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The reverse charging mechanism

Taxes are an important aspect of the country’s commercial ecology. Authorities used the money they gathered in taxes to upgrade company infrastructure and invest in a variety of social programs. Taxation is one of the most important considerations for international investors when choosing a country to invest in. Simply lowering taxes will not be enough to entice businesses to invest in a country. Other variables include the creation of foolproof tax policies and their effective implementation. VAT and other taxes collected by the Federal and Emirati governments are paid by businesses in the UAE.

About Reverse Charge

The customer bears the cost of paying VAT to the government authority under the Reverse Charge Mechanism. Under the Reverse Charge Mechanism provision of the UAE VAT Law, the buyer (typically the importer) pays the tax to the FTA. As a result, the provider (typically an unregistered foreign supplier) is exempt from paying tax on products imported into the UAE.

Only purchases made outside of the UAE are eligible for the reverse charge method. The rule does not apply to purchases purchased from local suppliers. As a result, businesses must examine each import to see if the reverse charge mechanism is appropriate and then handle it properly.

Furthermore, when the provider is not a taxable person, the reverse charge mechanism ensures that VAT is collected on products or services (mostly a foreign company). The supply must come from the UAE and its territories.

Requirements to Apply for Reverse Charge Mechanism

To use the reverse charge process, the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • The buyer company that receives the goods or services must be registered for VAT in the UAE.
  • Companies must keep all valid records of the supplies eligible for the Reverse Charge mechanism for a fixed period as specified by FTA
  • All applicable Invoices, receipts, and refund vouchers must specify if the tax paid under reverse charge mechanism in their respective transactions. 

Purchases Applicable under Reverse Charge

Certain scenarios under which the reverse charge mechanism is used are clearly defined in the UAE VAT Law. As a result, the clause applies to the following situations:

  • On import of goods or services from other GCC member and non-member countries. The seller of the products should be based in another country. The seller may or may not have a business registered for VAT in the UAE. 
  • When goods purchased from a designated Freezone
  • On supply of precious metals such as gold and diamonds
  • On purchase of metals such as gold and diamonds for resale or further manufacture
  • On supply of hydrocarbons for resale from the seller to a registered buyer in the UAE
  • On supply of crude/refined oil by a seller to a registered buyer in the UAE
  • On supply of processed/unprocessed natural gas by a supplier to a registered buyer in the UAE
  • On production and distribution of energy supplied by a seller to a registered buyer the UAE On import of concerned goods and services for business purpose

Due to a lack of appropriate understanding concerning the provision of the Reverse Charge Mechanism, many enterprises in the UAE frequently fail to register the aforementioned transactions on VAT returns. However, firms will be able to comply with the FTA standards with the help of trained and experienced VAT consultancy companies.

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