Don't get caught off-guard on tax preparedness, compliance

Don't get caught off-guard on tax preparedness, compliance
Don't get caught off-guard on tax preparedness, compliance

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Companies in the UAE have been asked to maintain their documentation in order to avoid any litigations issues related to tax regime, say tax experts.

"It has been two years now [since value-added tax was implemented] and the Federal Tax Authority is not going to accept lack of preparedness as an argument. That is not going to save or benefit companies. If companies don't know, they must ask for clarification. You have to be audit-ready from all aspects. Do health checks of what you have filed as return," said Nirav Shah, director at Fame Advisory FMCC.

"Documentation is the only thing that will save companies. Preparedness to have books reconciled with what returns you have filed and documentation that you have kept to support returns that have been filed will save from litigations," Shah said while addressing members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) - chapter in Dubai on Saturday.

He warned that if companies have not been audited, it doesn't mean they won't be. However, he said, authorities could be lenient only for genuine cases.

"Ignorance of thelaw is not going to be an excuse as well. If you don't know the law well, study it well. They will not take an excuse that 'I was not advised well'. What will gain sympathy is your documentation and preparedness or ability to produce data within the time frame the authorities have asked," he told the chartered accountant fraternity.

Jay Duseja, senior manager at MMJS Consulting, and Ankur Jain, principal at WTS Dhruva Consultants, addressed the event on new excise rules and recent clarifications and guides issued by the FTA.

Anish Mehta, chairman of the ICAI - Dubai Chapter, said a healthy life and lifestyle has always been an important measure of the UAE government and with this initiative of adding more products under excise tax, control over illness arising from the consumption of harmful goods can be achieved.

During 2019, he said the FTA released new public clarifications on VAT which will help the tax payers to properly treat their books of account for VAT perspective.

Sundar Nurani, vice-chairman of the ICAI - Dubai Chapter, said UAE businesses that import, produce or stockpile products related to sweetened drinks, electronic smoking devices and tools, liquids used in electronic smoking devices and tools face new compliance and potential registration obligations due to the expansion of the excise tax regime from December 1.

"Non-compliance with the expanded legislation could have a significant commercial impact and businesses could face issues clearing shipments of stock at the border if certain compliance obligations are not fulfilled," he said.

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