fatoora platform, as the Authority worked to notify the targeted enterprises to complete the procedures for applying the second phase of e-invoicing six months before the application.

In addition, the Authority claimed that the second phase has additional requirements, most notably connecting taxpayers’ electronic invoicing systems with the Authority’s system, issuing electronic invoices using a specific format, and including a number of additional elements in the invoice. The Authority is striving to impose this phase gradually and in groups, and it will directly inform the succeeding groups at least six months prior to the integration date.

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Dubai Axes 30 Percent Tax on Alcohol Sales

Date: 02 Jan, 2023

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Dubai January 2, 2023:

From January 1, 2023 Dubai has suspended a tax of 30 percent on alcoholic beverages as well as dropped the personal liquor licence fee that was previously mandated to buy alcohol in the commercial and tourism hub.

However, a valid Emirates ID, or Passport for tourists, will still be required to apply for the license. Added to that a person must be at least 21 to drink legally in the UAE, and alcohol can only be consumed privately or in licensed public places.

The move of slashing the tax is expected to further boost the appeal of Dubai to tourists and expats towards its more liberal lifestyle, compared to other Gulf states.

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FTA releases User Manual on EMARATAX Tax Group Registration

Date: 01 Jan, 2023

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Dubai January 1, 2023:

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Tax Authority (FTA) publishes a User Manual on ‘EMARATAX Tax Group Registration – Version

This manual is prepared to help VAT Tax Group representative members navigate through the FTA’s Emaratax website and create an account with the FTA. It also provides steps to submit a VAT Tax Group Registration Application. In addition, it offers you an understanding of the Login process, user types, forgot password and modify online user profile functionalities.

Note: The representative member must login into their EMARATAX account to initiate the VAT TAX Group Registration Application. Other Tax Group Members who are not a representative member will not be able to submit this application.

Click here to access the user manual.

ZATCA Determines the Criteria for Selecting the Taxpayers in Phase II of E-invoicing

Date: 28 Dec, 2022

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Riyadh December 28, 2022:

Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) determined the criteria for selecting the targeted taxpayers in the second wave for implementing the “Integration Phase” of E-invoicing. The authority clarified that the second wave includes all taxpayers whose revenues subject to VAT exceeded (half a billion Saudi riyals) in 2021. VAT-registered taxpayers meeting the criteria should integrate their E-invoicing solutions with the FATOORA Platform starting from July 1, 2023.

ZATCA has stated that Phase Two requires additional requirements, the most prominent is to integrate taxpayer’s E-invoicing solutions with (FATOORA) Platform, issue electronic invoices based on a specific format, and include additional fields in the invoice. Furthermore, the second phase of E-invoicing would be implemented in waves, and ZATCA would inform the next waves at least six months prior the integration date.

It is noteworthy that the implementation of the Integration Phase of the first wave will be on January 1, 2023, for the taxpayers whose selection criteria were announced last June, after such taxpayers completed the necessary requirements to complete this phase.

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FTA urges Taxpayers to Benefit from Administrative Penalty Re-determination facility before December 31

Date: 23 Dec, 2022

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Dubai December 23, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has called on registered taxpayers to benefit from the facility to re-determine administrative penalties on tax violations to be 30% of the total outstanding amount that were not paid before June 28, 2021

The FTA stressed that the facility has set a deadline i.e on or before December 31, 2022 and that taxpayers eligible to benefit from the decision must complete all related procedures through the EmaraTax portal to be able to benefit from the facility.

The Authority explained that after December 31, 2022, tax registrants who have outstanding penalties from before June 28, 2021 will not be eligible to avail of the re-determination facility and will be required to pay their fines in total, instead of just 30% of them, if the required conditions are met within the deadline set by the Cabinet Decision on Re-Determining Administrative Penalties on Tax Violations in the UAE.

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KSA Extends Penalty Waiver for all Taxes until May 2023

Date: 19 Dec, 2022

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Riyadh December 19, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) as part of its efforts to mitigate the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic again extended the amnesty initiative that waives penalties on all taxes for another 6 months, until the end of May 2023 (previously set to close 30 November 2022).

The authority pointed out that extending the initiative would enable taxpayers to benefit from the initiative and its goals, and alleviate economic burdens arising from the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses.

Highlights of the decision include:


  • The extended tax amnesty covers the period from 1 December 2022 to 31 May 2023.


The amnesty initiative applies to fines and penalties relating to the following taxes:

  • Value-added tax
  • Withholding tax
  • Excise tax
  • Corporate income tax
  • Real estate transaction tax

For any additional information with respect to this alert, please get in touch with our tax experts.

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FTA launches Strategy to explore Future of Tax Sector

Date: 15 Dec, 2022

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Dubai December 15, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched its strategy to explore the future of the tax sector and strive for global leadership. The strategy is built on a thorough assessment and follows comprehensive plans developed to map out the future of the UAE tax system, in line with international best practices.

The Authority explained that launching the strategy formed part of its activities to mark World Future Day 2022 which began last week.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said: “The Federal Tax Authority’s strategy for exploring the future of the tax sector primarily aims to identify the basic motives, scenarios, and proactive measures required for sustainably upgrading tax procedures in the UAE, and promoting a culture of future-mapping within, paving the way for it to become a world leader in the field.”

“Over the past few days, the Authority organised a series of events to mark World Future Day, including an awareness seminar on the methods and tools of forecasting the future, which highlighted the importance of the FTA’s participation in celebrating World Future Day, and showcased various effective future-planning mechanisms, with detailed steps and frameworks,” H.E. added.

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UAE Issues Federal Decree-Law on 9% Corporate Tax for 2023

Date: 09 Dec, 2022

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Dubai December 9, 2022:

The UAE has issued Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2022 on Taxation of Corporations and Businesses (The Corporate Tax Law). This means businesses will be subject to UAE Corporate Tax from the beginning of their first financial year which starts on or after June 1, 2023.

The UAE’s Corporate Tax regime will levy a standard rate of 9% for taxable profits exceeding AED 375,000. Profits up to and including that threshold will be taxed at a 0% rate to support small businesses and start-ups.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) confirmed the Federal Decree-Law on Taxation of Corporations and Businesses is an important milestone in building an integrated tax regime that supports the strategic objectives of the UAE and enhances its global economic competitiveness, as well as provides the national economy with sufficient flexibility to deal with and support international financial systems within the framework of the UAE’s established partnerships.View the MoF’s newly released Frequently Asked Questions that supplement your queries.

  • Click here to view the Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2022 in English.
  • Click here to view the Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2022 in Arabic.
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UAE VAT Law: Changes in Gold and Diamond sector Announced

Date: 08 Dec, 2022

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Dubai December 8, 2022:

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) announced changes to the VAT rules for gold and diamond suppliers. The amendment comes as part of a resolution issued by the cabinet on workmanship services when supplying gold and diamonds between registrants.

According to the resolution, there will be a temporary replacement for the definition of “goods” contained in Article (1) of Cabinet Decision No. (25) of 2018 on the Mechanism of Applying VAT on Gold and Diamonds between Registrants in the State to be gold, diamonds and any products whose main component is gold or diamonds, which may include workmanship services directly related to the supply of these commodities”.

This amendment will be applied for the period from June 1, 2018, to December 31, 2022, noting that the term provided in the aforementioned Cabinet Decision No. (25) of 2018 (goods) will be re-applied starting from January 1, 2023.

Read more.

Join now! FTA holds Webinars Series in December to Orient Users towards EmaraTax

Date: 06 Dec, 2022

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Dubai December 6, 2022:

To orient tax payers towards the new payment portal EmaraTax, FTA has released a recorded webinar in English. An Arabic recording of the webinar will be made available soon.

In order to gain an in-depth overview on FTA’s EmaraTax click here to view the webinar (on YouTube).

During this month, FTA will also be running a series of online orientation sessions for EmaraTax users. There will be two sessions per day:

• 10 – 11 am providing you an opportunity to raise specific questions about using EmaraTax;
• 3 – 4 pm focusing on specific aspects of EmaraTax, in particular password reset, returns submission and payments.

Please join any session that is of interest to you and you can access the webinars via WebEx. We recommend that you download WebEx in advance to avoid any possible delays when joining your chosen session. The live webinars are currently conducted in English as per the schedule.

Click here to view the calendar of events and schedule.

FTA releases Guide on Password Reset Process to login to EmaraTax

Date: 05 Dec, 2022

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Dubai Dec 5, 2022:

This is to update you that FTA has released detailed guidelines on resetting of password to login to EmaraTax portal. The document contains a step-by-step guide to resetting your password and briefs you the corresponding steps and scenarios bound to occur.

Kindly click here to view the document for your reference. We hope you will find it useful.

Please feel free to reach out to us on WhatsApp in case of any clarifications.

FTA to Launch EmaraTax on December 5, 2022

Date: 24 Nov, 2022

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Dubai November 24, 2022:

Here’s an important notice from FTA that is all set to launch EmaraTax on December 5 2022.

EmaraTax significantly enhances taxpayer access to the FTA’s services, payment of taxes and obtaining refunds. The new platform also enhances the ability of the FTA to administer taxes in the UAE and enables better, faster decision-making and earlier engagement with taxpayers that need support.

The new online platform is part of the UAE’s Digital Government Strategy 2025 to leverage emerging technologies and build a digital infrastructure that serves the people and business community.

Click here to get more details about the new platform that includes guidance videos, FAQs and links to online orientation sessions.

NBR releases Updated VAT Registration Guide

Date: 22 Nov, 2022

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Dubai November 22, 2022:

The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) releases a VAT Registration Guide (Updated in October 2022). The document provides guidance on registering for VAT in the Kingdom of Bahrain (Bahrain).

For your information, VAT was introduced in Bahrain since January 1, 2019 with a standard rate of VAT of 5 %. With effect from 1 January 2022, the standard rate of VAT was revised to 10 %. See the VAT Rate Change Transitional Provisions Guide on NBR’s website for an explanation of the transitional rules relevant to the change in rate.

The guide is intended to provide general information only, and contains the current views of the National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) on its subject matter. The document serves as a guideline only and is not a substitute for obtaining competent legal advice from a qualified professional. The main principles of the VAT system in the Kingdom of Bahrain are set out in the VAT General Guide issued by the NBR which is available on it’s website.

UAE announces VAT Exemption for Board Members from January 1, 2023

Date: 18 Nov, 2022

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Dubai November 18, 2022:

Supply of services for people serving as board members will not be subject to value-added tax from next year, the Ministry of Finance said on November 17, 2022.

The ministry added that before the new legislative amendment is implemented, tasks performed by board members – natural and legal persons alike – are treated as taxable services subject to VAT, on the condition that the member provides them on a regular, continuous, and independent basis, and if the total value of these taxable supplies/services and import transactions, exceeds the mandatory tax registration threshold.

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Saudi Arabia to Begin e-invoicing Phase II from January 2023

Date: 16 Nov, 2022

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Riyadh November 16, 2022:

Having only introduced VAT on 1 January 2018, Saudi Arabia is leading the way in digitizing its tax invoices. The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has given January 1, 2023 as the go-live date of the second phase.

Phase I consisted of ensuring that there is a technical e-invoicing solution compatible with the relevant requirements. This puts an end to handwritten invoices or invoices written through text editors. A fine of SR 5,000 will be applied for not issuing and saving the invoices electronically.

Phase II of e-invoicing will be implemented in a phased manner from January 2023, to establish integration between e-systems of taxpayers and the authority’s regulations. In addition to other requirements, Phase II introduces integration with ZATCA platform for continuous transaction controls requiring taxpayers to clear invoices ahead of transmission to buyers. The fine for omitting the QR Code and not reporting any malfunction in the issuing of the e-invoice to the authority starts with a warning. The fine for violating the deletion or modification of e-invoice starts from SR 10,000.

Read more.

FTA emails Awareness Information on Excise Tax Registration

Date: 15 Nov, 2022

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Dubai November 15, 2022:

As part of Muwafaq initiatives, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) will send weekly Awareness Materials to taxpayers such as informative guides, and updates. The Authority is committed to ensuring full and voluntary compliance with tax regulations among all business sectors, and keep all registrants abreast with the obligations under the UAE tax laws.

With regards to this, the FTA has sent an emailer on the requirements, processes and conditions for ‘Excise Tax Registration‘ in the region. The application takes hardly about 45 minutes to complete, and can be submitted 24/7 on their official website.

Click here to view the file.

UAE: Get Ready, EmaraTax set to Go Live on December 5

Date: 14 Nov, 2022

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Dubai November 14, 2022:

EmaraTax, FTA’s new enhanced tax platform, is going live on December 5, 2022. The migration to EmaraTax will commence from November 30, 2022 and will be available for use on 5 December. The migration is planned in such a way so as to minimize disruption to taxpayers and coincides with the National Day holidays well in advance of the usual tax return submission and payment dates.

Emaratax is a new tax platform designed to provide a better experience for taxpayers to manage their tax obligations. The smart app will also enhance taxpayer’s ability to administer taxes, enable better, faster decision-making and foster earlier engagement with those requiring support.

Log onto to access the FTA’s online services. This web address will remain unchanged even after the transition to EmaraTax. A dedicated microsite has been launched containing important information about EmaraTax and is intended to help taxpayers prepare for the new platform. From November 7, 2022 to November 18, 2022 the FTA will host virtual awareness sessions for taxpayers regarding the new EmaraTax portal to help them navigate the new system easily.

Click here to get more details about the new platform that includes guidance videos, FAQs and links to online orientation sessions. Stay tuned for more updates and content addition over time.

Read more.

Bahrain: NBR releases FAQS on Digital Tax Stamps

Date: 12 Nov, 2022

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Manama November 12, 2022:

Following UAE Federal Tax Authority’s footsteps, Bahrain’s National Bureau for Revenue announced the introduction of Digital Tax Stamps on Excise Goods starting from July 17, 2022 (extended from May 15, 2022) for imported Cigarettes, and retailed Cigarettes starting October 16, 2022 (extended from August 14, 2022)

The digital tax stamp system is a regulatory system that aims to track excise goods from the manufacturing stage to the goods being put into the local market for sale/consumption. Under this system, a dedicated digital stamp containing security features and codes is placed in order to prevent the circulation of non-original excise goods in the region.

Click here to read the FAQS.

FTA issues VAT guide on refund of VAT for Construction and Operation of Mosques

Date: 11 Nov, 2022

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Dubai November 11, 2022:

Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has recently issued a VAT guide on ‘Refund of VAT Incurred on the Construction and Operation of Mosques’. The VAT guide explains the requirements and process for recovering input VAT incurred on construction and operation of mosques and this document should be read by persons constructing and/or operating/maintaining a mosque in the UAE.

Click here to view the VAT guide.

Federal Tax Authority granted ISO 22301 for Business Continuity Management

Date: 10 Nov, 2022

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Dubai November 10, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has enhanced its holistic quality scheme designed to bring its operating systems and services in line with the highest international quality standards, thus earning the ISO 22301 certificate.

The FTA secured the ISO certificate for Business Continuity Management for its Business Continuity and Crisis Recovery System, after updating all of its practices and procedures in the sector. The independent assessment and audit team reviewed compliance with requirements to meet the ISO 22301 standard, as well as internal protocols and documented procedures that have been implemented.

The Authority underlined the continuous growth in the number of FTA employees who obtained international accreditation certificates related to the international standard for business continuity, which is now 74 employees compared to just 49 last year. This marks a 51% increase in 2022, highlighting the FTA’s commitment to developing its human capital in accordance with the highest international standards. The Authority strives to continuously upgrade its services to meet customers’ needs, save time, cut costs, and boost efficiency in resource management, in addition to motivating employees to integrate into the work environment.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said, “The new certification we have earned reaffirms confidence in the Federal Tax Authority’s systems, as well as in its efficiency and ability to face challenges and maintain business continuity. The ISO 22301 for Business Continuity Management reflects the Authority’s commitment and excellence in implementing technological systems and hiring the right talent, capable of ensuring continuity in our service provision, while maintaining the highest levels of quality and safety.”

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FTA releases Key Amendments to the UAE VAT Law

Date: 09 Nov, 2022

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Dubai November 9, 2022:

We wish to inform you that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has published notable amendments to the Federal VAT Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 (UAE VAT Law). This is the first update to the UAE VAT Law ever since its introduction in 2017. The amendments will go into effect from January 1, 2023.

In this piece, we have outlined an overview of the key changes to the UAE VAT Law. We recommend taxpayers in the UAE to closely study all the amendments to the UAE VAT law. This is in order to determine if your current tax processes require changes to comply with the new regulations.

Read the full article.

Oman to Introduce Income Tax on High Earners

Date: 08 Nov, 2022

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Muscat November 8, 2022:

After two years of contemplation, the Gulf state of Oman is on the cusp of introducing income tax in the region. A draft law to levy income tax on high earners was passed on November 6, 2022 by the country’s Shura Council. Subject to approval from the Council of Ministers and a final endorsement from Sultan Haitham, the tax will then become law.

“Income tax is on track. We expect personal income tax to go live by late 2023 or in 2024 provided that it receives all approvals including the royal decree.” a source revealed on the condition of anonymity.

Oman is more likely to bring personal income tax in the range of 5-9%, which is not yet confirmed. The buzz on income tax draft law has evoked mixed reactions from citizens in different salary brackets. Most feel a percentage cut of 3-5% will be okay and anything above that can hit their income. Middle-income earners were also concerned that if the new law is approved what would it mean for them in the long run. However experts opine that such a levy would be a good idea overall for the country’s finances.

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Oman: Amendments to Executive Regulations of the Excise Tax Law

Date: 04 Nov, 2022

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Muscat November 4, 2022:

In October 2022, the Oman Tax Authority (OTA) issued Ministerial Decision No. 456/2022 (MD 456/ 2022) amending certain provisions of the Executive Regulations of the Excise Tax Law issued under MD 53/ 2021. The amendments have gone into effect from 17 October 2022.

The amendments are currently available only in Arabic and can be downloaded from here.

ZATCA issues Guideline on Control of Fees for Storage at Land Customs Ports

Date: 03 Nov, 2022

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Riyadh November 3, 2022:

ZATCA recently issued a guideline on the ‘Controls of fees for storing goods at land customs ports’. The guideline is in accordance with the unified customs regulations of the GCC.

Click here to read the full guideline.

Bahrain: NBR updates Excise Goods List

Date: 02 Nov, 2022

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Manama November 2, 2022:

The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) has recently announced the updation of their excise goods list available on the NBR portal.

Click here to view the new excise goods list.

UAE Ministry of Finance Amends some Provisions of VAT law

Date: 31 Oct, 2022

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Dubai October 31, 2022:

The UAE Ministry of Finance has amended certain provisions to the value added tax (VAT) laws (Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value Added Tax (VAT)), which will go into effect from January 1, 2023. The amendments made are in line with international best practices, based on experiences, challenges faced by various business sectors as well as recommendations received from relevant parties.

Some of the major changes to the existing VAT rule introduced by Federal Decree-Law No 18 of 2022 are as follows:

  • Registered persons who make taxable supplies are allowed to apply for an exception from VAT registration if all of their supplies are zero-rated or if they no longer make any supplies other than zero-rated supplies.
  • Setting a 14-day period to issue a tax credit note to settle output tax, in line with the time frame set for issuing tax invoices.
  • The FTA may forcibly deregister registered persons in specific cases if deemed necessary.

Read more…

Want to further know the Key Amendments to the UAE VAT Law in detail, then click here to read the full article.

FTA: New Payment Platform 'Magnati' announced for Tax Liabilities

Date: 30 Oct, 2022

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Dubai October 30, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced that it will be discontinuing the use of the eDirham system in paying taxes from October 30, 2022 and replacing it with Magnati, the smart payment option from First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).

Magnati provides advanced software solutions for online payments, using next-generation advanced technologies to provide a seamless and efficient payment service for FTA customers. The FTA explained that the new smart payments feature will allow registrants to pay their tax obligations via FAB’s platform, in addition to enabling taxpayers to settle any payment due using credit cards.

Read more…

OTA issues Document on Tax Stamps

Date: 25 Oct, 2022

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Muscat October 25, 2022:

Starting from September 19, 2022, importers and local manufacturers will be able to request the digital tax stamps which will be sent to manufactures to put on molasses and other tobacco products.

Click here to view the document elaborating on the essentials of the Tax Stamp Scheme in Oman (Note: File in Arabic).

FTA: Positive Indicators marking the Success of 5th year of Excise Tax in UAE

Date: 24 Oct, 2022

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UAE October 24, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) asserted that the implementation of Excise Tax has been a great success in all aspects. Whether in relation to the implementation mechanisms developed as per international best practices, or in relation to encouraging cooperation from sectors of taxable businesses, the indicators have revealed positive results. Thus demonstrating that the roll-out of Excise Tax in the region has achieved its intended objectives.

The review was part of a press statement the Authority issued to mark the five-year anniversary of the implementation of Excise Tax, which went into effect in the UAE since October 1, 2017. Primarily applied to carbonated beverages at a rate of 50%, tobacco products and energy drinks at 100%, the scope of Excise Goods was later expanded to include sweetened drinks as of December 1, 2019, that were subject to a rate of 50%, and electronic smoking devices, tools along with the liquids used within were subject to a rate of 100%.

Key Indicators

  • The FTA revealed that the total number of Excise Tax registrants grew continuously from 309 by the end of 2017 to 430 by the end of 2018, at a growth rate of 39.16%.
  • The total increased by 60.47% to 690 registrants by the end of 2019, and subsequently by 45.36% to hit 1,003 registrants by the end of 2020, and by another 22.33% to reach 1,227 registrants by the end of 2021.
  • An additional growth rate of 19.72% was recorded in the first nine months of the current year, where the total number of registrants reached 1,469 by the end of September 2022.
  • Overall, this marks a cumulative growth of 375.41% between the end of 2017 and the end of September 2022.

Read more.

ZATCA issues Fatoora Portal User Manual – Version 2

Date: 22 Oct, 2022

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Riyadh October 22, 2022:

ZATCA has issued a user guideline for the Fatoora platform to implement the second phase of the electronic invoice – the integration phase. ​​​​

This user manual contains the steps of using the portal to onboard and integrate the e-invoicing solutions and has been prepared for educational and awareness purposes.

View the Fatoora Portal User Manual- Ver 2.

ZATCA: Items Worth over SAR 60,000 to be Disclosed during Travel

Date: 18 Oct, 2022

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Riyadh October 18, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) stated that every traveller arriving or departing from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must disclose if they are carrying in their luggage a sum of or items amounting to 60,000 Saudi Arabian Riyals (SAR) or more.

Travelers must disclose the items and fill out the declaration form and submit it electronically via the application or through ZATCA’s website.

The items that may have a value of more than 60,000 SAR include:

  • Coins
  • Monetary instruments
  • Gold bars
  • Precious metals
  • Precious stones
  • Fine jewellery
  • Equivalent in foreign currencies

ZATCA said that the declaration is a mandatory requirement to protect the traveler from being charged with the crime of money laundering, smuggling, or evading the payment of legal fees and taxes.

For more information, click the link:

Read more.

NBR: October 16 marks Application of Last Phase of DTS in Bahrain

Date: 12 Oct, 2022

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Manama October 12, 2022:

The National Revenue Authority (NBR) confirmed that October 16, 2022 marks the last phase of application of the distinctive mark system (digital stamps) on cigarette products. The decision was implemented based on decision No. 3 of 2022 of the CEO of the National Revenue Authority, where all cigarette products available for sale must be mandatorily marked with digital tags for trading, sourcing, or holding in local markets.

The agency called on all importers and traders in the local markets to deal in appropriate quantities and avoid storing large quantities of cigarettes that do not bear digital stamps. This was in order to clear the stock before the last stage and prepare for the ban of sale, circulation, possession or supply of cigarettes without stamps.

It is worth noting that the digital stamp system aims to track the movement of selective excise related goods from the manufacturing stage to the point of sale for consumption. The system helps combat the smuggling of goods and illegal trade and also helps protect consumers from poor quality and counterfeit products alike, while ensuring effective collection of tax proceeds by the government.

Read more.

FTA to launch a New Integrated Platform⁠—EmaraTax

Date: 11 Oct, 2022

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Dubai October 11, 2022:

FTA announced that a new platform will be launched in November this year following an extensive period of assessment, consultation and development. EmaraTax represents a major milestone in the FTA’s ambition to be a leading digitalised tax administration system in full recognition of the UAE’s national digital agenda.

EmaraTax will significantly enhance the way taxpayers access the services of FTA, pay their taxes and obtain refunds. The new platform also greatly enhances the ability to administer taxes in the UAE, enables better, faster decision-making and earlier engagement with taxpayers in need of support.

Offering online access to a larger number of services, a simplified and streamlined user experience and extensive self-help options, EmaraTax offers a range of significant enhancements. Individual taxpayers, tax agents, legal representatives, foreign missions and diplomats, customs bodies and verification agencies will all benefit from the range of developments.

The new platform is a modern tax administration ecosystem that integrates with other influential government entities such as the UAE Central Bank and national technology-based programs including UAE PASS to make best use of common data and simplify the range of user processes from logging-in to compiling tax returns. Importantly EmaraTax is mobile-ready and the App will be launched shortly after the new platform goes live in November 2022.

View more.

FTA publishes a a Cabinet Decision on Charities

Date: 07 Oct, 2022

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Dubai October 7, 2022:

The UAE tax authorities have issued Cabinet Decision No.55 of 2017 on Charities That May Recover Input Tax.

The decision, which has retrospective effect from 1 January 2018, confirms that certain charities (as specified in the list) will be able to recover all the input tax paid by them. This comes with exception of tax excluded from recovery by virtue of UAE’s executive regulations on VAT and tax paid for goods and services used for making exempt supplies.

The file contains the list of charities in both English and Arabic.

FTA showcases latest Digital Initiatives at GITEX 2022

Date: 06 Oct, 2022

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Dubai October 6, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) showcased its latest digital initiatives at GITEX Global Exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre. More than 5,000 companies from over 90 countries participated in the event.

The Authority revealed that its participation at GITEX highlights its latest digital initiatives, launched as part of the continuous development plans to match the best standards. The initiatives are in line with UAE’s Digital Government Strategy, designed to drive the smart transformation of all services, and introduce seamless and proactive digital services. The objective is to provide innovative models that embody the leadership and excellence of the government systems, and strengthen efforts to meet taxpayers’ aspirations and process their transactions quickly.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said “Through its participation at GITEX, the world’s largest tech event, the FTA aims to achieve two main objectives. The first is to introduce the FTA’s experts to the latest technologies and smart digital systems in the field of tax administration, which can be built upon to ensure the modernisation of the FTA’s services. This in turn, supports our efforts to fulfil the directives of our wise leadership and make the UAE one of the best countries in the world.”

Read more.

OTA releases Manual Guide on Updating Taxpayers Data

Date: 04 Oct, 2022

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Muscat October 4, 2022:

Oman Tax Authority has made an announcement urging taxpayers to update their communication data of their institutions when they access to the Tax Authority’s electronic portal.

In a statement the Tax Authority said “Taxpayers should update the communication data of their institutions when they access to the Tax Authority’s portal We appreciate your cooperation to update this data that will allow you to access the electronic services provided by the Tax Authority in the future.”

In regards to this, the Authority has also issued a step by step guide outlining the process for updating contact details.

Click here to view the guide.

OTA activates Digital Tax Stamps in Oman

Date: 02 Oct, 2022

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Muscat October 2, 2022:

Starting from September 19,2022, importers and local manufacturers in Oman can request the digital tax stamps which will be sent to manufactures to put on molasses and other tobacco products.

Ahead of the rollout of the second phase of its Digital Tax Stamp initiative on October 14, 2022, Oman Tax Authority has urged importers of tobacco products and spirits to obtain excise tax stamps to be supplied to their overseas principals for affixing on their goods before they are shipped into the country.

The scheme, which came into effect on June 30, 2022, aims to strengthen regulation of trade and sale of excisable products and optimize the collection of tax levied on such goods. The digital tags will also help clamp down any illegal imports of excise goods in the country.

View more details in the file.

ZATCA releases VAT Guidelines for Electronic Contracts

Date: 26 Sep, 2022

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Riyadh September 26, 2022:

ZATCA releases VAT Guidelines for Electronic Contracts. The guideline is addressed to all natural and legal persons who carry on economic activity and who are subject to VAT. The purpose of this guideline is to provide more clarifications regarding VAT consequences on electronic contracts entered into between a supplier and a customer. View the Guide in Arabic.

For further advice on specific transaction, you can approach the Authority on its website which contains a host of tools and visual guidance materials.

FTA announces 100 percent Digital VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists

Date: 25 Sep, 2022

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Dubai September 25, 2022:

The UAE’s Tax Authority (FTA), in partnership with Planet Tax Free, launched the world’s most innovative and 100% digital VAT-refund scheme for tourists. The paperless procedure is considered the most advanced solution of its kind in the world and is a reflection of the government’s continuous adoption of proactive solutions based on the concept of proactive government work, to meets the requirements of the future and positively reflect on customers.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference in the presence of H.E. Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the UAE Federal Tax Authority and Eyad Al-Kourdi, General Manager of Planet Tax Free, the operator of the tax refund system for tourists in the UAE.

The integrated system was demonstrated at the press conference, showcasing the strength of using electronic invoices issued at the point of sale registered within the authority’s system, instead of traditional paper invoices. The new solution is integrated electronically between retail outlets and the tax refund scheme, ensuring a seamless digital process of issuing, sending, modifying and saving invoices for tourists.

Read more.

ZATCAs 2 hours Customs Clearance Initiative continues its efforts

Date: 20 Sep, 2022

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Riyadh September 20, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has concluded making all the necessary preparations to expand the application of the customs clearance initiative within the two hours specified by the noble royal order and has worked on this in collaboration with 26 government agencies that serve as customs clearance agencies.

The Authority is expanding the implementation of the initiative in order to further the clearance system’s efforts to facilitate cross-border trade in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to become a global platform for logistics service.

According to the Authority, importers’ can utilize the feature of pre-submitting the documents needed for importation 72 hours before the consignment arrives at the port, in addition to meeting all clearance requirements from the relevant authorities, and contribute to the accomplishments made during the final stage of the clearance system.

In this regard, the Authority, through its integrated work with the National Competitiveness Center and in continuous cooperation with the clearing authorities, has achieved a tangible development at the level of customs clearance procedures within the framework of its strategy that meets the requirements of the Kingdom’s vision 2030 to be a pioneer in customs work at the regional and global level, fostering national competitiveness and enhancing national competitiveness.

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FTA holds 3 Youth Circles on Tax Culture to support SMEs

Date: 16 Sep, 2022

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Dubai September 16, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) Youth Council, in cooperation with the Federal Youth Authority (FYA), held three youth circles on Tax Culture to Support Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) as part of the Council’s initiatives to raise tax awareness and facilitate tax compliance through direct engagement with youth business.

More than 100 representatives of SMEs participated in the discussions in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman. The sessions were attended by FTA Director General, His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FYA Director General, Saeed Al Nazari, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) Undersecretary, Rashid Al Baloosh and the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprise Development Executive Vice President, Saeed Al Marri, alongside a number of federal and local authority officials.

The youth circles dealt with a set of aspects that include the services provided by the authority, its future directions to enhance youth tax culture in the SME sector and the prominent challenges young people face at SMEs and ways to overcome them.

Read more.

FTA publishes a Guide on 'Excise Stock Movement For Warehouse Keepers not Registered for Excise Tax'

Date: 15 Sep, 2022

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Dubai September 15, 2022:

A Public Clarification was published on August 2022 by the FTA on ‘Excise Stock Movement Guide For Warehouse Keepers who are not Registered for Excise Tax’.

This guide helps Warehouse Keepers (WHK) understand their responsibilities of holding a warehouse in a Designated Zone (DZ) in the UAE and navigate the e-Services portal from a systems perspective. It further throws lights on the following aspects:

  • The process of declaring Excise Goods that belong to Excise taxpayers that are held in the Designated Zone beginning January, 2021.
  • Assist in understanding the Excise Tax compliance obligations that Warehouse Keepers have to comply with.
  • An overview of the declaration forms that need to be filed by the Warehouse Keeper of Designated Zones in the UAE holding stock of Excise taxpayers and explanation of the icons and symbols included in the forms.

The sections of the guide offer a detailed explanation about the declaration forms and who, how and when a Warehouse Keeper should complete and submit them to the FTA.

FTA announces World’s First Paperless Tax Refund experience for Tourists

Date: 14 Sep, 2022

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Dubai September 14, 2022:

The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced the world’s first paperless tax refund scheme for tourists.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of FTA, said the system has been linked with the retailers hence all the receipts will be generated electronically and tourists will not have to carry paper receipts of their purchases for claiming VAT refunds. UAE is the first country in the world to achieve this milestone.

The tourists need to spend a minimum of AED 250 to claim a VAT refund. In addition, there are a number of kiosks placed at various locations in the country for tourists to claim a refund.

Read more.

FTA to implement Muwafaq Priviledge Package for Facilitating SMEs

Date: 13 Sep, 2022

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Dubai September 13, 2022:

In line with the development goals set by the UAE to support small and medium enterprises, which represent the backbone of the national economy, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has begun designing and implementing Muwafaq Privilege Package which aims to provide innovative tax solutions to facilitate transactions for SMEs with speed, ease and accuracy.

The highlights of the Muwafaq package include:

  • Acceleration of tax registration procedure.
  • Preparing and offering low cost tax accounting programs to ease financial burdens of SMEs.
  • Prioritization of SME procedure requests to facilitate ease of access to FTA services.
  • Cooperation with service providers to offer certain taxpayers support services for SMEs.

View more benefits.

FTA resumes Tax Clinic initiative in Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah

Date: 12 Sep, 2022

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Dubai September 12, 2022:

The Tax Clinic initiative organised by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) resumed its field activities across the emirates with sessions in Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah. The sessions were designed to raise tax awareness and enhance tax compliance , while establishing and maintaining direct communication with business sectors,.

Two rounds of sessions were held last month under the campaign. The first of which was held over three days from 16 to 18 August at Tasheel Enjaz – Alrams Centre in Ras Al Khaimah, while the second round took place at the Tasheel-Al Thiqah Multi-Services Centre in Mleiha in the Emirate of Sharjah from 23 to 25 August.

The Tax Clinic initiative was launched way back in August 2018 in all seven emirates to raise tax awareness, assist taxpayers in overcoming any obstacles they face and ensure self-compliance. FTA representatives present across all locations answer questions about registration, how to file tax returns and pay tax-related obligations. FTA organized these remote awareness sessions under the Tax Clinic initiative for more than two years, bringing together hundreds of business sector representatives and tax system stakeholders.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said “The Federal tax Authority organizes the Tax Clinic campaign in collaboration with Departments of Economic Development and municipalities across all seven emirates, under the framework the FTA established for coordinating with its strategic partners in the public and private sectors providing top-quality services and ensuring the successful implementation of tax legislation.”

Read more.

Dubai Customs Authority Bans Export of Iron Scrap & Wastepaper till Sep 30

Date: 11 Sep, 2022

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Dubai September 11, 2022:

The Dubai Customs Authority published customs notice 07/2022 announcing a temporary ban on the export and re-export of iron (ferrous) scrap and paper waste. The customs notice states that the temporary ban on iron scrap and waste paper exports has been extended until September 30, 2022.

The UAE had issued a similar notice in 2020 which said that the ban is effective from May 15, 2020 for a period of four months ending 1September 15, 2020. This was in regards to strengthen the country’s domestic demand.

View the notice.

VAT of a Car Exported from Saudi Arabia cannot be Refunded

Date: 10 Sep, 2022

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Riyadh September 10, 2022:

Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) clarified that it’s not possible to refund the paid value-added tax (VAT) on a car that has been exported from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This clarification came while responding to an inquiry from a Saudi citizen asking about the possibility to receive VAT refund after he purchased a car, then exported it from the Kingdom.

He was asked to get a VAT refund in Saudi Arabia after he paid another new VAT in the country to which he exported the car to.

It stated that all the services and commodities are subjected to the VAT with a percentage of 15 percent if it has been provided by the establishment or by an activity or business owner registered in the VAT system.

Read more.

OTA organizes Workshops on VAT and CIT

Date: 09 Sep, 2022

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Musact September 9, 2022:

The tax authority, in coordination with the General Authority for Economic and Free Zones, organized two workshops on value-added tax and corporate income tax in the Salalah Free Zone, in the presence of several officials and employees of the authority, the industrial city of Raysut (Mada’in), the free zones of Salalah and Mazyona, the office of the governor of Dhofar and investors in the industrial zones.

The first workshop presented by Saeed bin Ahmed Al-Shanfari, Director-General of the Second General Directorate of Taxation, addressed several themes. The most important one was on Value Added Tax Act imposed on all supplies of goods and services in Oman unless exempted or submitted at zero percent. Other topics discussed were VAT mechanism, types of supplies, tax rates and tax-exempt supplies.

Participants were also introduced to VAT returns filing mechanism, annual revenue components, tax collections and services provided by the Tax Authority through its website.

The workshops were attended by a large number of employees and investors in the industrial zones, who widely interacted by asking questions to the tax specialists who in turn provided all the necessary clarifications about the tax.

Read more.

Bahrain: National Revenue Authority prepares for Implementation of Digital Stamps

Date: 07 Sep, 2022

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Manama September 7, 2022:

The National Revenue Authority confirmed that as of October 16, 2022, the distinctive mark system of Digital Stamps will be applied to cigarette products in the country. This decision is implemented in line with the directives of the CEO of the National Revenue Authority, where all cigarette products available for sale must be marked with the stamp for trading in the local market.

The Authority called on all importers and traders in the region to deal in appropriate quantities and not to store large quantities of cigarettes that do not bear digital stamps, so that the stock will be cleared before October 16, 2022.

This directive will help them prepare for the ban on the sale, circulation, possession and supply of cigarettes that do not bear stamps. After the commencement of the digitization phase, any product in the supply chain that isn’t digitally stamped will have to be either destroyed or moved outside the territory of the Kingdom to avoid issues with the law for non-adherence. Penalties can range from administrative fines to cases for Public Prosecution.

Read more.

ZATCA signs MOU with Hungarian National Tax and Customs Authority

Date: 05 Sep, 2022

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Riyadh September 5, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on tax administration with the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Authority. The MOU was signed by His Excellency the Governor of ZATCA, Eng. Suhail bin Muhammad Abanmi and Mr. Ferenc Fagogeli, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Commissioner of the National Tax and Customs Authority of the Republic of Hungary.

The memorandum includes a general framework for cooperation in the field of tax administration between the two countries. It also discusses ways for cooperation in a number of fields notably in digital solutions, and review of experiences of both sides in tax applications.

This memorandum comes within the framework of the Authority’s endeavor to strengthen its strategic relations at the international level for upgrading tax system and its services.

Read more.

UAE and Kuwait Sign Double Tax Treaty

Date: 04 Sep, 2022

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Kuwait City September 4, 2022:

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have recently signed a treaty for the avoidance of double taxation, as announced by the the Kuwait Ministry of Finance on Twitter.

This is the first tax treaty that Kuwait has signed with a Gulf Cooperation Council member state. The objectives of the tax treaty are to expedite cooperation in tax matters, strengthen ties between the two countries and unite the economic and investment partnerships in the region.

This move is in line with the efforts of both countries to grow commercial trading, boost investment opportunities, enhance development goals and also provide full protection of goods and services exchanged in both the countries.

View more.

Bahrain: The National Bureau of Revenue (NBR) updates list of Excise Goods

Date: 02 Sep, 2022

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External URL:قائمة-السلع-الانتقائية.pdf

Manama September 2, 2022:

The National Bureau of Revenue (NBR) updated the selective list of goods subject to excise tax as a continuation of the recent excise tax developments.

Kindly click here to view the entire updated list of goods subject to excise tax.

Majalis Abu Dhabi conducts Awareness Session on VAT Refund to UAE Nationals on building new residences

Date: 01 Sep, 2022

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Abu Dhabi September 1, 2022:

As part of the lecture series at Majalis Abu Dhabi at the President’s Court, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) held an awareness session that was broadcast live on Majalis Abu Dhabi’s Instagram account on the procedure for UAE nationals to recover the Value Added Tax (VAT) incurred on building their new residences. The session was broadcast live on Majalis Abu Dhabi’s Instagram account.

The session was held remotely, bringing Emirati citizens together with a team of experts from the FTA who explained the process for refunding VAT to UAE citizens on the construction of their new residences.

Speakers at the session clarified the steps to be taken to recover VAT through the FTA’s e-Services, starting with submitting the refund request with all supporting documents, all the way to receiving the refund amount by bank transfer to the applicant’s account.

During the session, the FTA’s team of experts outlined the criteria for submitting a VAT refund request incurred on the construction of new residences by UAE citizens, explaining the steps needed to create and verify an e-Services account for new users, as well as how to create a special refund requests account. The team also outlined how to submit and track a refund request, the deadline for submission, and the required documents. They also highlighted which potential applicants are eligible to recover VAT on their new homes, as well as which taxes are refundable.

Read more.

ZATCA launches Public Consultation document on Amendments to Excise Tax Regulations

Date: 29 Aug, 2022

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Riyadh August 29, 2022:

A draft of the proposed amendments to the RETT Regulations was issued by ZATCA on 27 June 2022 for public consultation on the National Competitiveness Centre platform.

Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority’s (ZATCA) board of Directors approved all the proposed amendments to various Articles of the Real Estate Transaction Tax (“RETT”) Regulations without any changes. Click here to access the official announcement. Also view the RETT Regulations with approved amendments.

ZATCA has also issued a new version of the RETT Implementing Regulations (in Arabic) after incorporating the approved amendments. Click here to view the entire document.

Commercial Establishment Shutdown for violating Tax Regulations worth AED 91 million

Date: 28 Aug, 2022

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Dubai August 28, 2022:

Following a joint inspection campaign by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in cooperation with the General Administration of the Federal Criminal Police in the Ministry of Interior and the General Command of Dubai Police represented by the General Department of Investigation and Criminal Investigation, a non-compliant commercial establishment was seized and closed in Dubai after it was caught selling tobacco-based products without Digital Tax Stamps.

According to the press release, a total of 5,430,356 packs were confiscated from the violators for not bearing the trademark of Tax Stamps and the tax due on these products amounted to 91,833,016 AED.

The Authority took necessary legal measures against the violating establishment, as part of its continuous efforts to strengthen control over markets and prevent malpractices. The Authority reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing collaboration with all relevant federal and local government entities in order to ensure tax compliance across the emirates.

Read more.

Read more on Digital Tax Stamps to Track and Trace Excisable Products

ZATCA Tightens Custom Controls to curb smuggling of Narcotics

Date: 16 Aug, 2022

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Riyadh August 16, 2022:

During a stringent inspection schedule, the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) thwarted an attempt to smuggle 1,100,000 narcotic pills, after finding it hidden in a toys and clothes consignment received through the port of Jeddah Islamic Port.

In coordination with the General Directorate of Narcotics Control, the 5 culprits were arrested right on time. All thanks to the Authority’s efforts, which asserted that it will continue to tighten customs control over the Kingdom’s imports and exports through all its customs outlets, in order to achieve security and protection of society from malpractices.

At the same time, the authority also called on citizens and residents to contribute to combating smuggling in all its forms by communicating any such violations to its hotline 1910 OR 00966114208417 or via e-mail Through these channels, the authority receives reports related to smuggling crimes in complete secrecy and will bestow a financial reward to whistleblowers if the notified information is accurate.

View more.

KSA: ZATCA issues Simplified Guide on E-invoicing requirements

Date: 11 Aug, 2022

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Riyadh August 11, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) of KSA has issued a Simplified guide on E-invoicing requirements in English. The guide aims to provide the taxpayers an overview of the E-invoicing implementation in the Kingdom and its requirements to facilitate their readiness for first and second phase.

The guide acts as a guide for users to understand the taxpayer’s user journey in preparing and successfully onboarding their E-invoice systems, and complying with the E-invoicing regulations with respect to cleared and reported invoices.

View the E-invoicing Detailed Technical Guidelines

Also view the Simplified Guide for E-invoicing Requirements

UAE: FTA Extends Timeframe to Pay Penalties till 31 December 2022

Date: 10 Aug, 2022

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Dubai August 10, 2022:

FTA calls tax registrants to benefit from the extension of the grace period for the re-determination of administrative penalties on violating tax law until December 31, 2022.Tax registrants who were not able to benefit from redetermination by December 31, 2021, can now benefit from the one-year extension.

The decision has been taken by the Cabinet in line with the wise leadership’s directives to reduce burdens on business sectors and enhance their abilities to contribute more to the growth of the national economy. The decision is also a part of the FTA’s goal to provide a legislative environment that encourages a high level of tax compliance.

View more.

Bahrain: National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) releases Manual on Tax Stamps

Date: 09 Aug, 2022

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Manama August 9, 2022:

The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) has issued a detailed manual on Tax Stamp for domestic importers and local manufacturers. The Digital Stamp Scheme is a supervisory system to track excise goods from the manufacturing stage to the point of consumption to limit smuggling instances within the Kingdom of Bahrain, thereby reducing the possibility of Excise evasion.

The manual provides clarity on the digital tax stamp on excise products in the country. It contains the following:

  • An overview of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s excise rules and procedures in regard to the Digital Stamps Scheme.
  • The necessary guidance needed to navigate the Digital Stamps Scheme online portal and the process of ordering and tracking digital stamps from the perspective of an importer of excise products.

NOTE: The manual intends to provide general information only and does not represent exhaustive or legally binding guidelines. For more information as case, you may directly contact National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) via email

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UAE: FTA sets Time Limit for Claiming Refund of VAT by Tourists

Date: 08 Aug, 2022

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Dubai August 8, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) issued Decision 4 of 2022 for ‘Setting the Time Limit for Claiming Refund of VAT by Tourists’. Following are the key points of the decision.

  • One year time limit has been set up for tourists to claim the refund of Value Added Tax through bank card or by cash, from the date of verification of the refund request.
  • If Tourist does not claim the VAT refund within one year, in such case operator of the Tax Refunds for Tourist Scheme has to deposit the unclaimed amount to FTA within 1 month from expiration of the time limit of 1 year.
  • This decision will be effective from 1st June 2022.

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UAE: Lawyer Penalized with Imprisonment and Fine for Tax Evasion

Date: 05 Aug, 2022

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Abu Dhabi August 5, 2022:

The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court convicted the accused Asim Ghafoor, who has American citizenship, of committing two crimes of tax evasion and money laundering. The court sentenced him to three years in prison and imposed a fine of AED 3 million, along with deportation from the UAE.

The case arose upon the American authorities’ request for judicial assistance regarding their investigations of the accused for making suspicious money transfers to the state.

The UAE Public Prosecution (PP) started its procedures by studying the judicial assistance request and verifying the nature of the financial transactions related to the aforementioned accounts and bank transfers. Suspicions of money laundering crime aroused as the accused carried out international transfers without proof of their source. Based on the findings of the investigations, the accused was found guilty by the Criminal Court on charges of tax evasion and money laundering.

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