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UAE VAT registration to begin in October

Businesses in the UAE will be able to register for VAT payments with the Ministry of Finance from October, to be ready for the introduction of 5% value-added tax (VAT) from January 2018.13 Feb 2017

"Registration for VAT is expected to be made available to businesses that meet the requirements criteria three months before the launch of VAT. Businesses will be able to register online using eServices," the Ministry said.

Registered businesses will be expected to submit VAT returns on a regular basis, the site said.

"It is expected that the default period for filing VAT returns will be three months for the majority of businesses," the Ministry said.

Businesses will be required to keep records allowing the government to identify details of business activities and to review transactions.

"The specifics regarding the documents which will be required and the time period for keeping them will be communicated in due course," it said.

The ministers of finance of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states approved an in-principle agreement to provide a common framework to develop national tax regimes in June 2016.

Simultaneously, each GCC country is developing its own VAT regime. While there is a requirement for all GCC countries to have VAT in place by the end of 2018, the aim is to implement it by 1 January 2018 to avoid distortions between those who have and have not implemented a tax regime.