Khalid Ali Al Bustani Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

ABU DHABI: The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has called on businesses registered in the Value Added Tax (VAT) system whose tax period ended on August 31, 2018, to submit their tax returns as soon as possible and not wait until the deadline to avoid any delays.

The Authority stressed the need to submit tax returns and settle due taxes no later than Sunday, September 30 2018. The FTA reminded that according to Federal Decree-Law No. (8) for 2017 on VAT and its executive regulations, tax returns must be submitted to the FTA no later than the 28th of the month following the end of the tax period in question, and according to Federal Law No. (7) of 2017 on tax procedures, the deadline shall be extended to the next working day if the 28th falls on an official holiday.

The FTA urged businesses to ensure the accuracy of the information and data they are including in the tax returns, reminding them that submitting returns containing mistakes — or past their deadline — exposes taxable persons to administrative penalties.

FTA Director-General Khalid Ali Al Bustani has urged registered businesses to settle their taxes well ahead of the deadline to allow the funds to reach the Authority on time. He explained that processing online payments and transfers takes time on the part of the banks, cautioning that waiting till the last minute to settle payments would lead to delays.

“The timely submission of tax returns and payment of due taxes is a legal obligation for taxable persons to abide by in order to ensure compliance with tax laws,” he noted. “With that in mind, it is important for registered businesses to verify their tax periods and their deadlines for submitting tax returns and settling due taxes by accessing the e-Services portal on the FTA website: eservices.tax.gov.ae. Businesses whose tax period ended on August 31, 2018, can submit their returns immediately and then settle their due taxes before the deadline. The two steps are not required to be fulfilled simultaneously.”

Al Bustani went on to note that Tax Return submission and tax payment procedures are available round the clock via the Authority’s website. Users simply need to log onto the e-Services portal on the FTA website, click on the “VAT” tab to access the tax return form, fill it out and then click “submit”. Due taxes can then be paid via the “My Payments” tab, he added, noting that registered business can, at any time, consult the FTA-accredited Tax Agents listed on the website.

According to a press release of the FTA, past few days have witnessed an increase in the number of tax returns submitted — and due taxes settled — by registered businesses whose tax period ended on August 31, 2018, and the upcoming few days (until the end of September) are expected to register further increases in submissions, reflecting the increased tax awareness among businesses as the VAT systems marks more than eight months of being implemented.