No delay to UAE's VAT launch despite plea, says tax chief

Khaled Al Bustani, director general of the Federal Tax Authority, says VAT will start as planned on Jan 1 2018
By Staff writer
Wed 29 Nov 2017 01:10 PM

The UAE is fully committed to introducing VAT on January 1 despite calls for it to be put back by a senior banker, it was announced on Wednesday.

Khaled Al Bustani, director general of the Federal Tax Authority, said in an interview with Arabian Radio Network that there would be no delay to its implementation.

He also said the authority is seeing a surge in registrations as the deadline for companies to register for VAT looms.

His comments come just days after AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, called for the VAT launch to be postponed.

He claimed financial institutions in the UAE are not yet ready and needed more time to prepare.

But Al Bustani insisted there "is no discussion" about delaying agreements to bring in the new tax in the new year, adding that the law surrounding VAT clearly states that January 1 2018 is the start date.

Al Ghurair told reporters on the sidelines of a banking event held in Abu Dhabi last week that "neither banks, nor insurance companies are ready”. He added: “We need at least six months from the time we receive all the detailed implementing regulations to be ready, along with details for each sector, and how to calculate the tax for each product.”

Earlier this month, Al Bustani said the cooperation from the business sector had been "commendable", as businesses and institutions took advantage to meet their tax obligations and ensure full and perfect compliance with the VAT system.

A business will be required to register if the total value of its taxable supplies made within the UAE exceeds the mandatory registration threshold of AED375,000 over the previous 12-month period.

A business may choose to register for VAT voluntarily if their supplies and imports are below the mandatory registration threshold, but exceed the voluntary registration threshold of AED187,500.

Tax registration can be done through the Federal Tax Authority’s website, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at

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