ABU DHABI, 7th January, 2018 (WAM) — The UAE Ministry of Economy, MoE, and the Federal Tax Authority, FTA, have launched an integrated programme to facilitate the implementation of Value Added Tax, VAT, to protect consumers’ rights and prevent profiteering.
The announcement was made at a meeting held at the Ministry’s headquarters, and was attended by Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy; Khalid Al Bustani, Director-General of the FTA; and representatives of the Economic Development Departments and other entities responsible for protecting consumer rights in the country.
Preventing businesses from taking advantage of the introduction of the VAT to increase prices was the main subject on the agenda. The meeting concluded with the adoption of an integrated programme that will allow FTA and the Ministry to cooperate with other authorities to detect tax violations and take the required measures against violators, as well as to educate consumers about their rights.
The framework includes joint awareness campaigns on taxable and exempt products, as well as requirements for invoices issued by shops and outlets offering taxable services.
Meanwhile, a cooperation agreement between the FTA and economic departments was signed during the meeting to monitor markets and allow inspectors in these agencies to verify the authenticity of the Tax Registration Numbers, TRN, printed on invoices, and coordinate regarding violations to take the necessary actions.
Plans to organise training programmes for inspectors in the economic departments were discussed during the meeting to familiarise inspectors with tax procedures and laws and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their processes to prevent violations.
Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, said, “The Ministry is here to ensure all business sectors can play their part in contributing to national economic growth. This meeting is part of the Ministry’s efforts to safeguard the rights of consumers and protect them from profiteering, as well as to prevent businesses from using the introduction of the VAT to make unjustified price hikes. Therefore, and in partnership with the Federal Tax Authority and other stakeholders, the Ministry supports efforts made by all parties to protect consumers’ rights in accordance with UAE’s strategic vision”.
Khalid Al Bustani, Director General of the FTA, said: “The efforts made by the Ministry of Economy towards protecting consumers are a crucial step in establishing systematic and accurate supervision of the market, as well as ensuring the implementation of the tax system according to the highest global standards, helping the UAE achieve sustainable development and boosting the performance of key sectors for the good of the entire society”.
The FTA has linked its systems with Customs systems at all entry ports to collect taxes from importers, noting that the country is witnessing a high activity in imports movement and goods entry.
The FTA emphasised that consumers should check that invoices issued by UAE businesses include “Tax Invoice” displayed, the Tax Registration Number, that prices include VAT and the amount of tax charged.
The authority called on citizens and residents to be wary of uninformed and unreliable sources of information which are circulating misleading data around the introduction of VAT in the country. The FTA emphasised the importance of referencing and checking official sources of information, such as statements issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Authority; via the FTA’s official website and the official social media account handle @uaetax.
The FTA’s official website is continuously updated with comprehensive, detailed and accurate information and answers to tax-related questions and inquiries in the UAE.