Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Economy and The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) on Sunday launched an “integrated programme” to prevent businesses from taking advantage of VAT to increase prices and protect consumers’ rights and prevent profiteering.
The announcement was made at a meeting attended by Eng. Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy; Khalid Al Bustani, Director-General of the FTA; and representatives of the Economic Development Departments and other entities responsible for protecting consumer rights in the country.
Preventing businesses from taking advantage of the introduction of VAT to increase prices was the main subject on the agenda.
The meeting concluded with the adoption of an integrated program that will allow FTA and the Ministry to cooperate with other authorities to detect tax violations and take the required measures against violators, as well as to educate consumers about their rights.
The framework includes joint awareness campaigns on taxable and exempt products, as well as requirements for invoices issued by shops and outlets offering taxable services.
Furthermore, a co-operation agreement between the FTA and economic departments was signed during the meeting to monitor markets and allow inspectors in these departments to verify the authenticity of the Tax Registration Numbers (TRN) printed on invoices, and coordinate regarding violations to take the necessary actions.
Al Shehhi said: “This meeting is part of the ministry’s efforts to safeguard the rights of consumers and protect them from profiteering, as well as preventing businesses from using the introduction of VAT to make unjustified price increases. Therefore, and in partnership with the Federal Tax Authority and other stakeholders, the ministry supports efforts made by all parties to protect consumers’ rights in accordance with UAE’s strategic vision”.
In his comments, Al Bustani said: “The efforts made by the Ministry of Economy towards protecting consumers are a crucial step in establishing systematic and accurate supervision of the market, as well as ensuring the implementation of the tax system according to the highest global standards, helping the UAE achieve sustainable development and boosting the performance of key sectors for the good of the entire society”.
The FTA urged consumers to check invoices issued by UAE businesses to make sure:
“Tax Invoice” displayed
Tax Registration Number
Price includes VAT
The amount of tax charged
The FTA also urged citizens and residents to be wary of uninformed and unreliable sources circulating misleading information about VAT.
The FTA emphasizes on the importance of referencing and checking accurate sources of information, such as the statements issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Authority; through the FTA’s official website: www.tax.gov.ae and through the official social media account handle @uaetax.