In our daily life, whenever we buy goods or avail any kind of service, we end up paying Value Added Tax (VAT). Have you ever thought why do we need to pay an extra amount even after paying the mentioned amount for a product or a service? Why is this concept accepted internationally? Well, let’s have a look on what VAT, VAT accounting is all about and why is it essential.

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax on the use of goods or services and is considered as an indirect tax to be paid by the ultimate customer. Now when it comes to the business front, there exists a receivable and payable VAT. The VAT collected through the sale of goods are to be paid to the government. On the other hand, the VAT paid while purchases are to be received from the government. Globally more than 150 countries have accepted the VAT concept. The different types of VAT are:

1. Input VAT

Input VAT is charged when any goods are purchased or services are rendered; and if a buyer is registered with the VAT tax authorities, they can deduct the amount from his/her settlement.

2. Output VAT

Output VAT is directly calculated and charged on the sale of goods and services delivered.

VAT accounting is an accounting process that deals with the VAT segment of a business entity. It becomes essential for every taxable person to maintain a book of records under UAE Tax Law, and it requires detailed documentation. It helps to identify the consumption tax that needs to be paid on time, lowers the tax burden and maintenance of such records have become a mandate at a global level.

VAT Accounting in UAE

The UAE, a part of GCC countries, have agreed on the principle regarding implementation of the VAT. The GCC countries have signed an agreement known as the Unified VAT Agreement (UVAT). An added benefit behind the acceptance of this concept was to dilute the dependency of the entire country on oil and other hydrocarbon products. This gave birth to VAT Accounting in UAE and is also considered as another source of revenue. The proposed rate of VAT in UAE is 5% initiated on 1st January 2018.

Classification of UAE VAT

There are 3 kinds of VAT rate in the UAE:

1. Standard Rate

Most of the goods and services have been taxed at the standard rate of 5%. These include electronic items, automobiles, fuel, jewellery, food & beverage, apparels, entertainment services, cosmetics, restaurants & hotels, commercial leasing, construction, etc.

2. Zero Rate

For certain categories of goods and services, VAT is charged at zero rate, i.e., such items are taxable but with a zero rate. Items under this bracket include export of goods or services, international transportation of goods and passengers, supply of certain means of transport, supply or import of investment precious metals (of 99% purity or more), residential buildings, buildings used by charities, certain education services, and certain healthcare services.

3. Exempt

VAT is not applicable for goods and services falling under this category. It includes financial services, certain residential buildings, bare land, and local passenger transportation.

VAT Registration in UAE

Any business whose taxable supplies and imports exceed AED 375,000 must register for VAT. Voluntary registration is also applicable if the amount exceeds AED 187,500. Each individual or business entity is provided with a Tax Registration Number (TRN) which consist of 15 digits.

Essential Documents for VAT Accounting

Any business needs to submit a set of documents in order to initiate the process of VAT Accounting. The set of essential documents includes:

  • Record of all supplies and imports of goods
  • Tax credit notes and alternative documents
  • All tax invoices
  • Reports of goods exported
  • Taxable supplies received or made
  • Due on tax supplies
  • Recoverable tax supplies or imports

Apart from these, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) can also ask for certain details like Annual Account details, General Ledgers, VAT Ledgers, Purchase daybooks, Invoices issues, Credit and Debit notes, etc.

Penalty for Not Keeping Proper Records

An individual or business who fails to keep a track of proper records needs to submit a penalty of AED 10,000. If the offense is repeated again, a sum of AED 50,000 needs to be paid.

Benefits of VAT Accounting

You have got a clear idea of what VAT is all about and its types. The question that might linger in your mind is why is VAT accounting important? The answer is as below:

  • VAT helps in preparing an easy tax return
  • It gives the flexibility to claim for refund (if any)
  • It provides immediate track of VAT records
  • It lowers the risk of a tax audit
  • The written records act as an evidence as and when required
  • VAT compliance and registration reduces the risk of penalties
  • It creates an awareness for business entities regarding different schemes for VAT
  • It boosts the national revenue growth

JAXA VAT Compliance Services

JAXA is a business consultancy firm that specializes in providing taxation and accounting services. When it comes to the VAT accounting front, we provide the following VAT compliance services:

  • VAT Registration process
  • Invoicing and VAT treatment
  • Maintaining the book of records
  • Looking into the matter of inspection of records

Why Outsource with JAXA?

JAXA has been dealing with the crucial process of accounting and taxation for multiple clients engaged in multiple businesses at a global level and has been consistently performing as one of the top VAT consultants in UAE. Our experts understand the nature of your business, takes care of your VAT issues and makes it easier to deal with. To know how, do contact us. We’d be happy to assist.


Who is the registrant in VAT?

When a person receives a tax registration number, he/she is called a registrant.

Who issues the Tax Registration Number?

The Tax Registration Number (TRN) is issued by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).

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