UAE FTA to issue 2 new digital tax certificates for investors via e-portal

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Ministry of Finance, UAE

UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has finished its preparations for issuing both digital Tax Residency and Commercial Activities Certificates, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

This decision was made under Cabinet Decision No. 65 of 2020 on payments for services provided by the Federal Tax Authority, released in October 2020.

The Authority will begin accepting applications for the issuance of Tax Residency and Commercial Activities Certificates through its e-services portal from 14 November onwards.

The FTA described that there are two types of tax certificates given to companies and individuals. The first one is the ‘Tax Residency Certificate’, a certificate issued by the FTA at the request of the UAE and other countries to allow applicants to avail from the Double Tax Avoidance Agreements (DTAA). And the second certificate is the ‘Commercial Activities Certificate’, which is a certificate issued by the FTA to allow applicants to refund VAT paid in advance outside the UAE, whether or not the DTAAs are applicable.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani
Khalid Ali Al Bustani
Director General

“Both Tax Residency and Commercial Activities Certificates allow investors in the UAE, including companies and individuals, to benefit from double taxation avoidance agreements to which the State is a party, to prevent duplication, in addition to recovering VAT imposed on Emirati businesses in various countries in the event they were registered with the Authority.”

How to access service

The Authority explained that the user is directed to the login page through their online services portal to enter his/her login username and password for the registration. Upon the successful registration with the Services Portal, the user will be lead to the control panel list of all applications relating to tax certificates assigned to him/her.

The registrant has the choice of submitting one or more applications. Once his/her preferred option has been chosen, all the specifics of the application will appear and will be given the option of accepting, completing, refusing or refunding any tax paid outside the UAE that allows a tax refund. An attachment can be downloaded by the registrant to validate the data, complete the process and monitor the status of their request.

The Authority stated that through a simple registration process through the official website of the Federal Tax Authority, qualified individuals can easily issue Tax Residency and Commercial Activities Certificates.

The procedure is completed by the submission of the supporting documentation needed and the payment of the fees set out in UAE Cabinet Decision No. 65 for 2020. This specific fee was required for the Tax Residency Certificate, as it reviews an application for any normal or legal person who is not registered with the Authority and provides a print copy of the Digital Tax Residence Certificate.

The Cabinet Decision also laid down the fees needed to apply for a Certificate of Commercial Activities for business registered with the Authority, to review the application and to issue a Certificate of Digital Commercial Activities and to provide a printed copy of the certificate issued.