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Fri 27 Jul 2018 01:28 AM

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Many Saudi, UAE firms still unsure about VAT - survey

ACCA & Thomson Reuters VAT Return Filing and Compliance survey finds many companies were still confused about what is required of them and require further clarification

Many Saudi, UAE firms still unsure about VAT - survey

Many businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia still seem unsure about some aspects of the VAT regime, more than six months after it was implemented, according to a new survey.

The ACCA & Thomson Reuters VAT Return Filing and Compliance survey found many companies were still confused about what is required of them and require further clarification.

The survey also found that there were numerous organisations that highlighted they had not yet filed their returns (at the time of interview).

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA said: “It seems almost universally clear, while not explicitly stated in the survey responses, that businesses view VAT filing as a chance to find out whether they are indeed filing correctly and are thus compliant.

"There is a lot of insecurity around what is and is not correct – leading us to believe that the details of VAT compliance and reporting still remain slightly ambiguous."

He said the findings also highlighted that a number of businesses have chosen to outsource their VAT projects which have resulted in an additional cost to the business.

“In an ideal world, tax collection should not add an extra layer of cost to the business or collecting agent. However, we do see from the survey that several businesses did choose to outsource their VAT compliance at significant expense, which could impact SMEs’ margins and stability,” he added.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Zakat and Tax registered over 3,000 VAT violations in January and February while it has also been reported that the UAE’s Federal Tax Authority had begun auditing firms’ compliance efforts following the first VAT return submission deadline.

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