VAT Audit

Overview of VAT Audit

A VAT (Value-Added Tax) audit is a process that assesses the compliance of a company or taxable person with VAT legislation and regulations. It is a comprehensive investigation into a taxable entity’s business operations and how it manages its VAT obligations. The main purpose of a VAT audit is to verify if the company has correctly reported and paid its VAT obligations.The scope of a VAT audit can vary, ranging from checking what is stated on invoices to an in-depth verification of the company’s account statements, analysis of invoicing, and goods.

VAT audits are essential for companies to ensure their VAT compliance and protect themselves in case of an audit. A detailed analysis conducted by VAT experts can highlight key danger points, and a complete file with recommendations is delivered at the end of the study.

A VAT audit in UAE is a process carried out by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) to examine the commercial records or any information or data of the taxable persons. During the audit, tax auditors from the FTA will examine tax returns and any necessary details to determine the tax compliance of the companies that are required to pay taxes. The purpose of the VAT audit is to make sure that the VAT returns and VAT refunds submitted by the taxpayer are accurate and comply with the UAE tax laws. If a company is selected for a VAT audit, it is important to be prepared for the audit. The company should ensure that all the necessary records and documents are maintained and organized properly. The following are some of the records that should be maintained for a VAT audit in UAE.

Below are the key aspects of VAT Audit:

  1. Compliance with VAT Regulations: The audit aims to ensure that the business is compliant with the applicable VAT laws and regulations. This includes verifying that the business is charging the correct rate of VAT on its sales and properly reclaiming VAT on eligible expenses.
  1. Accuracy of VAT Returns: The auditor reviews the business’s VAT returns to confirm that the information reported is accurate. This involves checking the calculations, ensuring proper documentation, and verifying that the figures reconcile with the financial records.
  2. Recordkeeping and Documentation: Adequate recordkeeping is crucial for VAT compliance. The audit assesses whether the business has maintained the necessary documentation, such as invoices and receipts, to support its VAT transactions.
  1. VAT Treatment of Transactions: The auditor examines the VAT treatment of various transactions, including sales, purchases, imports, and exports, to ensure that the VAT has been applied correctly based on the nature of each transaction.
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  1. Exemptions and Special Schemes: Some businesses may qualify for VAT exemptions or special schemes. The audit verifies whether the business is correctly applying any exemptions or participating in applicable schemes.
  1. Risk Assessment: Auditors may perform a risk assessment to identify areas where there is a higher risk of non-compliance. This could include transactions with related parties, cross-border transactions, or industries with specific VAT challenges.
  1. Communication with Tax Authorities: In some cases, the auditor may communicate with tax authorities to clarify certain issues or seek additional information related to the business’s VAT compliance.

How to be ready for the VAT audit?

  1. Installation of proper accounting system :The taxable person should maintain a proper accounting system which should generate tax-related transactions at any point in time. The authority will review the accounting system. Use of proper accounting software will enable you to produce proper tax invoices, credit notes, VAT returns and other types of reports.
  1. Maintenance of supporting documents: Under UAE VAT law, all taxable persons are required to maintain financial and accounting records for the period of the last five years after the end of the tax period to which they relate.
  1. Timely filing of VAT returns and payment of due tax: Businesses must ensure that VAT returns are filed before the due date of each period and paid the due tax on time.
  1. A system of Internal control: A taxable person should implement a proper internal control system to ensure that the provision of VAT regulations is complied. An efficient internal control system helps in the timely submission of VAT returns, reviews and reconciles the records regularly, ensures compliance and avoid penalties.

It is also recommended to seek assistance from a professional auditing firm to ensure that the company is fully prepared for the VAT audit and to avoid any penalties for non-compliance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

VAT Audit is not mandatory in UAE however it is recommended that businesses have the best practices of doing VAT Audit for accuracy of information and systems used.

Licensed and registered Tax Auditors are responsible in conducting VAT Audit in UAE.

Time frame for completing VAT Audit work ranges from 10-15 working days and depends on the volume of work and business industry.

Federal Tax Authority is the governing body conducting VAT Audit to businesses in UAE.

Generally companies should keep a record of supporting documents relating to VAT Return Filing for 5 years, however for Real Estate company they should maintain the relevant VAT documents for 7 years.

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