UAE Corporate Tax: Why Audits and Maintaining Books of Accounts Are Critical

Companies in the UAE are required to maintain their books of accounts as per the UAE VAT Law and the regulations of certain free zone authorities. However, there are many businesses, especially SMEs, who are yet to keep their books of accounts or carry out an audit of their financial statements. Corporate tax consultants in Dubai advise such companies to start maintaining their books of accounts and prepare accurate financial statements before the government releases the UAE Corporate Tax Law.

The UAE Corporate Tax is set to be effective from June 1st, 2023 and the government may issue the Corporate Tax Law any moment before that. Businesses have only a short timeframe to prepare for corporate tax. Even though it is advisable to make critical tax decisions once the law is issued, maintenance of books of accounts can’t wait. In this blog, we will explain why keeping the books of accounts and auditing financial statements are critical for businesses from the UAE corporate tax perspective.

However, this article is purely based on the UAE Corporate Tax Public Consultation document. Businesses must compare the provisions in the consultation document with the relevant provisions in the UAE Corporate Tax Law to make any tax-related decision. Keep reading for further insights:

Maintain the Books of Accounts

As per the Public Consultation Document, a business will be required to maintain the books of accounts to explain the information contained in the UAE Corporate Tax return and other documents submitted to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). You may need to maintain financial reports, accounting books, and financial statements for ensuring corporate tax compliance in the UAE.

The books should be complete and with no undisclosed income or expenses. Your accounting incomes include profits from the sale of products or services, commissions, interests, capital gains, and rents. Moreover, the businesses are required to create a ‘Capital’ in their books to support their investments and spending with proof. You can seek the help of corporate tax consultants in Dubai for assistance in this regard.

Prepare Financial Statements for Your Firm

Preparing financial statements is critical for you as the accounting net profit (or loss) as stated in the financial statements will be used to determine your company’s taxable income. This method eliminates the burden of maintaining two sets of records: one for financial reporting purposes and the other for UAE corporate tax purposes. Businesses must prepare financial statements using accounting standards and principles that are accepted in the UAE.

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is the commonly accepted accounting standard in the UAE. However, certain taxpayers such as startups and SMEs are allowed to use alternative financial reporting standards and mechanisms for determining taxable income. The usage of alternative accounting standards has been proposed to minimise compliance costs for certain startups and small businesses.

Free Zone Persons Must Audit Financial Statements

Companies and branches registered with a free zone are referred to as a Free Zone Person. Free Zone Persons fall within the scope of the UAE Corporate Tax with the obligation to file tax returns. However, the UAE Corporate Tax regime will honour the tax incentives currently being offered to Free Zone Persons provided they maintain adequate substance and comply with all regulatory requirements.

To enjoy the 0% corporate tax rate, the Free Zone Persons must prepare accurate financial statements and get them audited. However, whether the financial statements of a business are required to be audited by an accredited audit firm is and will continue to be determined by applicable company laws and regulations. Avail of corporate tax consulting services in Dubai to prepare accurate financial statements and get them audited.

Exempted Persons Must Maintain Records

Companies or entities that are exempt from the scope of corporate tax in the UAE are termed Exempt Persons. Exempt persons under the UAE corporate tax must maintain the books of accounts and other relevant records so that the FTA can ascertain their exempt status. If you are an exempt person with no books of accounts, it is advisable to consult with corporate tax advisors in Dubai immediately to enjoy corporate tax exemption.

Avail of the Best Corporate Tax Consulting Services in Dubai, UAE

With the UAE corporate tax set to take effect soon, businesses are required to maintain the books of accounts and prepare financial statements. In this changed scenario, it has become imperative to hire professional corporate tax consultants in Dubai such as Jitendra Chartered Accountants (JCA). We understand that the accuracy of your financial data is critical for you. With over 20 years of experience, JCA can help your business to be corporate tax compliant and prepare your company for a smooth transition. Our services at JCA as Corporate Tax Consultants include:

  • Corporate tax Assessment & Advisory Services (one-time or retainer basis)
  • Corporate tax Compliance Services
  • Corporate tax Agent Services to represent you to FTA in case of any notices served by FTA