Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum chaired a virtual meeting of the FTA Board of Directors. WAM
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) Board of Directors, chaired by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, and Chairman of the Authority’s Board of Directors, approved a number of executive decisions related to the Authority’s operational activities and organisational and administrative policies during its 13th meeting.
The Authority’s financial statements for the period covering the first quarter ending on 31st March, and the period ending on June 30th, 2020, were approved. This was in accordance with the international accounting standards related to reviewing the quarterly financial statements.
During the virtual meeting, the Board reviewed indicators of FTA’s performance adopted by the Authority in all areas relevant to its activities during the first nine months of 2020, including registration systems, filing returns, tax refunds for groups legally qualified to recover, such as UAE nationals’ homebuilders refund, tax refunds for tourists and for foreign business visitors.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid confirmed that the reports reviewed during the meeting showed that the Authority continues to maintain its distinguished performance across all activities, while continuing its development plans to upgrade its services in accordance with the best standards to achieve customer happiness.
Sheikh Hamdan stated: “Official indicators show that the Authority’s operations have achieved several positive results this year thus far. Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Authority has continued to implement its targeted projects with impressive completion rates.”
He added: “The Authority continued to implement its plans to encourage tax compliance, raise Taxable business registration rates, and combat tax evasion while also continuing to provide all means of support to help business sectors comply with tax regulations and procedures. Several virtual awareness meetings were held with the Authority’s partners in the government and private sectors, in addition to providing the Authority’s services remotely through its fully-fledged electronic system to maintain public health and social distancing to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and to ensure the continuity of the efficiency of the services provided.”
During its meeting, the Board reviewed a report on the Authority’s achievements and the development of existing projects, which showed improvement in compliance levels and a noticeable increase in tax registration rates, detailing that the total number of registrants with the Authority have increased during 2020 to 339.89 thousand registrants, as compared to 321.54 thousand registered at the end of 2019, a growth of 5.71 per cent. This is also noticeable in the number of registered VAT registrants have reached 338.7 thousand registered businesses and tax groups and their members during 2020, compared to 320.44 thousand registered at the end of 2019, a growth of 5.7 per cent. The number of those registered for excise tax reached 1195 registrants during 2020, against 1,100 registrants during 2019, a growth of 8.6 per cent. According to the report, the customer base in the tax system has continued to expand. The number of tax agents increased to 379, compared to 355 by the end of 2019, with a growth of 6.76 per cent.
The report also showed that the Authority approved new homebuilders refund, with a value of Dhs64.1 million during the third quarter of this year, with a significant quarterly growth of 31.15 per cent. This is compared to a total value of Dhs205.8 million at the end of the first half of 2020. As the total value of homebuilder’s refund requests had reached Dhs269.9 million since the implementation of this mechanism in September 2018 until the end of September 2019, with a record growth during the first nine months of 2020, amounting to 210.23 per cent in the value of the refunded tax.
During the past nine months, new applications were approved at a value of Dhs182.9 million, compared to Dhs87 million from the beginning of the application process until the end of 2019.
The report indicated that the total number of tax clarifications issued by the Authority for business sectors during the first nine months of 2020 amounted to 280 tax clarifications; 7 of them being general clarifications that were issued and published on the Authority’s website, and 273 private clarifications to taxable persons. The taxpayer services department of the Authority received 39.72 thousand calls and 10.1 thousand inquiries via email during the third quarter of 2020, and the necessary measures were taken regarding all telephone and digital inquiries.
The report reviewed the Federal Tax Authority’s preparations to implement the final step of the second phase of the ‘Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme’, whereby it would prohibit the distribution of all types of water pipe tobacco and electronically heated cigarettes that are not identified with Digital Tax Stamps within the country as of 1st January, 2021, after the implementation of this step was postponed from June 1, 2020 within the framework of the facilities provided by the Authority to support those registered in the tax system to fulfil their tax obligations, and to ensure business continuity in light of the precautionary measures that the concerned authorities in the country have taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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