FTA to hold tax clinics to promote compliance
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced a new campaign to communicate directly with businesses.
The campaign kicks off on Sunday, August 12, 2018, in Ras Al Khaimah, before moving on to Fujairah and then the rest of the emirates for a duration of three months, where representatives from the Authority will be present at the Clinic to answer taxpayer queries regarding registration with the FTA and other tax obligations.
A team of experts from the FTA’s registration and taxpayer services will go on an extensive tour, the first stage of which will take place from August 12 to 14 in Ras Al Khaimah, moving on to Fujairah from August 26 to 28, then Um Al Quwain from September 2 to 4, and Ajman on September 9 to 11, 2018.
The campaign will be returning to Ras Al Khaimah on September 16 and 18, moving on to Sharjah on September 23 and 25, then Fujairah again on September 30 to October 2, Um Al Quwain from October 7 to 9, Ajman from October 14 to 16, back to Fujairah on October 21 to 23, before concluding with a third and final stop in Ras Al Khaimah on October 28-30.
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director-general, FTA, said the experts conducting the Tax Clinic will address all tax concerns raised by representatives of taxable businesses, answer their queries and address the challenges that face them. They will provide guidance with regards to registering for VAT, preparing and submitting tax returns, paying due taxes and avoiding the most common mistakes or technical difficulties associated with these responsibilities.
The experts will also distribute educational and awareness publications issued by the Authority to explain systems and procedures and answer frequently asked questions.
Banks fined depositors Dh2.7b for not maintaining minimum account balance
As many as 21 public sector banks and three major private sector lenders collected a whopping Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) from customers for non-maintenance of minimum balance in their accounts in 2017-18, according to banking data.
India’s largest lender State Bank of India, which suffered a staggering net loss of Rs 6,547 crore during 2017-18, led the pack in penalising its customers for not maintaining minimum account balance. The government-owned SBI, which re-introduced the penalty on deposits going below monthly average balance basis from April 2017, collected nearly half the amount raised by the 24 banks put together (Rs 4,989.55 crore).
But for the additional income of Rs 2,433.87 crore under this head, SBI’s losses would have soared further.
After SBI, the largest amount of charges for not maintaining minimum balance during 2017-18 was collected by HDFC Bank. It charged its customers Rs 590.84 crore, which is lower than Rs 619.39 crore in 2016-17, the data revealed.
Axis Bank collected Rs 530.12 crore in the last fiscal while ICICI Bank charged Rs 317.6 crore.
SBI was charging the penalty on failure to maintain monthly average balance requirement till 2012 and again re-introduced it from April 1, 2017.
Following the criticism, SBI reduced charges with effect from October 1, 2017.
According to the RBI norms, banks are permitted to levy service/miscellaneous charges.
Customers opening accounts under Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) scheme as well as Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna are not required to maintain any minimum balance.
VAT drives 20,000 UAE firms into digital accounting
Since the launch of value-added tax (VAT), more than 20,000 small businesses in the UAE have shifted from manual to digital accounting following the mandate issued by UAE government to submit tax returns online, said a top official.
Digital accounting has become imperative for countries worldwide. It not only facilitates operational and cost efficiencies, but also ensures better security, speed and reduced errors. Making VAT digital makes way for a modern and fast service which help businesses get their compliance right, reduces the tax gap, as well as plummets the cost, uncertainty and worry that businesses face while filing returns,” said Vikas Panchal, business head at Tally Solutions in the Middle East.
The UAE recently implemented value-added tax (VAT) beginning January 1, 2018. Tally Solutions – a leading international accounting and compliance software provider help businesses comply with the new law by creating awareness on the importance of maintaining proper accounting records as well as facilitating the ease of filing returns through its automated software Tally.ERP 9 Release 6.4. Trusted by more than 1.2 million businesses globally, Tally Solutions already includes a list of 50,000 satisfied clients across GCC, a company statement said.
“Ever since VAT was introduced in the UAE, companies have moved from pen and paper and scaled up their computing processes to be able to match up to UAE’s digital processes. Digitalisation has helped businesses to manage timely and accurate record-keeping, whilst preventing errors associated with manual processes. While digital accounting facilitates regulation it also allows businesses to access tax information in a single place, file returns online from any place and deliver improvements in business process,” added Panchal.
While automated accounting will have a significant impact on the way authorities collect, administer and enforce tax, it also helps resolve issues faster, making the tax system more sophisticated than ever before.
FTA launches Tax Clinic to communicate with businesses
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced a new campaign as part of its efforts to communicate directly and consistently with businesses. The “Tax Clinic” seeks to increase the number of registered taxable businesses and promote compliance with the timely submission of Tax Returns and payment of due taxes.
The campaign kicks off on Sunday, August 12, 2018, in Ras Al Khaimah, before moving on to Fujairah and then the rest of the emirates for a duration of three months, where representatives from the Authority will be present to answer taxpayer queries regarding registration with the FTA and other tax obligations, encouraging those who have yet to register for Value Added Tax (VAT) to promptly do so in order to avoid administrative penalties. The experts will also introduce attendees to the procedures required for submitting accurate Tax Returns and settling due taxes.
A team of analysts and experts from the FTA’s Registration and Taxpayer Services will go on an extensive tour, the first stage of which will take place on August 12-14 in Ras Al Khaimah, moving on to Fujairah on August 26-28, then Um Al Quwain on September 2-4, and Ajman on September 9-11, 2018.
The campaign will be returning to Ras Al Khaimah on September 16-18, moving on to Sharjah on September 23-25, then Fujairah again on September 30-October 2, Um Al Quwain on October 7-9, Ajman on October 14-16, back to Fujairah on October 21-23, before concluding with a third and final stop in Ras Al Khaimah on October 28-30, 2018.
FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said: “The Federal Tax Authority has always been adamant to reach out to businesses subject to the UAE tax system in any way possible. To that end, we launched the ‘Tax Clinic’ as a new and innovative campaign to spread tax awareness among all business sectors, particularly, small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”
The FTA called on businesses to attend the “Tax Clinic” and benefit from the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.