The UAE Ministry of Finance unveiled amendments to some provision of the Federal Decree-Law No 7 of 2017 on Excise Tax, effective from 14th October 2022.

The amendments of some provisions of the law aim at supporting the business sector, facilitating fulfilment of obligations for taxable persons, minimising tax avoidance, and addressing challenges related to the application of the excise tax.

The Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2022 on the Amendment of Some Provisions of the Federal Decree-Law No. 7 of 2017 on Excise Tax includes the following new amendments:

1. Persons importing excise goods for purposes other than conducting business will be excepted from tax registration, while remaining liable to pay the relevant excise tax on the import. Additional amendment to the same Article requires that application for exemption from tax registration shall be submitted prior to the import activity and not when the tax is due.

2. A new Clause has been added confirming that any person who receives an amount as tax or issues an invoice reflecting tax, must settle such amount to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA), and the amount be treated with the same treatment determined for due tax. Therefore, a person subject to tax shall pay the amounts he receives as tax to the FTA, even in cases where the tax was applied by mistake or evasion.

Provisions for the statute of limitation relating to tax audits, tax assessments and permissible time-frames to submit a voluntary disclosure have been added. The Statute of Limitation Article sets the maximum time-frame in which the FTA – which is responsible for the enforcement of Excise Tax – can act. Once this period expires, the FTA is generally precluded from taking actions. Generally, the FTA may not conduct a tax audit or issue a tax assessment to a taxable person after the expiration of 5 years from the end of the relevant tax period. In accordance with the provisions, there are exceptions to that general rule.

The new Federal Decree-Law includes other amendments. In accordance with the Decree, the amendments are effective from 14th October 2022.

More information is available through the following link Tax Legislation – Ministry of Finance – United Arab Emirates (mof.gov.ae).