Wednesday 04 October 2023 - 8:25:05 pm

FTA Board approves Tourists Refund Scheme

  • fta board approves tourists refund scheme2
  • fta board approves tourists refund scheme1

DUBAI, 25th April, 2018 (WAM) -- The Federal Tax Authority’s, FTA, Board of Directors has formally approved implementation of Tourists Refund Scheme at its fifth meeting, held on Wednesday at the Dubai Ruler’s Court.

The meeting was headed by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance.

The scheme seeks to ensure high preparedness and adherence to international standards among UAE businesses. It is set to include comprehensive procedures to connect outlets and points of sale across the UAE with the refund system.

The Board also adopted the proposed design and security specifications of the brand to be used as a marker for tobacco products, allowing them to be tracked electronically in order to ensure that the Excise Tax on these products is paid. This advanced system seeks to prevent excise tax evasion, and will be implemented in the near future in coordination with Customs Departments, as well as Departments of Economic development departments, and manufacturers and importers of tobacco products.

During the meeting, the FTA Board of Directors approved a set of executive decisions concerning the internal regulatory and administrative policies of the Authority and its operational activities. The Board reviewed a comprehensive report covering the achievements made by the Federal Tax Authority, as well as the successful implementation of the UAE tax system. The reports revealed a remarkable increase in the number of businesses registered for VAT before the end of penalty waiver period issued by the Authority to exempt businesses from late registration penalties, where 281,000 of them are now registered for value added tax, VAT, while 637 are registered for excise tax.

The reports indicate that that this high level of commitment is due to the guidance provided by the FTA to ensure compliance, as well as the clarity and simplicity of the procedures, which allow taxable persons to submit tax returns and pay their dues online, any time and from anywhere through the e-Services portal on the Authority’s official website.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid said, "The UAE tax system has proven to be a great success, encouraging self-assessment, and providing an example to be emulated across the region and the world. The Federal Tax Authority’s seamless and integrated electronic system, coupled with a sophisticated world-class fiscal legislative environment, has ensured increased compliance."

"All indicators attest to the Authority’s success in implementing a balanced and comprehensive tax system that effectively contributes to the economic development and prosperity of our society," he added. "This success is the culmination of great efforts, careful studies, and thorough legislative and technical preparations, which sought to develop a tax system rooted in good governance and transparency. This aligns with the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership, who has called for embracing innovation, proactively preparing for and shaping the future, investing in the happiness of UAE citizens and residents, and cementing the UAE’s advanced status and global competitiveness."

Sheikh Hamdan applauded the commitment and voluntary compliance that UAE businesses have shown in the past few months. "Despite being only a few months old, the UAE tax system has registered higher compliance rates than those of many countries with established decades-old tax programmes," His Highness noted "Our priority is to help and encourage businesses to comply with tax legislation and procedures, providing state-of-the-art digital systems that reflect our young country’s progress and prestige in all sectors," Sheikh Hamdan reiterated. "To that same end, the FTA Board of Directors issued a decision to exempt companies who were late to register from penalties until April 30, 2018. The decision – which covers the penalties, but still requires taxable businesses to settle, in full, all the taxes they’ve incurred retroactively since January 1, 2018 – sought to and succeeded in increasing registration and compliance among UAE businesses."

The Council reviewed another report detailing the progress made on existing projects, such as formulating an integrated administration system, developing the FTA’s digital systems, and building a user database. The report revealed that the number of tax agents accredited by the Authority rose to 83, while the number of accredited clearance companies increased to 85.

The report also examines the outcomes of the FTA’s tax awareness campaign, which succeeded in educating the public about their rights and obligations, protecting consumers from profiteering and price manipulations. The Authority has also conducted a series of awareness seminars and workshops for all sectors in the UAE, the report reaffirmed, providing guidance on legislation, laws, regulations and tax procedures. In a similar vein, the FTA published ads, infographics, and educational videos.

The Federal Tax Authority has been conducting a nation-wide awareness campaign over the past two weeks, in collaboration with Departments of Economic Development across the country. The campaign introduced businesses to the online registration, tax returns submission, and tax payment procedures. These services are available round the clock on the FTA website, which is continuously enhanced to offer more payment processing channels to further facilitate online payment for all businesses.