Thursday, October 19, 2017

How to Register for VAT in UAE

 VAT is expected to be introduced with effect from 1st January 2018 at a standard rate of 5% in the UAE. Businesses must register for VAT in UAE.The Federal Tax Authority has now introduced an official Tax Website. The website enables you to know all about VAT in the UAE and through this portal, eligible businesses can register for VAT in the UAE. The same website provides an option to register for Excise Tax as well.

For businesses resident in the GCC and UAE Federal and Emirate Government bodies
Mandatory Registration: You will be required to register if you are a business that is resident in the GCC and you are making supplies of goods or services in the UAE and either:
1.Your turnover was more than AED 375,000 in the last 12 months; or
2.You expect your turnover to be more than AED375,000 in the next 30 days.
Voluntary Registration: If you are not required to register, you will be eligible to apply for registration if:
1.Either your turnover or expenses (which were subject to VAT) were more than AED187,500 in the last 12 months; or
2.You expect that either your turnover or expenses (which were subject to VAT) to be more than AED187,500 in the next 30 days.
Turnover is calculated based on the total value of taxable supplies (this includes zero-rated supplies and excludes exempt supplies). Expenses are calculated based on the total value of purchase which is subject to VAT.
For a more detailed explanation of what can be and/or should not be included when calculating the turnover/expenses, please refer to the Taxable Persons on Guide for VAT”
 Registering for VAT
On logging into your e-Services account you will see a button inviting
you to Register for VAT (you may also see another button inviting you to register for Excise Tax).
Click on “Register for VAT” to start the VAT registration process.
1.1VAT Getting Started Guide
You will see the guide as soon as you click the Register for VAT button. The guide is designed to help you understand certain important requirements relating to VAT registration in the UAE. It is divided into a number of short sections which deal with various aspects of the registration process. It also provides guidance on what information you should have to hand when you are completing the VAT registration form.It is strongly recommended that you read each of the sections carefully. Once you have done so, check the Click here box to confirm that you have read it in order to move forward.
1.2 Steps for completing the VAT registration form There are 8 sections that must be completed on the VAT registration form. Your progress will be shown each step of the way (denoted in brown) with each completed section shown in blue with a green tick mark

 In order to move from one section to the next, all mandatory elements of the current section must be completed.  Any field that is marked with a  red asterisk (*) is mandatory and must be filled out in order to move to the next section.
If you attempt to move to the next section without completing the mandatory information in the current section,  you will receive a  pop -up message under the relevant field indicating that additional details are required.
1.3 Saving your progress It is recommended that you save your progress as you complete the form. Click on the Save as a draft button at the bottom of the screen.
You will be logged out of the system after 10 minutes of inactivity. After completing all mandatory fields,  click the Save and review button at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to proceed to the following section.
Your application will not be submitted at this point; you will have an opportunity to read through your answers before submission.
1.4 Submitting your VAT registration application
To submit the VAT registration form, carefully review all of the information entered on the form after clicking on Save and review. Once you are certain  that  all  of  the  information  is  correct, click  on  the
Submit for  Approval button at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. The status of your application on the Dashboard will change to Pending and you will receive an email from us to confirm receipt of your application.
If the FTA requires any further details from you in order to assist with the verification of your application, you will receive an email notification setting out the information required from you.
1.5: Reviewing the progress of your VAT registration application
To review the status of your VAT registration application, click on the
Dashboard tab and look next to Status:8
Drafted means the registration form has not been completed or submitted by the applicant;
Pending means  the  registration  form  has  been  received  by  us  and  is  under processing or that we are awaiting further information from you;
Issued means we have provided to you a Tax Identification  Number  (TIN)  for either your application for registration for a  Tax group or confirmation of your exception from the VAT. The TIN for your application for registration for a Tax group will be suffixed with the letters ‘VG’. The TIN for confirmation of exception from VAT will be suffixed with the letters ‘XC’;
Suspended means your registration form for VAT has been suspended and that your registration for a Tax group has been approved by us and you have received a TRN;
Rejected means the registration form has been rejected by us; and
Approved means the registration form has been approved by us and that you are successfully registered for VAT. For more details click

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Registering an expat will at Abu Dhabi Courts

May 2017 onwards, non-Muslim expatriates have been able to dictate how they want their assets distributed when they die without Sharia law being applied to their will.

This came about thanks to a change in the rules governing how expat wills were handled with the introduction of a wills registry at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. This now ensures no dispute or confusion over a deceased’s belongings or custody of their children – a huge step for the UAE’s legal system, offering protection for families at a very sad time in their lives. Here is how the registry works:

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that you prepare in your lifetime dictating how you would like your wishes to be applied at the time of your death. These wishes can include the guardianship of your children, how you would like your estate to be distributed, who you would like to execute the will, your funeral arrangements and your general final wishes.

What are the UAE's inheritance laws?

Inheritance laws in the UAE are based on Sharia law, which is governed by the Islamic law and there is a set formula for each person in the family to inherit a particular share. The judge then decides on the shares, so if you do not have a will in place, the UAE law is applied and the judge applies it accordingly.

How a power of attorney helps with succession planning in the UAE

A power of attorney (PoA) – a legal document that allows you to appoint a representative to manage your affairs – should be appointed during your lifetime. This means if you are mentally incapacitated or, for example, seriously ill in a coma, then a PoA, which the majority of the time is a family member or trusted friend, can manage your affairs or estate on your behalf.

It is a very powerful document and can run the risk of being used in a good or bad way – good meaning you give the PoA to the right person and that individual manages your affairs and looks after your interests in the best manner, However, a PoA can also be misused to go against your wishes.

How to get a will registered at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department

You can do the entire process alone, however having a legal consultant on board helps to verify various documents and can ease the process. The steps to follow are:

Step 1: Draft a will

A will should mention your beneficiaries, executors, guardians and how you want your estate to be distributed. Ensure you mention the full name, nationality, date of birth and place of birth of your beneficiaries as well as your relationship to them. Failing to do so can cause complexities in the estate distribution after death.

Step 2: Translation

Your will must translated as the court registers both the Arabic and English versions. The translation costs around Dh1,500 to Dh2,000 depending on the case. Ensure a legal translator registered with the ministry of justice department carries out the translation.

Step 3: What to bring

• Emirates ID (original and photocopy)

• Passport (original and photocopy)

• Three copies of the will - one copy for the court and two for you

• Title deeds - if you mention any properties in the will, you need copies of the title deeds

Step4: Fix an appointment

Step 5: Visit in person

Go to the court on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street near Zayed Sports City and take a token from reception and wait for your number to be called.

The court is open from 7.30am to 3pm Sunday to Thursday.

Who executes the will?

It can be difficult to select a person who is reliable and trustworthy to handle such a stressful job. But people generally nominate their partners or children over the age of 21. Note that wills registered at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department are valid in every emirate.

The benefits of having a will

If you die unexpectedly, a will dictates exactly how your personal affairs are handled from your funeral arrangements to your finances and the care of your children. It simply ensures your wishes are applied and that your family follows it. Having no will in place can cause fights among family members with money sometimes awarded to the wrong people. So, get a will in place to give yourself peace of mind should the worst happen.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Residential property sales, leases, bare land will be exempt from VAT in the UAE

With effect from January 1, 2018, valued added tax (VAT) will be a reality in the UAE. As the real estate sector affects most expat lives in the UAE, let us take a look at the implications of the new levy on this industry.
  • Commercial property (sales and leases): will be subject to the standard rate of VAT (five per cent) Residential property (sales and leases): will be exempt from VAT, with the exception of the first sale of 
  • New residential property: which will be subject to the zero rate of VAT
  • Bare land: will be exempt from VAT.
"From a consumer perspective, a zero-rated and exempt product mean the same thing, i.e., no VAT will be charged. However, the difference is that if a business sells or supplies zero rated goods/services, it can claim the input tax credit it has paid on its purchases. While if the business sells or supplies exempt goods/services, it cannot claim the input tax credit that it has paid. As a result, for a business that sells or supplies exempt goods/services, VAT will have to be borne by that business as a cost and cannot be passed on to the end consumer,"

A company in the UAE that offers a zero-rated good or service needs to register with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).

A zero-rated supply is charged to the customer at a rate of zero per cent and this needs to be stated on an invoice. Zero-rated also means that the input VAT a firm pays for its supplies - such as inventory or utilities - can be recovered from the tax authority.

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