Value Added Tax (VAT)

Filing a tax return for VAT

At the end of each tax period, VAT registered businesses or the ‘taxable persons’ must submit a ‘VAT return’ to Federal Tax Authority (FTA). A VAT return summarises the value of the supplies and purchases a taxable person has made during the tax period, and shows the taxable person’s VAT liability.

Liability of VAT

The liability of VAT is the difference between the output tax payable (VAT charged on supplies of goods and services) for a given tax period and the input tax (VAT incurred on purchases) recoverable for the same tax period.

Where the output tax exceeds the input tax amount, the difference must be paid to FTA. Where the input tax exceeds the output tax, a taxable person will have the excess input tax recovered; he will be entitled to set this off against subsequent payment due to FTA.

How to file VAT return?

You must file for tax return electronically through the FTA portal: eservices.tax.gov.ae. Before filing the VAT return form on the portal, make sure you have met all tax returns requirements. The following guideline shows you four steps to register a VAT return.

  • must charge VAT on taxable goods or services they supply
  • may reclaim any VAT they have paid on business-related goods or services
  • keep a range of business records which will allow the government to check that they have got things right.

When are businesses required to file VAT return?

Taxable businesses must file VAT returns with FTA on a regular basis and usually within 28 days of the end of the ‘tax period’ as defined for each type of business. A ‘tax period’ is a specific period of time for which the payable tax shall be calculated and paid. The standard tax period is:

  • quarterly for businesses with an annual turnover below AED150 million
  • monthly for businesses with an annual turnover of AED150 million or more.

The FTA may, at its choice, assign a different tax period for certain type of businesses.

Failure to file a tax return

Failure to file a tax return within the specified timeframe will make the violator liable for fines as per the provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 40 of 2017 on Administrative Penalties for Violations of Tax Laws in the UAE.