Companies to get set for the upcoming audits in 2019
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Companies to get set for the upcoming audits in 2019

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All the UAE businesses should be prepared for the upcoming tax audits by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) conducted for checking their resources and how accurately they are keeping their records.

The FTA has started sending e-mails to organizations notifying them that they would be audited within five working days of when they get an e-mail, for the tax periods of January 1, 2018 till April 30, 2018 and May 1, 2018 till July 31, 2018.

Getting through VAT audits could be a challenge for companies who are not prepared and have not been maintaining their tax records in accordance with the FTA guidelines.

The companies have to show that every business expense they have made is legitimate and they must possess proper documents for it. In addition to expenses, every revenue should be properly accounted for and the due tax amount should be paid on time regularly.

The FTA has recently enhanced its attention on VAT compliance for companies and has also announced guidelines to some important issues to clear out the doubts. Some businesses have also requested for tax audits recently, that cover one to two tax periods.

Tourist VAT refund

The UAE has announced its tourist VAT refund scheme – first phase on November 18, which permits the visitors to the country to claim the VAT refund on whatever they buy from the three busiest airports, namely Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi when they fly out of the country within a period of 90 days.

Phase two was announced on December 16, being rolled out from the following locations: three airports like Al Ain International Airport, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, and Al Maktoum International Airport; two ­sea ports like Port Rashid in Dubai and the Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi; and also four land ports such as Hili Border Port and Al Madheef Border Crossing in Al Ain, Al Ghuwaifat Border Post in Abu Dhabi, and Dubai’s Hatta Border Exit.

The data showed the number of retail outlets that were linked to this refund scheme totaled to 6,903 with almost 3,800 digital transactions being processed every day by December 10.

The UAE is forecasting that revenues will go up to Dh20 billion through VAT in the year 2019. This way, the government will be able to diversity the revenues away from the petrodollars as the falling crude prices encouraged the UAE and some other oil-producing countries to find alternatives due to unstable prices.

But the UAE has now rolled back the announced VAT on investments done in the sector of precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver used in business as per globally-accepted standards having purity levels of 99 percent or more.

This regulation was imposed under the framework that was agreed upon by the GCC states and some verticals in major sectors like healthcare, transport and education got an exemption under the new tax system.