FTA’s eDirham system offers greater flexibility to taxpayers

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Ministry of Finance, UAE

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has completed its preparations to join the third generation eDirham system of the UAE which is introduced by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to facilitate the collection of government fees and revenues using the latest technologies in compliance with the best standards of safety and protection.

This will replace the old version of eDirham, which will be suspended and will not be available for use from the beginning of November 2020 for the Authority’s transactions.

The FTA stresses the need for all eDirham users who are registered with the Authority to prepare to switch to the new eDirham version, which will provide them with a more diverse set of options that are both simpler to use and comply with the highest standards of safety and excellence.

To facilitate a smooth transition to the new version, the FTA has made it possible for Excise Tax Registrants to have the payment feature available through the old version of the eDirham cards until 31 October 2020.

From the beginning of the current week, they will now be able to make their payments to the Authority through the new version of eDirham. This system has now been included in the official payment networks of the Authority with the possibility of payment via the old version during the transitional era, which lasts until the end of October 2020.

H.E Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary
UAE Ministry of Finance (MoF)

“The Ministry of Finance is keen to continue working with all its strategic partners from the government and private sectors to develop the eDirham system according to best standards. It seeks to adopt the latest technology and systems that ensure safe and effective cash payments and provide smart, easy and flexible e-payment services that enhance user satisfaction. This falls in line with the directives of our wise leadership and the UAE centennial 2071.”

The Authority calls on the Excise Tax registrants to speed up the transition to the new version of the eDirham system and to ensure the consumption and settlement of any outstanding balance from the old version before the cards come to a complete halt at the end of the transition period prescribed by the Authority.

By allocating a transitional period lasting until the end of October 2020 to allow a smooth transition to the advanced new version of the eDirham system, the Authority reiterated its determination to give tax registrants ample time.

To extend the spectrum of payment methods to promote taxpayer procedures, the FTA indicated its position to stay up-to-date with the new electronic systems and to include a variety of payment channels, distinguished by their speed and versatility.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FTA Director-General, said, “The Authority’s accession to the eDirham has resulted from a successful strategic partnership between the FTA and the MoF, which has among its objectives ensuring client satisfaction by the implementation of the latest electronic systems in accordance with the best efficiency and safety standards.”

“This step is in line with the UAE’s general strategy aimed at promoting cashless transactions and benefiting from the State’s digital and technological infrastructures, as they are the foundations for the continuous development of the national financial and economic sectors. These infrastructures provide an easy, safe, and smooth movement of money and financial assets, thereby enhancing confidence in financial transactions locally and with all countries of the world”, Mr. Al Bustani added.

Al Bustani emphasized that the FTA is focused on applying the best international standards across all of its activities and services.

He stated that the new step is in line with the latest practices in advanced economies which, by promoting the use of e-payment methods, take effective risk management into account, thus supporting the Smart Government initiative of the UAE.

The new generation eDirham includes 3 cards with different benefits:

  • The ‘Hala Card’ is a suitable card for new customers who want to make one-time payments. No registration or paperwork is required, and a card with a balance of up to $952.91 (AED 3,500) can be topped-up.
  • The ‘Gold Card’ is a credit card, perfect for daily purchases and frequent transactions, with frequent recharge options. To provide an additional level of security, this card requires registration.
  • The ‘Premium Card’ is a prepaid card that is personalized and includes registration. With high balances without a maximum recharge limit, it is ideal for individual and corporate clients.

By entering the MoF’s eDirham scheme, Excise Tax registrants will be able to pay their tax obligations and complete their transactions easily by installing the eDirham smart app, eDirham Instant ‘Mubasher’, on their smartphones without the use for bank cards.