President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued the landmark Federal Law No. 7 of 2017 for Tax Procedures, which sets the foundations for the planned UAE tax system, regulating the administration and collection of taxes and clearly defining the role of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).
The Federal National Council (FNC) approved the draft law in March this year and with the presidential approval to the tax law, the country now has a legal framework for taxation, implementation and administration. “The Tax Procedures Law is a significant milestone towards establishing the UAE’s tax system and diversifying the economy,” said Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and FTA Chairman.
“The Law, issued by Shaikh Khalifa is an all-encompassing legislative framework that lays the groundwork for the UAE’s plan to implement taxes as a means to ensure sustainability and diversify the government’s revenue streams. The increased resources will enable the Government to maintain the momentum of its development and infrastructure for a better future.”
The Law defines a clear set of common procedures and rules to be applied to all tax laws in the UAE, namely, value added tax (VAT) and excise tax laws, and clearly states the respective rights and obligations of the FTA and the taxpayer.
The law covers tax procedures, audits, objections, refunds, collection, and obligations, which include tax registration, tax-return preparation, submissions, payment and voluntary disclosure rules – in addition to tax evasion and general provisions. When the Tax Procedures Law goes into effect, all UAE-based businesses will be required to keep accurate records for five years.
The law also sets penalties for non-compliance, as well as clear processes for appeals which align with international best practices, and establishes a fair and transparent environment for the FTA to carry out its mandate. “The UAE is committed to meeting the most stringent international standards,” Shaikh Hamdan said. “We are working to establish an optimal legislative and executive environment to ease the nation into the VAT and excise tax systems.
Implementing these taxes gives the UAE further leverage when it comes to international competitiveness and brings us one step closer towards building the future envisioned by our wise leaders, who have called on all those in charge to innovate and strive to spread happiness among citizens and residents.”