VAT’s UP

VAT’s UP

Registration for Corporate Tax now available through Government Service Centers

Date: 25 Mar, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3IN4XIt

Dubai March 25 2024:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has made the service to submit Corporate Tax registration requests available through 23 Government Service Centres located across the UAE. Enabling taxpayers to submit corporate tax registration requests through Government Service Centres allows them to register directly via the “EmaraTax” platform – a digital tax service that operates 24/7. In addition, taxpayers can also seek assistance from these accredited tax agents.

The FTA said the new initiative is part of the expansion of its service channels to encourage tax compliance by providing an environment that facilitates access to services. It allows taxpayers to submit a request for Corporate Tax registration with assistance from experts in Government Service Centres, which offer electronic services that meet government standards. These centres are managed by qualified staff to ensure quality service delivery.

The FTA signed cooperation agreements to accredit several government service centres. Browse the list of accredited centres that are authorised to offer Corporate Tax registration request services.

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Oman Tax Authority Continues to Spread Awareness on Taxation

Date: 18 Mar, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3Pxb876

Muscat March 18 2024:

The Salalah Tax Authority recently organized a seminar on “Tax Laws and Legislations for Special Economic and Free Zones” at Salalah Free Zone targeting employees from Salalah and Al Mazunah Free Zones. This comes as a part of the Tax Authority’s efforts to educate Special Economic and Free Zones about tax laws and related processes like exemption terms, and filling and following up procedures applied for those zones.

During the seminar, participants received a better insight on the definition of Free and Economic Zones, the tax registration process in the Sultanate of Oman, and tax treatment for special zones. At the end of the seminar, the Tax Authority answered all rising questions and queries as well as reviewed the e-services provided at the online portal of the Tax Authority.

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World Customs Organization Praises ZATCA for Implementing the 'Clearing Withing 2 Hours Initiative'

Date: 16 Mar, 2024

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1216.aspx

Riyadh March 16 2024:

The World Customs Organization praised the Kingdom’s efforts in the clearance within two hours initiative, which was implemented by the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) in all its land, sea and air customs ports as part of its efforts to make the Kingdom a global logistics platform.

The organization published a detailed report reviewing the stages of implementing the initiative, the digital transformation efforts and the ongoing coordination between the concerned parties that contributed to the success of the initiative. The report also stated that the processes of clearing imported shipments through ports in the Kingdom five years ago were a long process that could take importers up to 12 hours. One day and on average 8 days, which confirms the efforts of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority in facilitating customs procedures and enhancing the flexibility of import and export operations to facilitate trade in the Kingdom through the Al-Fasah initiative within two hours.

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Saudi Arabia Offers exemptions on Tax Fines

Date: 15 Mar, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/4aeG6J7

Riyadh March 11 2024:

Saudi Arabia offers exemptions on tax fines and the Saudi Authorities has urged taxpayers to make use of waivers on fines and penalties in the Kingdom before July. Taxpayers in Saudi Arabia have a little over three months to avoid paying tax-related fines and other financial penalties, authorities said.

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) urged all those who are required to pay taxes to take advantage of the government’s “cancellation of fines and exemption of financial penalties” initiative, which expires on June 30, 2024, according to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency.The fines and penalties are related to late registration, late payment, late submission of tax returns and incorrect VAT returns, among others.

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The FTA Approves 27,330 Refund Requests for UAE Nationals Building New Residences

Date: 11 Mar, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3IDLTMI

Abu Dhabi March 11 2024:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has reported a significant increase in the number of individuals who have benefited from the value-added tax (VAT) refund service for UAE nationals building new residences. The FTA stated that from the beginning of the service in 2018 until the end of last year, over 27,330 applications were approved for male and female UAE nationals, who were refunded the VAT they paid for building new residences. The total value of these applications exceeded AED 2.02 billion.

The FTA announced that the number and total value of approved applications have been continuously increasing. Statistics showed that the number of approved applications increased from 270 in 2018, valued at AED 9.11 million to 1,900 applications in 2019, with a total value of AED 121.46 million.

The number of approved applications further grew to 3,750 valued at AED 301.35 million, marking a significant growth of 97.16 percent in approved applications and 148.1% in tax refund value in 2020.

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The UAE Ministry of Finance Introduces a Dh 10,000 Penalty for Late Corporate Tax Registration

Date: 02 Mar, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3UXhdxf

Dubai March 02 2024:

The Ministry of Finance today announced the issuance of Cabinet Decision No. 10 of 2024, amending the schedule of violations and administrative penalties of Cabinet Decision No. 75 of 2023 on the administrative penalties for violations related to the application of Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2022 on the taxation of corporations and businesses. Cabinet Decision No.10 of 2024 will come into effect on March 1, 2024.

The Ministry stated that an administrative penalty of AED 10,000 for late registration of UAE Corporate Tax will be imposed on businesses that do not submit their Corporate Tax registration applications within the timelines specified by the Federal Tax Authority.

For registering before the deadline or clarifying your queries send an email to enquiry@legendsaccounting.com or WhatsApp us

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FTA issues New Decision on Specified Timeframes for Corporate Tax Registration

Date: 01 Mar, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/4bZLxNB

Dubai March 01 2024:
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has specified timeframes for Taxable Persons subject to Corporate Tax to apply to register with the FTA and avoid being in violation of tax laws. The timeframes were outlined in a new Decision issued by the FTA regarding the deadlines to apply for registration under Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2022 on the Taxation of Corporations and Businesses and its amendments, which came into effect in June of last year and applies to Tax Periods starting on or after June 1, 2023.

Effective from March 1, 2024, the new FTA Decision defines timeframes for applying to register for Corporate Tax that apply to juridical persons and natural persons, that are either Resident Persons or Non-Resident Persons.

The Decision indicates that a juridical person that is a Resident Person incorporated, established, or otherwise recognised prior to March 1, 2024 must apply to register for Corporate Tax within the following timeframes:

The FTA stressed the importance of submitting Corporate Tax registration applications in accordance with the timeframes specified in the Decision. It added that taxable persons with licenses issued in January and February regardless of the year license was issued, must submit their Corporate Tax registration applications no later than May 31, 2024, to avoid tax law violations.

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FTA Secures Accreditation as a Certified Government Innovative Organisation

Date: 27 Feb, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/48Cgchc

Dubai February 27 2024:

FTA has been honoured with the prestigious title of “Certified Government Innovative Organisation – Advanced Level” by the esteemed Global Innovation Institute (GInI), a specialised entity in innovation assessment for organisations granting professional certifications, accreditations and membership in the field of innovation.

This milestone coincides with the FTA’s active engagement in the events of “UAE Innovation Month 2024” which ran throughout the month of February.

The acquisition of the prestigious “Certified Government Innovative Organisation” certificate, endorsed in the United States and exclusively crafted for governmental bodies, signifies the Federal Tax Authority’s remarkable strides in innovation and development. This accolade underscores the Authority’s commitment to pioneering advancements and signals its unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries in the realms of innovation and progress.

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FTA Signs Agreement with 01GOV Platform to Expand Use of its Tax 10 Platform

Date: 22 Feb, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/48r9Uks

Dubai February 22 2024:

As part of its agenda for the ‘UAE Innovates 2024’ initiative, held throughout the month of February, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) signed a collaboration agreement with the 01GOV Platform, in an effort to expand the use of its own TAX 10 platform.

The Authority launched Tax 10 last year to encourage innovation, promote institutional excellence and professional creativity among its employees, in a bid to ultimately upgrade its services, drive sustainable development and promote a culture of innovation.

The agreement forms part of the FTA’s community contribution during the monthlong ‘UAE Innovates 2024’ initiative. The Authority aims to encourage cooperation among various government entities, local academic institutions and tax authorities across the region in order to enhance innovation in the public sector and provide a model for using advanced technology to upgrade government services.

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Saudi Arabia Grants 30-Years Tax Relief to MNCs with HQ in its Country

Date: 20 Feb, 2024

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External URL: https://www.newarab.com/news/saudi-arabia-gives-tax-breaks-foreign-firms-new-hqs

Riyadh February 20 2024:

In a new step towards attracting foreign investments and global companies, the Saudi Arabian official Gazette has announced its plans to grant 30 years of tax relief to multinational companies (MNCs) establishing regional headquarters in the Gulf kingdom.

The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance and the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority today announced 30-year tax incentive package for The Regional Headquarters (RHQ) Program, to further streamline the process for MNCs to establish their RHQ in the country. The offer includes a 0 percent corporate tax and withholding tax rate for 30 years, which will be applied for companies from the day they obtained their RHQ license.

The tax relief granted to multinational companies establishing headquarters in the country comes before a January 1 deadline to open such branches in Saudi Arabia. The program aims to attract MNCs to set up their RHQ in Saudi Arabia and position the Kingdom as the leading commercial, industrial and investment hub for the MENA region.

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ZATCA Records 6 Million Customs Declaration and More Than 1 Million Zakat & Tax Declarations

Date: 12 Feb, 2024

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1200.aspx

Riyadh February 12 2024:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, through its land, air and sea ports, processed about 6 million customs declarations for the Kingdom’s imports and exports during the year 2023, amounting to more than 2.3 million containers, while the number of zakat and tax declarations for the authority’s taxpayers reached more than 1.6 million zakat declarations.

At the level of enhancing the security aspect, seizures across all customs ports during the year 2023 amounted to more than 50,000 seizures, including all prohibited items that the Authority thwarted in an attempt to smuggle them into the Kingdom.

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Kuwait, UAE Sign Double Taxation Agreement

Date: 11 Feb, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3HVnUbv

Kuwait City February 11 2024:

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement to avert double taxation between the two countries, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

In its statement, Kuwait’s Ministry of Finance said the final agreement between the two regarding taxes on income on capital and to prevent tax evasion and avoidance had been signed.

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FTA Earns ISO Certificate for Implementing International Standard in its Innovation Management System

Date: 09 Feb, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/42UXCQp

Abu Dhabi February 09 2024:

The innovation management system of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has earned a new international accreditation, in recognition of it implementing global best practices and standards that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of innovation management.

The Authority has been awarded the ISO 56002:2019 certificate, confirming its success in implementing the international standard for innovation management. This achievement coincides with the FTA’s participation in the month long UAE Innovates 2024 initiative.

The certification was granted after experts from the certifying body audited the FTA’s system and verified the accuracy of all related procedures. The Authority passed the audits successfully, confirming that its system provides an effective framework for driving innovation.

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FTA Launches Hackathon Event to Encourage Innovators in the Tax Sector

Date: 08 Feb, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3SCZU1G

Dubai February 08 2024:

As part of its agenda for participating in the month long ‘UAE Innovates 2024’ initiative, held throughout the month of February, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has opened the door for participation in its Hackathon event.

With the Hackathon, the Authority aims to develop innovative technological solutions for the challenges the tax sector faces, in addition to strengthening cooperation and partnership among government, educational, and private institutions to achieve a sustainable impact.

The FTA invited innovators to participate in the event, which offers them an opportunity to generate pioneering solutions that address the challenges facing the tax sector in several aspects, including raising awareness about taxes in the community; employing advanced technology to streamline procedures, such as the submission of tax returns for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and combating tax evasion.

Submissions will continue to be accepted until 23 February, after which the Authority will organise a special event on 29 February at the Dubai Creative Hub – Emirates Towers, in collaboration with world-leading software developers SAP, the FTA’s strategic partner in digital transformation.

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FTA Launches 2nd Phase of Corporate Tax Awareness Campaigns in Abu Dhabi

Date: 06 Feb, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/48hrZS1

Abu Dhabi February 06 2024:

Tax Authority (FTA) has launched the second phase of its comprehensive campaign to raise business sectors’ awareness of Corporate Tax and provide continuous knowledge support to taxpayers. The campaign is part of the FTA’s efforts, in collaboration with the relevant parties, to ensure a seamless implementation of the Corporate Tax Law which entered into effect in June and applies to financial years that began on or after 1 June 2023.

The FTA explained in a press release today that the new phase of the Corporate Tax awareness campaign – which runs until the end of this year – will feature a number of events and virtual as well as in-person workshops across the UAE’s seven emirates. The program will focus on raising awareness about various specific topics such as legislation and the requirements and procedures for Corporate Tax compliance and will be tailored to the needs of each of the concerned taxpayer.

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MPs Approve 2% Tax on Expat Remittances in Bahrain

Date: 02 Feb, 2024

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External URL: https://www.zawya.com/en/world/middle-east/mps-approve-2-tax-on-expat-remittances-in-bahrain-o6eommrt

Manama February 02 2024:

Parliament has unanimously approved a legislation to tax expatriate remittances despite strong opposition from the government.

During its weekly session yesterday, Parliament Speaker Ahmed Al Musallam led the “yes” vote to impose a two per cent levy on the total amount remitted each time by an expatriate individual. It will be now reviewed and voted on by the Shura Council after Mr Al Musallam referred it urgently to the upper chamber.

The government was obliged by law to draft the Parliament-presented legislation within six months. However, it has asserted that a remittance tax would be unfair and ‘unconstitutional’.

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Oman Most Affordable Tax-free Country

Date: 19 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://www.muscatdaily.com/2024/01/15/oman-most-affordable-tax-free-country/

Muscat January 19 2024:

Oman is the most affordable tax-free country to relocate to in 2024, with a relocation score of 7.92 according to research by award-winning expat insurance provider William Russell. It is also the cheapest country to purchase or rent an apartment in, as it boasts the lowest monthly living costs. It is also the third cheapest country for monthly utility bills, costing around £83 ($103).

Kuwait is the second most affordable tax-free country to move to this year, with a relocation score of 6.49/10. Single economy flights to the country range from US$159 to US$660 and Kuwait is also the second most affordable country for both monthly costs and utility bills.

Bahrain ranks third most affordable tax-free country to relocate to in 2024, earning a relocation score of 6.36/10. Bahrain is the second cheapest country to purchase an apartment in, costing US$173/sqm on average. It is also the fifth most affordable country for both monthly costs and utility bills.

Popular relocation spot – the United Arab Emirates – ranked the fourth most affordable tax-free country (relocation score 5.84/10), with monthly costs of around US$959, while the average monthly net salary in the UAE is around US$3,474.

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Qatar: General Tax Authority Announces Tax Return Filing Dates

Date: 18 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://www.zawya.com/en/economy/gcc/qatar-general-tax-authority-announces-tax-return-filing-dates-yrhwtxdv

Doha January 18 2024:

The General Tax Authority (GTA) announced the timeframe for the submission of tax returns for the tax year ending on December 31, 2023 and the application window extends from January 1, 2024 to April 30.

The GTA further clarified that all companies with a commercial register or a commercial ‎license must submit a tax return, and this requirement applies irrespective of whether they have ‎engaged in actual commercial activity. Submissions can be made through the Dhareeba tax ‎portal, dhareeba.qa or the Dhareeba Application, the service has been activated for the companies that meet the conditions for submitting a simplified tax return.

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UAE FTA Releases Guide on Tax Groups in Jan 2024

Date: 16 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://www.zawya.com/en/legal/regulations/uae-corporate-tax-set-up-a-tax-group-to-optimise-your-compliance-cost-vnhmu78q

Abu Dhabi January 16 2024:

This month, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) released Corporate Tax Guide CTGTGR1 focusing on tax groups. The guide offers detailed explanations on various aspects of tax group and the conditions for establishing a tax group.

The parent company and its subsidiary/ies can request the FTA to form a tax group, if they are resident juridical persons, with the parent company owning at least 95 per cent of the share capital, voting rights, and entitlement to profits and net assets of the subsidiary/ies. Both entities should not be exempt or qualified free zone persons. Additionally, the parent company and its subsidiary must share the same financial year and follow the same accounting standards for preparing their financial statements.

The juridical person condition clarified that the sole establishments, freelancers, and unincorporated partnerships cannot be part of the tax group.

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UAE FTA Recruits 134 Emirati Talents to its Team in 2023

Date: 15 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/491g5MI

Abu Dhabi January 15 2024:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) appointed 134 UAE citizens to its team in 2023, filling various specialised, technical, and administrative positions.

The figure exceeds the FTA’s strategic targets in that regard, where the Authority had aimed to recruit 123 Emiratis in a campaign announced at the beginning of 2023 to raise Emiratisation rates across all sectors of its work.

In a meeting with the Emirati employees appointed in 2023, FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said: “Over the past few years, the Federal Tax Authority has achieved numerous milestones in developing its human capital, relying particularly on distinguished national talents. The Authority implemented a strategy aimed at training and empowering its team members – and Emirati employees, in particular – by providing diverse job opportunities in tax-related fields and associated sectors.”

“Since its establishment, the Authority has recruited and continuously trained a significant number of qualified UAE citizens,” H.E. added. “We strive to achieve high rates of Emiratisation, which serves to enhance the role that Emirati citizens play across all sectors, including upper management. We will continue to recruit UAE citizens, in line with the FTA’s strategy to upskill our human capital through sustainable organisational development and capacity building.”

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UAE FTA Collaborates with Etihad Credit Bureau to Enhance Tax Compliance

Date: 12 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/427cf2h

Abu Dhabi January 12 2024:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has signed a membership agreement with Etihad Credit Bureau, the federal entity mandated with regularly collecting credit information from financial and non-financial institutions in the UAE. This agreement is to strengthen bilateral cooperation and benefit from the Bureau’s services and credit information database to enhance tax compliance in the UAE.

The agreement was signed by His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the FTA, and H.E. Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, Director General of Etihad Credit Bureau, at the FTA headquarters in Dubai. It aims to establish an electronic link between the two entities, enabling the Authority to directly access credit reports provided by the Bureau. This will further help strengthen compliance with tax legislation based on authenticated and accurate information and assessments

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MPs Approve 2% Tax on Expat Remittances in Bahrain

Date: 10 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/47u76T5

Manama January 10 2024:

Parliament has unanimously approved a legislation to tax expatriate remittances despite strong opposition from the government.

During its weekly session yesterday, Parliament Speaker Ahmed Al Musallam led the “yes” vote to impose a two per cent levy on the total amount remitted each time by an expatriate individual.

It will be now reviewed and voted on by the Shura Council after Mr Al Musallam referred it urgently to the upper chamber.

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ZATCA Extends Cancellation of Fines and Exemption of Penalties Initiative for Taxpayers until June 2024

Date: 06 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/en/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1173.aspx

Riyadh January 06 2024:

The “Cancellation of Fines and Exemption of Penalties Initiative” in Saudi Arabia has been extended until June 30, 2024. The initiative covers fines for late registration, late payment, late filing of returns, fines to correct VAT returns, as well as fines for violations of VAT field control related to applying the e-invoicing regulations and other general regulations.

ZATCA has invited taxpayers to view the details of the initiative through the simplified guideline available on its website, which includes a detailed explanation of the most important aspects of the decision, such as the types of penalties that are included, the conditions for benefiting from the exempt fines and the steps for paying financial dues in installments, as well as introducing the field control violations.

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UAE Corporate Tax: Registration Mandatory for Small Businesses Even with Losses

Date: 03 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3NQtajP

Dubai January 03 2024:

FTA declares that it doesn’t mater whether a business is relatively new or has been making losses, they need to register irrespective of whether their annual profit is above or below the Dh 375,000 threshold.

However, if businesses don’t meet the Dh 375,000 profit level, eligible taxable persons (i.e. business owners) can elect for the ‘Small Business Relief’ on their tax return.To be eligible for the relief the criteria is as follows:

  • To be eligible for the relief, the business’s revenue must be below or equal to Dh 3 million for the latest and all previous tax periods.
  • Where the revenue exceeds Dh 3 million, the business will no longer be able to elect for the relief package, even if the revenue falls below the threshold in subsequent tax periods.

But the bottom-line remains the same – these businesses will still need to register for corporate tax.

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Qatar Tax Authority Imposes Penalties worth ₹239 crores on L&T

Date: 02 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3TQPXQj

Doha January 02 2024:

General Tax Authority in Qatar has imposed a penalty of ₹111.31 crore for the tax period from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017, and an additional ₹127.64 crore for the period from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018 on the infrastructure giant Larsen and Toubro (L&T). The two monetary penalties amount to a total tax penalty of ₹239 crore.

According to a regulatory filing by the infrastructure major to the stock exchanges, Qatar Tax Authority has charged the tax penalty over variation in the income declared by L&T against the authority’s assessment.The penalties were levied under article 14 of income tax law number 24 for the year 2018 (in Qatar).

L&T promptly responded by filing an appeal against what it deems an arbitrary and unjustified penalty. The company insists that the penalties were a result of tax assessments and subsequent adjustments in the tax returns for the mentioned periods.

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KSA: ZATCA Issues an Interactive Calendar of Zakat and Tax Returns for the Year 2024

Date: 01 Jan, 2024

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1177.aspx

Riyadh January 01 2024:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority issues a calendar includes all the dates specified for submitting zakat accounts returns, tax returns for withholding tax, selective goods tax, and value added tax, and more.

In this regard, the Authority added that the calendar is distinguished by its interactive feature, so that it can be added via the calendar of mobile devices and easily browsed. Establishments and those interested can also download the calendar here.

FTA Reveals 13,600 Participants Joined 48 In-person and Virtual Corporate Tax Workshops

Date: 26 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://bit.ly/48efN5c

Dubai December 26 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) confirmed that the first phase of the Corporate Tax awareness campaign launched this year recorded significant participation from taxpayers and various stakeholders involved in its implementation. The campaigns aim to provide continuous knowledge support to all relevant taxpayers and stakeholders and ensure the accurate and seamless implementation of Corporate Tax, in collaboration with relevant entities.

The FTA noted that as part of the campaign, 39 virtual workshops were organised to introduce Corporate Tax and clarify the procedures for its registration in both Arabic and English. Furthermore, the Corporate Tax awareness campaign also included 9 in-person workshops across all 7 Emirates. The workshops concluded with a session on the ‘General Principles on Taxation of Corporations and Businesses’ in December 2023 organised by the Federal Tax Authority.

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FTA Issues Guide Outlining Criteria to Determine Natural Persons Subject to Corporate Tax

Date: 24 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://bit.ly/4aHxEmH

Dubai December 24 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has issued a new guide outlining the criteria to determine natural persons subject to the Corporate Tax Law, that came into effect on 1 June 2023.

The guide provides a comprehensive and simplified explanation and instructions for natural persons realising income in the UAE, enabling them to determine whether they are subject to Corporate Tax.

The FTA urged all concerned natural persons (individuals) realising income in the UAE, or conducting business – wholly or partly – in the UAE, to refer to the new guide, to familiarise themselves with the Corporate Tax Law, implementing decisions, and other relevant materials available on the FTA’s website.

According to the guide, non-resident natural persons are subject to Corporate Tax in case where they have a permanent establishment in the UAE with a total Turnover of the permanent establishment exceeding AED 1 million within a Gregorian calendar year as from calendar year 2024.

Saudi Arabia's Offers 30-Year Tax Break

Date: 15 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/saudi-arabia-offers-30-year-tax-break-for-companies-moving-regional-hqs-to-riyadh

Riyadh December 15 2023:

Saudi Arabia announced a 30-year corporate income tax exemption package for foreign companies establishing their regional headquarters in the kingdom. The move is the latest in its aggressive campaign to attract international investment and headcount.

The offer includes a 0% corporate tax rate for 30 years, which will be applied for companies “from the day they obtained their RHQ license,” the statement read. International companies will benefit from the tax exemption package starting from the date their licences are issued, it added.The programme has so far attracted 200 foreign companies, Saudi Investment Minister Khaled Al-Falih was quoted as saying.

The move is part of efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to wean the economy off oil by creating new industries that would generate jobs for Saudis.

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FTA Releases a Series of TAX Guides

Date: 12 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/taxes/corporate.tax/corporate.tax.guides.references.aspx

Dubai December 12 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) released a range of Tax Guides to help you understand taxation better and comply with the law of the land.

Corporate Tax Guide | CTGEPX1
Taxation of Extractive Business and NonExtractive Natural Resource Business

Corporate Tax Guide | CTGEPF1
Exempt Persons: Public Benefit Entities, Pension Funds and Social Security Funds

Corporate Tax Guide | CTGTNP1
Taxation of Natural Persons under the Corporate Tax Law

Corporate Tax Guide | CTGFSI1
Taxation of Foreign Source Income

Corporate Tax Guide | CTGACS1
Accounting Standards and Interaction with Corporate Tax

NBR Releases Updated Version of the Digital Stamps Manual

Date: 10 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://www.nbr.gov.bh/publications/view/DS_manual_importers_Local_Manufacturers

Manama December 10 2023:

The National Bureau for Revenue released an updated version 1.1 of the Digital Stamp System Guide for Importers and Local Manufacturers.

This manual aims to provide importers and local manufacturers with:

  • 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 is intended to provide general information only and does not represent exhaustive or legally binding guidelines.

For additional information, kindly contact National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) via email ds@nbr.gov.bh

KSA: ZATCA Thwarts Two Attempts to Smuggle Captagon Pills

Date: 09 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1143.aspx

Manama December 09 2023:

Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority at the Haditha port was able to thwart an attempt to smuggle 138,728 thousand Captagon pills, which were found hidden in wooden boxes inside the stairs of the trailer, and in the second attempt, was able to thwart an attempt to smuggle 117,340 thousand Captagon pills, which were found hidden inside the spare tire of one of the vehicles coming to the Kingdom through the port.

The Authority confirmed that it is continuing to tighten customs control over the Kingdom’s imports and exports, and is on the lookout for attempts by smugglers, in cooperation with the Narcotics Control Department to achieve the security of society and protect it from scourges.

The Authority called on everyone to contribute to combat smuggling in the national economy by contacting it on the designated number 1910 or via e-mail 1910@zatca.gov.sa, or the international number 00966114208417.

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Kuwait Signs Inclusive Framework on BEPS

Date: 07 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://bit.ly/47PYRSr

Kuwait City December 07 2023:

Kuwait joins international efforts against tax avoidance by joining the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS, an international collaboration with over 140 member countries and jurisdictions.

Through its membership, Kuwait has also committed to addressing the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy by participating in the Two-Pillar Solution to reform the international taxation rules and ensure that multinational enterprises pay a fair share of tax wherever they operate.

Collaborating on an equal footing with all other members of the Inclusive Framework, Kuwait will participate in the implementation of the BEPS package of 15 measures to tackle tax avoidance, improve the coherence of international tax rules and ensure a more transparent tax environment.

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ZATCA Calls Establishments Subject to Withholding Tax to Submit Their Returns for Last November

Date: 06 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1140.aspx

Riyadh December 06 2023:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) called on establishments subject to withholding tax in the Kingdom to submit their tax returns for the month of November, no later than December 10, 2023.

The Authority urged establishments to quickly submit their tax returns through its website (zatca.gov.sa) in order to avoid a fine for late payment within the specified period, at the rate of 1% of the unpaid tax for every thirty days of delay from the due date. Withholding tax is imposed on all amounts paid from a source in the Kingdom to non-resident entities in the Kingdom, in accordance with the rates specified in Article 68 of the Income Tax Law and Article 63 of its Executive Regulations.

ZATCA Wins the National Award for Voluntary Work for the Year 2023

Date: 05 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1141.aspx

Riyadh December 05 2023:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) received the National Award for Voluntary Work in the category of government agencies for the year 2023, which is organized by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development during a ceremony held at the “Riyadh Movenpick” Hotel.

The award aims to honor entities and individuals who demonstrated distinguished practices in volunteer work during the year, as it is awarded in five categories: These are the government sector, universities and education departments, the private sector, the non-profit sector, volunteer teams, and individuals.

The ZATCA won the award for its efforts in the administrative organization of volunteer work and enhancing its culture among its employees. The number of volunteers from the Authority reached more than 1500 volunteers with 6000 volunteer hours, in addition to holding 11 volunteer events.

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FTA Achieves Over 3.44m Tourist Tax Refund Transactions in First 9 Months

Date: 04 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://www.gulftoday.ae/business/2023/11/23/fta-achieves-over-344m-tourist-tax-refund-transactions-in-first-9-months

Dubai December 04 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has achieved a significant milestone in its tourist tax refund programme, with the total number of electronic transactions surpassing 15.43 million since the system’s implementation nearly five years ago, said Director-General of the FTA.

During the first nine months of the current year alone, over 3.44 million transactions were processed, reflecting the growing popularity of the programme among tourists.

Another noteworthy aspect is that the number of self-service tax refund kiosks available to tourists has increased to 87, up from 81 in September 2022. Additionally, the number of registered sales outlets connected to the digital system has reached 15,880 providing tourists with more options to claim their tax refunds.

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ZATCA Urges Taxpayers to Benefit from the Cancellation of Fines Initiative before December End

Date: 03 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1139.aspx

Riyadh December 03 2023:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) called on taxpayers subject to tax regulations to quickly benefit from the “Cancellation of Fines and Exemption from Financial Penalties” initiative, which expires December 31, 2023.

The Authority explained that the initiative includes exempting taxpayers from fines for late registration in all tax systems, late payment, and late submission of the return in all tax systems, in addition to the fine for correcting the return for value-added tax, and fines for field control violations related to the application of electronic invoicing provisions, and general provisions.

The Authority urged all taxpayers to take advantage of the extension of the initiative during its specified period, and to contact it if there are any inquiries about the initiative via the unified call center number 19993, which operates 24/7.

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Bahrain Eliminates Tax Authority Approval Requirement for E-invoice Issuance

Date: 01 Dec, 2023

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External URL: https://www.fonoa.com/blog/bahrain-eliminates-tax-authority-approval-requirement-for-e-invoice-issuance

Manama December 01 2023:

According to the updated edition of the VAT General Guide (published on November 16, 2023) by the Bahrain National Bureau for Revenue (NBR), VAT registered persons are no longer required to obtain the tax authority’s approval to issue and retain invoices, credit and debit notes and other documents that register supplies of goods and services in electronic form.

Although the Bahraini government announced the preliminary stages towards the introduction of a mandatory e-invoicing system in mid-2022, this has not yet taken effect.

Impact

This new rule is with immediate effect. VAT registered persons in Bahrain are now able to digitise their billing processes without needing to obtain prior approval from the authorities. With this, the NBR seems to have chosen to take initial steps to streamline the digitisation of invoicing in the country, until e-invoicing becomes mandatory.

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NBR Cracks Down on VAT and Excise Violations with 174 Inspections in Local Markets

Date: 28 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://www.zawya.com/en/world/middle-east/businesses-checked-to-ensure-implementation-of-vat-excise-bahrain-vnit2spo

Manama November 28 2023:

The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) conducted around 174 inspections within local markets in October this year. The visits resulted in 37 violations being filed, which required the imposition of administrative fines in accordance with the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Excise Law. This was in addition to other offences such as VAT and excise evasion that resulted in the closure of some outlets.

The NBR yesterday warned it would take legal measures against violating businesses and refer those who are proven to have evaded taxes, to the authorities concerned to initiate criminal action. The law stipulates offenders could face five years in jail and a fine equivalent to three times the amount of VAT due, or imprisonment for one year and a fine equivalent to double the evaded excise tax. Meanwhile, the NBR confirmed the continuation of inspection campaigns and has urged all registered businesses to abide by the law.

For enquiries related to VAT and excise or to report any violations, you can reach teh NBR call centre on 80008001 available 24/7, or through the National Suggestions and Complaints System (Tawasul), vat@nbr.gov.bh for VAT-related queries and ds@nbr.gov.bh for Digital Stamps Scheme queries.

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NBR Publishes Updated Version of the VAT General Guide

Date: 25 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://www.nbr.gov.bh/publications/view/VAT_General_guide

Manama November 25 2023:

The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) published an updated version of the Value Added Tax (VAT) General Guide on November 16, 2023. The updates concern the conditions for issuing electronic documents without obtaining prior approval from the NBR.

Please click here to view the updated version of the VAT General Guide.

ZATCA Participates in the “RAD” Entrepreneurship Forum and Exhibition

Date: 20 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1133.aspx

Riyadh November 20 2023:

During the forum’s activities, the Authority reviewed its initiatives towards facilitating trade and its services provided to taxpayers, where His Excellency Mr. Abdullah Al-Sadhan, Deputy Governor for Operations at the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, participated in a dialogue session during which he touched on the initiatives and services provided by the Authority to entrepreneurs, and its efforts to raise the level of quality of digital services provided.

His Excellency also reviewed the initiative to exempt from fines and financial penalties for taxpayers subject to all tax systems, in addition to reviewing the initiatives provided by the Authority in the field of improving and developing customs clearance procedures, the most prominent of which is the two-hour clearance initiative, which represents a unique model for unifying efforts between customs clearance authorities.

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204 Accredited Tax Agents Attend FTA's Tax Agent Forum of 2023

Date: 15 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3QZhRYJ

Dubai November 15 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) emphasised the critical role that accredited Tax Agents play in supporting taxpayers in general – and those subject to Corporate Tax, in particular – to comply with tax laws seamlessly, efficiently, and accurately.

Moreover, the Authority underlined the strict standards applied to practicing the Tax Agent profession in order to ensure the highest level of competence among accredited agents, where practicing the profession requires advanced academic qualifications and practical experience to enable Tax Agents to fulfil their role, in line with the highest standards.

The FTA organised the second Tax Agents Forum for 2023, which brought together 204 accredited Tax Agents, along with several officials from the Federal Tax Authority, as part of its continuous communication plan to introduce its strategic partners to the latest developments in the tax sector.

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Bahrain Fines its Tax Evaders

Date: 09 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1294807/Tax-evaders-fined-

Manama November 9 2023:

Two business owners have been fined more than BD 120,000 for evading excise taxes on e-cigarette cartridges, and were ordered to pay back the unpaid taxes. The Lower Criminal Court fined the first defendant BD 116,309 and the second BD 4,262 .

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FTA Hosts Corporate Tax Awareness Workshop for Businesses in Sharjah

Date: 08 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://bit.ly/46XAt0G

Dubai November 8 2023:

Marking the sixth in-person event in the FTA’s awareness campaign focusing on ‘The General Principles of Taxation of Corporations and Businesses’, the workshop gathered more than 370 business sector representatives from Sharjah. This event was part of the ongoing awareness campaign which includes physical and virtual workshops to reach all businesses and stakeholders subject to Corporate Tax across the UAE. So far, the FTA has held in-person workshops in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.

The workshops cover pertinent topics such as the determination of taxable persons and exempt persons, Corporate Tax rates and tax periods and Small Business Relief, transitional rules and other topics that support an easy and accurate Corporate Tax compliance.

During the workshop, the FTA team spoke about the EmaraTax platform, which allows users to complete their registration by following a few simple steps. Taxpayers can also seek assistance from Tax Agents approved by the FTA. The FTA team also encouraged participants to benefit from its Virtual Tax Webinars which provides ongoing support for taxable persons in both Arabic and English covering various aspects of Corporate Tax.

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FTA Releases Guide on Accounting Standards and Interaction with Corporate Tax

Date: 07 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://bit.ly/45Z2ynb

Dubai November 7 2023:

FTA Releases Guide on Accounting Standards and Interaction with Corporate Tax.

The guide is designed to provide general guidance on the interaction of Accounting Standards with Corporate Tax. It provides readers with an overview of:

  • Preparation of financial statements;
  • The cash basis of accounting;
  • The realisation basis of accounting;
  • Other adjustments under Article 20(2)(i) of the Corporate Tax law;
  • Adjustments under the transitional rules.

For more information related to Accounting Standards that govern how particular types of transactions and events should be reported in Financial Statements, please refer to the official documentation released by the relevant standard setter/Accounting Standards board. For further information on IFRS, visit ifrs.org.

Who should read this guide?

This guide should be read by any Person that is responsible for preparing the Financial Statements of Taxable Persons for Corporate Tax purposes. It is intended to be read in conjunction with the Corporate Tax Law, the implementing decisions and other relevant guidance published by the FTA.

Saudi Arabia Warns Businesses to Pay Tax or Face Fines

Date: 06 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3QMpBNC

Riyadh November 6 2023:

Saudi Arabia has called for businesses to pay tax by end of the week or face fines. The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has urged taxpayers from the business sector in the Kingdom subject to the withholding tax (WHT) to file their tax returns for October at a date no later than November 12, 2023.

WHT is one regulation in the Kingdom whereby a tax is withheld from the total income of non-resident establishments that provide services in the Kingdom in accordance with the rates specified in Article 68 of the Income Tax Law and Article 63 of its Implementing Regulations.

Taxpayers may do so through the authority’s website to avoid a one per cent fine for unpaid taxes every 30 days after the due date.

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FTA Issues Guide for Non-Resident Persons for Corporate Tax Purposes

Date: 04 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3QwoZu0

Dubai November 4 2023:

Federal Tax Authority Issues Guide for Non-Resident Persons for Corporate Tax Purposes who derive State-Sourced Income in the UAE.

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has clarified the criteria for determining Non-Residents subject to Corporate Tax in the UAE; the instances that require registration of a Non-Resident for Corporate Tax purposes; Taxable Income and how it is calculated; as well as other requirements for compliance by Non-Residents subject to the Corporate Tax Law, which took effect on 1 June 2023.

The FTA included a comprehensive and simplified explanation along with general guidance in its guide for Non-Resident Persons, whether natural persons (individuals) or juridical persons (including public and private corporations) who derive income in the UAE to help them determine whether they are subject to Corporate Tax.

The FTA invited all Non-Resident Persons concerned, who derive income in the UAE, or those who conduct Business or part of their Business in the UAE to consult the new guidelines and refer to the Corporate Tax Law and relevant implementing Decisions.

Who should read this guide?

The guide should be read by any natural person or juridical person who is not considered to be a Resident Person as per the provisions of the Corporate Tax Law and is deriving any income from the UAE. It is intended to be read in conjunction with the Corporate Tax Law, the implementing decisions and other relevant guidance published by the FTA.

ZATCA Wins an International Award among the Top 3 Project Management Offices in the World

Date: 02 Nov, 2023

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/en/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1128.aspx

Riyadh November 2 2023:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, represented by the Project Management Office (PMO), received three awards at the Global Project Management Summit (Global Summit 2023) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, which is organized annually by the Global Project Management Institute (PMI).

The first award was given to the Project Management Office of the Authority, which was named one of the top three project management offices in the world for 2023 (World PMO of the year). Based on the value that project management offices offer, the award is given to companies who demonstrate excellence in organizational capabilities for project management. A total of sixty-five international organizations competed for the award, highlighting the institutional importance of facilitating the implementation of plans and formulating a vision to augment value and attain a discernible and favourable impact on the performance of the organization.

The Authority’s Project Management Office was chosen in exchange for its efforts in handling numerous administrative and technical aspects. Since its establishment, the Office has continued in fulfilling its mandate to oversee transformational projects by putting best practices into practice, adhering to the Global Project Management Institute’s methodology to guarantee work of the highest standard, assisting in the efficient governance of the work system and monitoring projects in a way that has contributed to their extraordinary success.

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FTA Issues Public Clarification on implementing Reverse Charge Mechanism on Electronic Devices Among UAE Registrants

Date: 26 Oct, 2023

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/federal.tax.authority.issues.public.clarification.on.implementing.reverse.charge.mechanism.on.electronic.devices.among.registrants.in.the.uae.aspx#:~:text=October%2025%2C%202023-,Federal%20Tax%20Authority%20Issues%20Public%20Clarification%20on%20implementing%20Reverse%20Charge,among%20registrants%20in%20the%20UAE&text=The%20Mechanism%20to%20be%20applied,purposes%20from%2030%20October%202023.

Dubai October 26 2023:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) and registrants for Value Added Tax (VAT) with the Authority are set to begin implementing a new decision on 30 October 2023, applying the Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) on supplies of electronic devices among tax registrants. In this regard FTA released a new Public Clarification on Application of the Reverse Charge Mechanism on Electronic Devices among Registrants in the State for the Purposes of Value Added Tax on its website.

The RCM will result in the liability for Value Added Tax (VAT) on supplies of electronic devices – such as mobile phones, smart phones, computer devices, tablets, and their parts and pieces – to be transferred from the registered supplier to the registered recipient provided they are supplied to a registered recipient for the purpose of being resold or used in manufacturing of electronic devices. The registered recipient will then be responsible for calculating VAT on those supplies, including it in their Tax Return, and meeting specific tax obligations related to these supplies.

The Authority noted that implementing the Mechanism is in line with Cabinet Decision regarding the Application of the Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) on Electronic Devices for VAT purposes, which comes into effect on 30 October 2023.

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ZATCA Urges Taxpayers Not To Respond To Fraudulent Refund Messages

Date: 18 Oct, 2023

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/en/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_1114.aspx

Riyadh October 18 2023:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority called on its taxpayers and customers not to respond to any fraudulent refund or financial dues messages, or to any messages attempting to obtain personal or banking information. The Authority explained that such fraudulent practices seek to obtain personal and banking information via suspicious SMS claiming to receive requests to recover amounts paid to the Authority and requesting access to links to provide more information or fill out data forms, despite the fact that the Authority does not request access. It includes links in its SMS, and it does not ask for bank card information for payment except through the Authority’s website and the ZATCA app for smartphones.

The Authority urged the taxpayers and customers to use the Authority’s channels, including the unified number 19993 which operates 24/7 or on e-mail info@zatca.gov.sa or instant chats via the Authority’s website confirming that it receives all inquiries regarding its services through these channel.

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