UAE's Federal Tax Authority says companies only need Tax Registration Number to carry out business

Authority says businesses don’t need tax certificate to conduct commercial activity

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 21 DECEMBER 2017. Shopping in Dubai Mall before the implementation of VAT across the UAE. VAT Signage at SharafDG stores. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: None. Section: National.

The UAE's Federal Tax Authority said on Saturday that local businesses don't need to present a tax certificate to carry out  their commercial activities and can use their Tax Registration Number (TRNs) for VAT purposes.

“The provisional TRNs are sufficient for conducting business and verifying the legal status and compliance of taxable persons,” the Federal Tax Authority said in a statement.

“They do not, however, allow for issuing the tax certificate, which becomes available once the final TRN has been issued. The Authority had issued these provisional TRNs to help businesses comply with tax regulations and to ensure operations are not disrupted.”

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Earlier this month, the tax authority called on businesses who haven't registered for VAT to do so to avoid fines and legal proceedings.

The UAE began implementing 5 per cent VAT on January 1, but some businesses have failed to register for the levy.

Khalid Al Bustani, the director general of the FTA, said in August that an estimated 350,000 companies were subject to VAT and should register before December 4. Online registration for VAT began in September, but experts say many businesses have waited till the publication of the VAT executive regulations in November before they began the registration process.

The Federal Tax Authority said that businesses that submitted registration applications after the deadline set by the authority last December were given provisional TRNs to let them conduct business and be in compliance with their tax obligations. Those business have to complete their tax registration and give authorities all necessary documents and fix errors.

The authority said that the tax registration certificate can't be printed or downloaded using the provisional TRN. The FTA said its website does allow individuals to verify the TRN number of any company registered with it for VAT purposes.

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