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Maktoum bin Mohammed heads 1st meeting as Board Chairman of Federal Tax Authority

20 Oct, 2021

H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Chairman of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) Board of Directors, has chaired his first FTA Board meeting (the FTA Board’s third meeting of the year).

Held on Wednesday at the FTA headquarters in Dubai, the meeting saw the election of Mohamed Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, as Vice Chairman of the FTA Board of Directors.

The Board reviewed a comprehensive progress report on various ongoing development projects and the FTA’s recent achievements and agenda for the future. Additionally, the Board approved the Authority’s financial statements for the second quarter that ended on 30th June, 2021, in accordance with international accounting standards.

H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum asserted that the Authority will continue its efforts to upgrade its services with a series of development plans designed to meet the highest standards. The FTA is committed to offering its full support to business sectors and encouraging taxable persons to comply with tax legislation, most notably with the FTA’s advanced and integrated e-Services.

He also issued directives to facilitate and expedite the tax refund procedures for UAE nationals building new residences through the Authority’s e-Services in line with the UAE leadership’s vision to develop a modern housing system that caters to citizens’ needs, asserting that supporting citizens’ wellbeing is the ultimate goal of the development process in the country.

Sheikh Maktoum said, "The next stage will see the FTA further embracing the UAE’s principles for the next 50 years – the ambitious plan championed by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and envisioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The plan charts a strategic roadmap for the UAE to build a more dynamic economy, keep pace with market volatilities, and address all regional and global challenges, all in an effort to sustain and accelerate the momentum of nationwide development across all sectors."

The Key Performance Indicators (KPI) report, that the FTA Board of Directors reviewed, revealed an improvement in operational efficiency across FTA systems, which recorded a 7.9 percent increase in the number of VAT registrants to 352,590 – including individual businesses and Tax Groups – at the end of Q3 2021, compared to 326,820 by the end of the same period last year.

The report also highlighted a noticeable increase of 11.97 percent in the number of Excise Tax registrations, where the figure increased to 1,338 compared to 1,195 registered at the end of September 2020. The expansion of the tax system database continued at a rate of 10.55 percent, as the number of registered Tax Agents rose to 419, up from 379 agents at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

On another note, the report points to an increase in processing requests for Tax Refunds on Building New Residences for UAE Citizens. The FTA expedited procedures to process these requests on its electronic platform, in line with the leadership’s directives to develop a modern housing system for citizens and offer them the highest standards of living.

The report also revealed that the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme recorded notable growth this year, as global restrictions on travel that were enacted to curb the spread of COVID-19 in 2020 are gradually eased, and as the tourism sector in the UAE bounces back. The total value of the Tax Refunds applications from tourists increased by 49 percent in the first nine months of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.

The FTA Board examined another report on the results recorded in the first two stages of implementing the Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme, which seeks to prevent the sale (circulation) or possession of any kind of cigarettes, waterpipe tobacco (known in Arabic as ‘Muassel’) and electrically heated cigarette plugs that do not carry the Digital Tax Stamps in local markets. In addition, the Board was briefed on the distinctive features of the new design for Digital Tax Stamps, set to be placed on all types of cigarettes and tobacco packages instead of the design that was approved at the beginning of 2019.

The FTA’s plans continue to develop and enhance the efficiency of its operation system to ease the tax procedures applying the highest standards in the industry. The objective is to ensure these products meet the standard qualifications, are not counterfeit or smuggled, and have no remaining unsettled taxes.

As of 1st October, 2021, the Federal Tax Authority began receiving requests for Digital Tax Stamps with the new design to be placed on the packages of all types of cigarettes and other tobacco products that are allowed to be traded in the local markets and in the arrivals duty-free shops. Starting from January 2022, the FTA will begin receiving requests for Digital Tax Stamps with the other new design, this time to be placed on the packages of all types of cigarettes and other tobacco products that are allowed to be traded in the departures duty-free for passengers leaving the country.

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