Dubai: To mark the 100th day of value added tax (VAT) in the UAE, the Federal Tax Authority launched a scathing attack on businesses that had failed to register, whilst noting that it was pleased by compliance levels seen in tax returns.

As the authority enters its busiest month yet, with an estimated 80,000 firms preparing to file their taxes, Khalid Al Bustani, the authority’s director general, told the media that he would not tolerate tax evaders, or tax avoiders.

“We believe there are a large number of companies who have not registered yet,” the senior official said, adding that some of these may be intentional.

The FTA would “take action against” these firms, he said.

“Those who have not registered are tax evaders,” Al Bustani said, adding that he would pursue legal action against those who failed to comply.

At the same event, Al Bustani said the authority was close to selecting an operator for the UAE’s VAT refund service for tourists.

“We have tender for the selection of a tourist refund operator, and we are in the final stages now. We are waiting for the final approvals in order to finalise the contract,” he said.