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Don't let UAE cashiers round up numbers for you

It happened again today. I bought my lunch at an international hypermarket — I shall not say where. The cost was Dh15.30 and I gave the cashier Dh16. She gave me 50 fils in change. Where, I wondered, did the other 20 fils go? I am but a single stalk of wheat, you may think. Actually, I am an integral part of a giant field of wheat, at 20 fils per transaction. Multiply 20 fils by 50,000 such transactions seven days a week across all the stores in the UAE. That’s an awful lot of wheat stalks. A veritable “field of gold”, as Sting might sing. To put it another way, that’s Dh3.6 million per year. What is the point of this little rant? It is all to do with boiled frogs. If you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, the frog will jump out. If you put a frog into a pot of cold water, and very slowly turn up the temperature, the frog will not jump out. For more information, please visit:

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VAT will attract more global investors to UAE realty

When value-added tax (VAT) was introduced in the UAE and Saudi Arabia on January 1, 2018, initially stakeholders were wary on the potential impact of the new tax policy on the economy. A study conducted by Alliance Business Centers Network said that the UAE would be least affected by the imposition of VAT because it is one of the lowest globally compared to countries such as the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, South Africa and Australia. The study revealed that the VAT in UK and France was 20 per cent, which is substantially higher than the five per cent implemented in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. With the adoption of VAT in the real estate sector, investors and stakeholders are weighing the impact on market valuations. According to Deloitte, in the UAE, commercial property is clustered in the taxable bracket and therefore the costs of buying or leasing such property are likely to increase. For more information, please visit:

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More relief as three UAE free zones are out of VAT scope

The UAE's Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has added three new free zones to the list of designated zones that will be out of the five per cent VAT scope imposed earlier this year. The new addition sees the total designated zones increasing to 23 across the UAE. Federal Decree Law No. (8) of 2017 on VAT specifies that any area meeting certain conditions and mentioned in the Cabinet decision is termed as designated zone for VAT purposes and should be treated as being outside the state for VAT purposes. According to the FTA, the newly-added free zones are Al Ain International Airport Free Zone, Al Bateen Executive Airport Free Zone in Abu Dhabi, and International Humanitarian City - Jebel Ali in Dubai. The treatment of these areas as designated zones was effective from June 18, 2018. For more information, please visit the link below:

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All you need to know about VAT on gold and diamonds in UAE

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) on Wednesday clarified that the new Cabinet decision issued about VAT reverse charge mechanism for the gold and diamond industry will only pertain to commercial transactions between registered dealers. As per the reverse charge mechanism, registered dealers shall not charge Value Added Tax (VAT) when supplying to another tax registered merchant with gold, diamonds or products where the principal component is of gold or diamonds, as long as the latter intends to resell such products, or use them to manufacture gold, diamonds or products where the principal component is of gold or diamonds. The registered recipient must include such supplies in his tax returns. For more information, please click the link below:

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7 Ways to Avoid VAT Penalties in UAE

The United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) on January 1, 2018 at the rate of five per cent, while other GCC countries are expected to follow in the near future. As VAT is new to the region, it is imperative for business owners to be aware and comply with the new regulations in order to avoid stiff penalties which could be as high as AED 50,000. Here are some steps to keep in mind in order to avoid penalties on VAT: Register for VAT Record all transactions Collect VAT File VAT Return Understand zero rates and exempt suppliers Reverse Charge Get the basics right. For the entire article, please visit the link below:

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Businesses must comply with VAT

Businesses across the UAE must comply with the value added tax (VAT) law by filing their returns on time, experts at a session on VAT returns and reporting stressed. Organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Dubai Chapter, the session provided clarity on the process of filing returns, as well as registration for businesses that have not done so yet. "In the beginning it was challenging for the businesses to register for VAT, as it was new for everyone," said Naveen Sharma, chairman, ICAI Dubai Chapter. "But, with time and clarifications from the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), the businesses started getting their doubts cleared which helped them in the registration process. I think, as of now, all big organisations have already registered for VAT, but some small businesses in the market are still struggling with registration process. In due time, I think they will also be able to register themselves."

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