VAT inspectors shut down 15 Abu Dhabi businesses for using tax as excuse to hike prices

Thousands of shops and market stalls were inspected as part of 5 per cent tax roll-out

A store cashier receives payment from a customer on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at a local convenience store in Abu Dhabi. (Silvia Razgova/The National)
 currency dirham dirhams

Fifteen Abu Dhabi businesses have been shut down for using the introduction of VAT as an opportunity to hike prices.

The Department of Economic Development said retailers and companies had 'unjustifiably increased prices since the beginning of the current year', state news agency Wam reported.

Ahmed Tarish Al Qubaisi, acting director of commercial protection administration, said more than 3,500 inspections have been carried out since VAT came in on January 1.

He said that the department received 505 complaints during January, 250 of which were received in Abu Dhabi, 210 in Al Ain and 45 in Al Dhafra.

He also said consumers mainly complained about an unjustified increase in prices, the fact that the tax value was not stated in the bill and also additional increase in the price over five per cent.

Last month, officials said more than 350 customers had complained about VAT in the first two weeks of the year.

Whether it was failing to give an accurate receipt or calculating an amount that was "much higher" than the 5 per cent tax, retailers were found to have breached trading rules.

ome shops calculated an amount that was much higher than 5 per cent, while others said that the sellers did not return change to the consumer after the purchase.


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