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Wishing all readers a wonderful fulfilling and empowered 2018.

The introduction of the VAT in UAE from 1st January 2018 has opened up an ocean of opportunities: huge in the short term and sizable accounting and compliance services in the coming years. The professional opportunities include: 

  • Providing awareness to the owners, operations and finance of VAT/ Excise,
  • Setting up of the Systems for the compliance of VAT - to be able to continue operations,
  • Records keeping for VAT compliance { accounts as well as stocks},
  • Compliance  of law- starting with filing the returns of VAT / Excise ( those covered) in time,
  • Audits under VAT for the companies ( like an internal audit),
  • Dispute avoidance as penalties are high, resolution
  • Advise in first 45- 60 days - Opinions in writing and making representation to FTA.

These opportunities bring in challenges such as the VAT being the new levy at the same time no previous tax compliance experience by the professional, further sudden surge in the work, lack of authenticated knowledge resource etc. This would also put pressure on available manpower. This may also lead to doubts on being able to provide safe and quality service to the clients. Many professionals may take the work and hope to somehow work it out as time goes using the tools provided by the software vendors and the FTA itself.

The knowledge of the law could be through the Federal Tax Authority web site which has excellent FAQs. Further the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in its Indirect tax committee page has articles, videos, background material on UAE VAT ( up to date would be there in a few days). The Dubai Branch and Chapter web sites also have the BGM and other resources. The ICAI has identified, evaluated and trained 40+ members in the last 2 months. Certificate course completed members are also available to extent of 200 or so. More would be trained in this month of January.

The next 60 days are going to be critical for the industry and trade to grapple with the new tax and comply as soon as possible. Professionals may face time ad resource challenges.

Collaboration with professionals could in this high-pressure period where business need to be able to continue and safeguard its margins be as under:

  • Experts or those knowledgeable in VAT- UAE [From UAE and India - Equal numbers seem to be there] - Could provide the firms a confirmation of understanding on a monthly basis on mail.
  • Professionals tie up with Expert/ knowledgeable to be able to provide onsite services to clients.
  • Professionals tie up with software companies who are in system implementation.
  • Accounting entities tie up with experts for training their resources.
  • Have a tie up with a reliable Arabic translation concern.
  • …may be some more combinations needed

Indian CAs need to understand the regulatory framework in UAE. (See 1st session of the web cast on UAE in 3 rd week of December 2017) before venturing to put an office in UAE.

It should be remembered that trust begets trust and those of us in better position (seniors) can in this time be generous with information/ advice and needs of the juniors. Please see that the understanding between professionals is in writing and clear and at least shared in mail to avoid relationship breaking at a later stage.

Again wishing all the professionals from UAE and India all the best for the new year.

The authors can also be reached at madhukar@hiregancge.com, sudhir@hiregange.com & ashish@hiregange.com.


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Category Career, Other Articles by - Madhukar N Hiregange 



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