How Audit Firms Can Help You to File ESR Notification & Report In Such a Short Notice?
The companies operating in the UAE (mainland, free zone & offshore) are once again facing a compulsion to meet the Economic Substance (ESR) filing requirements as the deadline is around the corner. The UAE-based companies that conduct the relevant activities need to demonstrate adequate economic substance and file the notifications and submit the reports before 31st December 2020.
Companies that have already filed the ESR notification must submit the notification again to the relevant regulatory authorities in sync with the Cabinet Resolution 57 of 2020 which updated several clauses in the previous law. Since the deadline is approaching fast, many companies are floundering to get prepared. Seeking expert assistance of reputed audit firms in Dubai, UAE is the most reliable route to ensure your business entity is complying with the ESR filing requirements. You also need to ensure that your company is aware of the following requirements to be on the right side of the law.
ESR Filing Deadlines
In the updated ESR scenario, businesses that fall within the scope of the regulation must execute the ESR filings through an online portal operated by the UAE Ministry of Finance. The companies with the financial year commencing on or after 1st January 2019 and ending on or before 30th June 2020 must consider the deadline as 31st December 2020. The deadline is the same for those companies with the financial year starting on or after 1st January 2019 and ending on or before 31st December 2019. Your trusted audit firms in Dubai have more clarity on the reporting period, and deadlines and they will ensure that your business abides with the obligations.
Insights on Updated Definitions
A significant area where you need to focus before sending the ESR notifications or returns is the change in the definitions of key terms. For example, a Licensee now means any corporate entity incorporated inside or outside the UAE or an unincorporated partnership in the UAE that conducts a Relevant Activity. Natural persons, sole proprietors, trusts and foundations that were earlier considered as Licensees under the ESR no longer meet the scope of ESR.
Updated Notification & Reporting Requirements
Companies that file the ESR notifications now need to furnish additional details such as the jurisdiction of the Parent Company, Ultimate Parent Company, and Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) who claim to be tax resident. Apart from that, the licensees that are required to file the ESR Report must submit a copy of financial statements. Audit firm in Dubai provides services related to the UBO mainly assistance in maintaining the Real Beneficiary Register. Such assistance gives great leeway to the companies as they can easily submit the UBO details in the ESR reports.
Eases the ESR Filing Requirement for Companies
Article 8 of the Cabinet Resolution 57 of 2020 sheds light on the notification and reporting requirements that the entities must meet to comply with the ESR. It states that every Licensee is now required to file annual ESR notification to the relevant Regulatory Authority. Audit firms in Dubai will assist you in filling the notification with the following mandatory details :
1. Whether the business entity has carried out a relevant activity or not
2. Whether the company has generated any income from the relevant activity
The notification will be filed through the Ministry of Finance’s dedicated online portal. The notification will be processed between the regulatory authorities and the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), which is the National Assessing Authority for the ESR.
The FTA, in its capacity as a National Assessing Authority, will oversee compliance and control of the Updated ESR. FTA, among other things, will also assess if the Licensee has met the Economic Substance Test. It will also decide the necessary course of action to follow if your entity fails to meet the ESR test.
A Helping Hand to Avoid Penalties
Incurring penalties for ESR non-compliance is an undesirable scenario for the smooth functioning of your companies in the UAE. Availing the bespoke services of the UAE audit firms would save the businesses from the hefty penalties.
Here is the list of penalties as per the Cabinet Resolution 57 of 2020 :
1. Companies that fail to submit the annual notifications, or any other mandatory documents/ information will have to pay a penalty of AED 20,000
2. Filing inaccurate information on the notification or ESR Return attracts an administrative fine of AED 50,000.
3. Companies would face a penalty of AED 50,000 if they fail to file Economic Substance Returns or fail to meet the Economic Substance Test.
Penalties of this range could hurt the reputation of the companies apart from hitting them financially. Repeated violations would also lead to license cancellations which makes it necessary for the companies to file the ESR notifications on time.