UAE tax authority launches new website to help prepare businesses for VAT

Businesses can register online for excise tax from mid-September

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Ð July 15: Dirham is the currency of the United Arab Emirates. UAE dirham was introduced in 1973. (Pawan Singh / The National) *** Local Caption ***  PS06- DIRHAMS.jpg
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The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched a new website designed to help businesses prepare for the upcoming introduction of excise and value added tax (VAT).

The FTA's new website,, contains information on the published legislation related to excise and VAT, advice and guidance for businesses on the new taxes, a series of frequently asked questions, as well as details on training sessions and webinars conducted by the FTA for businesses around the UAE.

Business owners will be able to pre-register their companies for excise tax and VAT on the website from the middle of September.


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“Implementing taxes in the UAE serves to diversify and, as a result, strengthen our economy,” said Khalid Al Bustani, the FTA’s director general.

“This requires that all stakeholders step up and demonstrate their readiness to effectively and efficiently adopt the new systems and procedures. The website will help them in this journey, providing them with the information they need.”

The UAE last week published the law on excise taxes relating to tobacco as well as energy and fizzy drinks, ahead of the introduction of tariffs from October 1.

The law will impose an excise tariff of 100 per cent on tobacco and energy drinks and 50 per cent on sugary drinks. The FTA estimates that around 250 companies in the UAE will be impacted by the excise tax.

The UAE is expected to be the second country in the Arabian Gulf to introduce excise taxes after Saudi Arabia began implementing the tax at the same rates in June this year.

Legislation relating to the introduction of VAT at 5 per cent in the UAE is expected to be published by the end of September. Implementing regulations, which will provide more detail on taxable goods, are due before the end of the year.

The introduction of VAT and excise taxes are expected to boost the inflation rate by a one-off 1.4 per cent, Mr Al Bustani said this month.

The International Monetary Fund meanwhile expects the introduction of VAT across the GCC to boost the region's GDP by about 1.5 per cent.