The UAE and Saudi Arabia will be the first two countries to launch VAT from January 1
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced the supplies that will be subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) as of January 1, 2018, revealing selected sectors that will be assigned zero-rated tax, such as education, healthcare, oil and gas, transportation and real estate.
Selected supplies in sectors such as transportation, real estate and financial services will be completely exempt from VAT, whereas certain government activities will be outside the scope of the tax system (and, therefore, not subject to tax). These include activities that are solely carried out by the government with no competition with the private sector, activities carried out by non-profit organisations.
The UAE Cabinet is expected to issue a decision to identify the government bodies and non-profit organisations that are not subject to VAT.
In the GCC, the UAE and Saudi Arabia will be the first two countries to launch VAT from January 1 while other countries will follow in the coming years.
The introduction of VAT will help the UAE government to generate an estimated Dh12 billion (around 0.8 per cent of GDP) worth of revenue in the first year, which will increase to Dh20 billion (around 1.2 per cent of GDP) in 2019.