VAT Registration in Dubai [Key Errors To Avoid]

VAT Registration can be complex and getting it wrong could mean that your application is ‘denied’ or you incur a penalty for incorrect submission. Getting it right could be a small matter of the dates or just a better understanding of the requirements.

Mandatory Threshold

Ultimately if you are an existing business and in the last 12 months your sales exceeded AED 375,000 then you must register for VAT. This is considered mandatory registration. If however, your sales in the last 12 months were below AED 375,000 but above AED 187,500 then you can still register for VAT on a Voluntary basis. The other mandatory requirement applies to expected sales of over AED 375k in the next 30 days. Remember that the sales are taxable sales and not sales that are not considered taxable supplies. If you are unsure if your sales are taxable or not then please contact a specialist to make sure since many services are taxable EVEN if they were delivered to clients outside the UAE.

Creating USER ID and Password

Firstly, you need to create a user name and ID which is a very simple process and takes only 5mins. You can do that by visiting this link: https://eservices.tax.gov.ae/en-us/signup. Once registered you have to wait for the confirmation email to be sent to your email address used in the registration. Note: please do not forget your email ID and PW or security questions as this is not an easy problem to resolve.

Section 1 – About the applicant

Key mistakes made in this section are what to select when the trade license is a professional license? From our experience, we have had no problems with selecting Legal person – Other and then entering Sole Establishment in the ‘If other, please specify’ section. Also it is very important to select Mandatorily v’s Voluntarily. Only select Mandatorily if your past sales are over AED 375,000 otherwise always select Voluntarily. Always select no to Tax Group unless you are registering for a Tax Group (may apply if you have more than 2 companies in the UAE).

Section 2 – Details of the applicant

Legal entity name needs to be exact and do not worry about the Arabic as you can go to the DED website here: http://www.dubaided.ae/English/Pages/default.aspx and actually search your trade name and copy and paste the Arabic wording. Trade License information should be exact and the rest of this section is pretty straightforward.

Section 3 – Contact details

A simple point to note here is that whatever contact number is entered here will receive regular updates and notifications from the FTA.

Section 4 – Bank Details

Bank accounts are now a mandatory requirement to complete the FTA application for VAT and therefore if you do not have a business bank account then you cannot complete the application process.

Section 5 – Business Relationships (optional)

This section has always been optional and therefore we always choose not to complete this section.

Section 6  – About the VAT Registration

Very important section and a ‘must get right’ section. Select the closest activity as you will not always find the right activity.

Turnover is your gross sales for the last 12 months – NOT 12 months of 2017 – but the 12 months till the date of application. You will need provide a sales report and feel free to use our template letter.

Expect turnover in the next 30 days, try to keep it as realistic as possible.

For those of you who do not Import or Export then its simple NO, NO, NO, NO for all questions relating to Import & Export.

Section 7 – Declaration

The declaration will require you to enter all your details again and it does always ask for Proof of Authorization and in the past we have always uploaded the Visa Page of the Manager in this section as it effectively confirms that the person has a Manager Visa from the company and typically this seems to work as a POA to manage the affairs of the company.

If you are operating in the name of a local sponsor then you really need to get a Power of Authority letter drafted and signed by the sponsor giving you authority to act on behalf of the company ‘on all matters relating to VAT Accounting and the FTA’ or use this template.

Section 8 – Review and Submit

I would recommend that you make a printout of the initial submission and review in detail against all IDs and make sure that it is 100% correct. This will save you weeks in time if it is submitted incorrectly.

Once submitted you must make sure that you always have access to the email ID used in the initial registration process as this is where all communication will be sent as well as the mobile number used.

The standard time is takes for the FTA to respond is 20 working days and they normally revert much sooner. Just expect that it can take up to 30 days in total for the VAT registration to complete.

If you have any amendments then it is ideal to make them sooner than later.

Profits Plus Accountants

We are a British Accounting Firm based in Dubai and we help businesses navigate the FTA requirements using the most advanced cloud accounting software in the World.

We make sure that you remain 100% compliant.

As a Silver Partner of Xero Cloud Accounting Software, we have a local team based in Dubai with over 20 years of experience (collectively).

If you are looking for an accountant in Dubai then speak to Mubashir Malik, a Managing Partner at the firm. You can reach him directly on [email protected].

Note: www.profitsplus.ae is a domain belonging to Profits Accounting and Bookkeeping, an accounting and bookkeeping firm registered with Dubai Economy, Trade License No. 796316.

5 Killer Solutions For Smart Business Owners

Starting a small business is one of the toughest things you will do in your life, so its important that you are equipped with the right tools to make it a success.

The following are the tools you must have when starting a small business:

Lead management system

A good lead management system or better known as CRM is a crucial tool for any entrepreneur or a small business owner. Many small businesses spend thousand’s not to mention the time investment in tracking down their first few potential clients but when they are rejected they quickly move on to the next potential and never actually keep in touch with their initial leads.

It can take 6-10 touches to close a prospect and it can take weeks, months or even years to build professional trust with some clients before actually do business with you. All these prospects and there the last conversation and the next action point need to be recorded in a smart, simple-to-use CRM solution.

Here are a few suggestions:

There are many more out there and you should feel free to trial each one before reaching a decision. Important: Make sure that you are happy with the Email Integration options with whichever CRM you choose. It should be easy for you to send mass emails to the database.

Smart Phone and Business Laptop

Using your old phone or laptop when meeting prospects does not cut it.  The number of times that I have met with owners pitching their services using their old phone and laptop and then apologising by saying ‘my laptop is old’ or ‘I don’t have data’, its just not the right approach.

Get a good smartphone with ample data and invest in a used Core i5 laptop at the minimum. If money is a problem then purchase a reconditioned laptop. I bought a reconditioned ThinkPad Corei5 for AED 1000 and its just a good looking powerful machine.

Latest smartphone with unlimited data seems to be normal for teenagers but it should be mandatory for an entrepreneur.

Email on the Go

Do not think that you are too big to not have access to your emails ‘all the time’.  I have read countless business blogs that preach leaving emails in the office and I doubt the writer of those blogs can actually afford to do that.

Email on the GO is mandatory.

Did you know that Microsoft recently made all their MS Apps available free to download to mobile platforms and G Suite for Business has always offered a free app that integrates with existing Gmail application.

Although we do need to take a break from work it is important to be able to access critical applications on the go if the need arises.

Cloud Storage (File Sharing)

Please tell me that you do not store your business files locally on your laptop or PC?

The only way to work is to have one of the cloud storage platforms setup on your working machine and are able to access it across all devices.

Check out the following options with brief explanations.

Dropbox is the best and its FREE. Its the most seamless solution on the market and simply works. However, if you start to build a team then you will need to use the paid version which is not so expensive.

Google Drive is great if you are collaborating on documents with other team members such as word or excel documents. It is free if you already have work Gmail or you can use your personal Gmail. Either way, its good but Dropbox is much more seamless when synchronising across several machines.

Cloud Accountant

If you are in business to make a profit (trust me not everyone thinks this) then you will need a committed accountant to help you understand if you are actually making a profit or if you are just turning over money.

Modern-day accountants still use traditional accounting methods, expecting to visit clients each month or the client visits the accountant to drop off his ‘books’. This is counterproductive and instead you should retain a cloud accountant such as Profits Plus Accountants.

Profits Plus Accountants are committed to providing all accounting services through Xero Cloud Accounting Software. Getting to grips with the Profit and Loss is very important to business owners and leaving it to an accountant who will produce your accounts after 15 months at the earliest is just business suicide.

Our dedicated team of qualified accountants help clients produce monthly management reports through real-time accounting solutions like Xero which offer invoicing and payment integrations.

Profits Plus Accountants

We are a British Accounting Firm based in Dubai and we help businesses navigate the FTA requirements using the most advanced cloud accounting software in the World.

We make sure that you remain 100% compliant.

As a Silver Partner of Xero Cloud Accounting Software, we have a local team based in Dubai with over 20 years of experience (collectively).

If you are looking for an accountant in Dubai then speak to Mubashir Malik, a Managing Partner at the firm. You can reach him directly on [email protected].

Note: www.profitsplus.ae is a domain belonging to Profits Accounting and Bookkeeping, an accounting and bookkeeping firm registered with Dubai Economy, Trade License No. 796316.