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2 May 20244 minute read

GCC Tax Roundup

United Arab Emirates - FTA introduces Taxpayer Charter

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has recently published a Taxpayer Charter outlining the fundamental rights and obligations of taxpayers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)1. The Taxpayer Charter ensures that taxpayers are treated with fairness, professionalism, and respect by the FTA staff, and that tax legislation is applied consistently. Taxpayers are entitled to privacy, consideration of their specific circumstances, timely responses from the FTA, and accurate information to aid compliance. They also have the right to representation by an authorized tax agent or legal representative, to appeal FTA decisions, and to lodge complaints about FTA services. On the other hand, taxpayers are obligated to fully comply with all tax laws, provide complete and accurate information as required, cooperate respectfully with FTA personnel, and assist in preventing tax evasion.

The Taxpayer Charter aims to clarify the mutual expectations between the FTA and taxpayers, promoting a transparent and efficient tax administration system. In addition to guiding taxpayer interactions with the FTA, it will be interesting to monitor whether taxpayers can directly invoke rights outlined in the Taxpayer Charter during tax procedures (e.g., as part of a reconsideration request, tax assessment review, procedure before the Tax Dispute Resolution Committee (TDRC) or federal courts).


United Arab Emirates - Emaratax UAE Pass linking

The FTA has announced a significant update to the login process for the EmaraTax Portal. Starting from 30 September 2024 it will no longer be possible for taxpayers to log into the EmaraTax Portal using their e-mail address and password. Going forward, taxpayers will need to sign in exclusively using their UAE Pass2 3. Users will be required to link their EmarTax account with the UAE Pass of a designated person within their organization. Until the September 2024 cut-off date, taxpayers can continue using their email and password credentials to access the EmaraTax Portal.

This initiative is in line with the Ministry of Finance's adoption of UAE Pass for logins, emphasizing the UAE's commitment to enhancing security and privacy for businesses. A similar update was made to the ESR portal of the Ministry of Finance in August 2023, which now also requires authentication using UAE Pass.

It is advisable for all users to familiarize themselves with the UAE Pass system ahead of time to ensure uninterrupted access to their EmaraTax accounts and to avoid any disruptions in managing their tax obligations.


United Arab Emirates - ESR reporting deadlines

Businesses with a financial year ending on 31 December must file their Economic Substance (ES) notification by 30 June 2024 (i.e., within 6 months following the end of the financial year end). They will have until 31 December 2024 to file their ES report (i.e., within 12 months following the end of the financial year end).


Saudi Arabia - New Zakat Executive Regulations approved

On 22 March 2024, the Saudi Ministry of Finance approved the new Zakat Executive Regulations by virtue of Ministerial Resolution No. (1007)4. The new Zakat rules will apply for financial years starting on or after 1 January 2024. Taxpayers may opt for retrospective application, subject to meeting certain conditions.


GCC – VAT Refunds for Non-Residents
  • Non-residents that have incurred VAT in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) during the calendar year 2023 can apply for a VAT refund until 30 June 2024.
  • Non-residents that have incurred VAT in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the calendar year 2023 can apply for a VAT refund between 1 March 2024 and 31 August 2024.
  • Non-residents that have incurred VAT in the Sultanate of Oman during the period 1 July – 31 December 2024 can apply for a VAT refund until 30 June 2024. For VAT incurred during the period 1 January – 30 June 2024, the refund window will be 1 July – 31 December 2024.

1 FTA Taxpayer Charter.
1 EmaraTax Login with UAE Pass Infographic.
1 FTA User Manual - Login to EmaraTax using UAE Pass (January 2023).
1 New Executive Regulations for Zakat Collection (Bylaws).