UAE: The transformational projects of the Federal Tax Authority achieve outstanding outcomes

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) declared on Monday that the revolutionary projects it launched earlier this year, the Muwafaq package and the Specialised Tax Agent, have produced outstanding results and significantly streamlined taxpayers' compliance processes.

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In accordance with the UAE Government's new strategy, the Authority launched these projects as part of its strategy to support the government's efforts to develop significant and swift transformational projects that pave the way for new landmarks in the national economy across various government sectors.

The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) market is intended to benefit from the Muwafaq package, which attempts to simplify business procedures and tax compliance. The project offers cutting-edge tax solutions to help and empower young people in the industry, enabling them to play an active role in a variety of sectors, including the economy. The Specialised tax agent project, meanwhile, aims to create a process that enables taxpayers to choose a tax agent specialising in the appropriate sector from a list of 10 distinct sectors, identified based on the collective experiences of certified tax agents registered with the Authority, depending on the nature of the taxable activity in each case.

"The indicators recorded as of late reflect the positive impact of the initiatives, and their role in creating a procedural environment that encourages and facilitates self-compliance with tax regulations," said Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director-General of the FTA. This is in line with the Authority's plan to support government initiatives aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE, which calls for stepping up efforts to upgrade government services sustainably.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the Federal Tax Authority
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the Federal Tax Authority

Al Bustani continued, "The Federal Tax Authority is committed to continually upgrading its services to fulfil taxpayer expectations and improve their experiences by broadening the breadth of cutting-edge tax compliance solutions. "These solutions are based on suggestions recorded through direct communication with taxpayers, whom the Authority seeks to involve in the continuous development and upgrading of its services, in accordance with the highest quality standards, most notably, reducing time and effort in concluding transactions," the authority said.

The FTA emphasised that the 'Muwafaq package''s' various services, incentives, and privileges are available to more than 51,660 taxpayers from the SMEs sector via the EmaraTax digital tax services platform.

The Authority pointed out that among the features and services offered through the "Muwafaq package" are access to tax accounting software and programmes at affordable prices to lessen the financial burdens on SMEs; immediate meetings with tax relationship managers; special discounts on tax agent services; priority for registered SME representatives when completing certain services; and workshops for registered SMEs to introduce them to the FTA's services and future direction.

The FTA stated that the series of awareness workshops, including virtual sessions, that the FTA organised, along with the intensive media campaigns that were well received among SMEs registered with the Authority and were intended to encourage them to take advantage of the services and privileges the package has to offer, have increased awareness of the benefits of the Muwafaq package.

More than 1,700 representatives of SMEs attended the 10 workshops about the Muwafaq package that the Authority held in each of the seven emirates. Additionally, FTA personnel made more than 16,400 direct sales calls to registered SMEs in the first seven months of 2023 to explain the elements of the package.

In an effort to provide more advantages and facilities to businesses registered in the package, the FTA has stepped up its efforts to broaden the base of its strategic partners in the Muwafaq package initiative. To do this, it has signed cooperation agreements with top local and international entities and institutions in a variety of fields, including trade, banking, communications, digital services, and accounting software. The FTA signed collaboration agreements with the Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Emirates Development Bank, and Etisalat by e& to offer a package of benefits and privileges under the Muwafaq package initiative. Etisalat by e& offers a support package to entice Muwafaq registrants to adhere to tax regulations.

The Specialised tax agent strives to offer adaptable, understandable, and exact online processes that let consumers select a tax agent that specialises in their particular industry or taxable economic activity. Compared to the number of operations reported over the preceding five years, the service has seen a remarkable increase of over 15% in the number of online contacts between registered taxpayers and licenced tax agents since its introduction.

UAE Federal Tax Authority
UAE Federal Tax Authority

The FTA also added that the increase in visitors to the Authority's website's register of licenced tax agents—70,000 visits were registered during the first half of 2023, compared to 6,700 visits in 2022—is one of the initiative's main success indicators. Additionally, 2023 saw record growth thanks to the implementation of the Specialised tax agent service.

The Authority emphasised the fact that 319 tax agents—or more than 70% of all agents registered with the FTA—have enrolled in the Specialised Tax Agent Database. According to the Authority, the initiative aims to increase taxpayer satisfaction with tax agents' services. To use the service, go to the FTA website's accredited tax agent's registry, select the filtering option to choose the right specialisation or sector, and then select one of the agents listed in that sector from the list.

Businesses subject to Value Added Tax (VAT), small and medium-sized enterprises (Muwafaq package), tax refunds for UAE citizens on the construction of new homes, as well as on the construction and operation of mosques, are among the sectors into which registered tax agents are divided. Agents with expertise in government entities, nonprofits, non-resident (foreign) firms, real estate owners, excise tax registration, registering warehouse keepers and designating regions, and corporation tax are also included on the list.

To inform taxpayers and tax agents about the significance and features of the Specialised tax agent initiative, the Federal Tax Authority sponsored a number of awareness seminars and coordination meetings. Additionally, the Authority ran many media campaigns to promote and detail the service's procedures.

In order to differentiate tax agents, specialisations were added based on prior expertise in particular industries or tax services. Agents can select the industries or tax services under which they want to be categorised by submitting supporting papers, such as letters of recommendation from taxpayers and certifications of prior expertise. Tax agents who want to be included in the initiative might choose to add the specialism.

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