The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) confirmed that its flagship “Muwafaq Package” and “Specialised Tax Agent” transformational projects, which were both launched this year, have achieved remarkable results, effectively facilitating compliance procedures for taxpayers.
Launching these projects forms part of the Authority’s strategy to contribute to the government’s efforts to design major and rapid transformational projects that pave the way for new milestones in the national economy across various government sectors, in line with the UAE Government’s new approach.
The FTA issued a press statement about the results and initial indicators regarding the implementation of “Muwafaq Package” project, which aims to facilitate business practices and tax compliance for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector. The project provides innovative tax solutions to support and empower youth in the sector, activating their role in various sectors, including the economy.
Meanwhile, the “Specialised Tax Agent” project aims to establish a procedure that allows taxpayers to select a Tax Agent specialising in the appropriate sector – based on the nature of the taxable activity in each case – from a list of 10 diverse sectors, identified according to the accumulated experiences of certified Tax Agents registered with the Authority.
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director-General of FTA, said, “The indicators recorded as of late reflect the positive impact of the ‘Muwafaq Package’ and ‘Specialised Tax Agent’ initiatives, and their role in creating a procedural environment that encourages and facilitates self-compliance with tax regulations. This aligns with the Authority’s strategy to contribute to government efforts to advance the UAE’s competitiveness, which calls for multiplying efforts towards the sustainable upgrading of government services.”
“The Federal Tax Authority is committed to continuously developing its services to meet taxpayers’ expectations and enhance their experiences by expanding the scope of innovative tax compliance solutions,” he added. “These solutions are designed based on suggestions recorded through direct communication with taxpayers, whom the Authority seeks to involve in the continuous development and upgrading of its services, in accordance with the highest quality standards, most notably, reducing time and effort in completing transactions.”
The FTA stressed that more than 51,660 taxpayers from the SMEs sector are eligible to benefit from the diverse services, incentives, and privileges provided by ‘Muwafaq Package’ through the EmaraTax digital tax services platform.
The Authority noted that among the services and features available through “Muwafaq Package” are access to tax accounting programmes and software at competitive prices to ease financial burdens on SMEs; immediate appointments with tax relationship managers; special offers on Tax Agent services; priority for registered SME representatives when completing certain services; awareness workshops for registered SMEs to introduce them to the FTA’s services and future directions, in addition to enhancing their tax culture.
Moreover, the FTA affirmed that awareness of the benefits of “Muwafaq Package” has increased as a result of the series of awareness workshops, including virtual sessions, that the FTA organised, along with the intensive media campaigns that were well received among SMEs registered with the Authority, which were designed to encourage them to benefit from the services and privileges the package has to offer.
The Authority held 10 workshops about “Muwafaq Package” across all seven emirates, which were attended by more than 1,700 representatives of SMEs. Furthermore, in the first seven months of 2023, FTA representatives carried out more than 16,400 direct promotional calls to introduce the features of the package to registered SMEs.
On the same note, the Authority revealed that it has intensified its efforts to expand the base of its strategic partners in the ‘Muwafaq Package’ initiative, signing cooperation agreements with leading local and international entities and institutions in various fields, including trade, banking, communications, digital services, and accounting software, in a bid to offer added benefits and facilities to companies registered in the Package.
The FTA concluded collaboration agreements with the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Emirates Development Bank, and Etisalat by e& to provide a bundle of benefits and privileges under “Muwafaq Package” initiative, whereby Etisalat by e& provides a “support package” to encourage Muwafaq registrants to comply with tax regulations.
The Federal Tax Authority went on to discuss the indicators regarding the “Specialised Tax Agent” initiative it launched to provide flexible, clear, and precise online procedures, allowing customers to choose a Tax Agent specialising in their specific sector or taxable economic activity. Since its launch, the service has recorded a notable increase of nearly 15 percent in the number of online connections between registered taxpayers and accredited Tax Agents, compared to the number of operations recorded over the previous five years.
Furthermore, the FTA explained that a key indicators reflecting the initiative’s success is the increase in the number of visitors to the accredited Tax Agents register on the Authority’s website, where 70,000 visits were recorded during the first half of 2023, compared to 6,700 visits in 2022. Additionally, record growth was reported in 2023, with the “Specialised Tax Agent” service going into effect.
The Authority pointed out that 319 Tax Agents have registered in the “Specialised Tax Agent” database, representing more than 70 percent of the total number of agents registered with the FTA. The initiative aims to promote taxpayer satisfaction with Tax Agents’ services, the Authority explained, adding that the service can be accessed by visiting the accredited Tax Agents registry on the FTA website, then selecting the filtering option to select the correct specialisation or sector, and then choose one of the listed agents in the desired sector.
Registered Tax Agents are classified into a series of sectors, most notably, businesses subject to Value Added Tax (VAT); tax refunds for UAE citizens on building new residences, as well as on building and operating mosques; and small and medium-sized enterprises (Muwafaq Package). The list also includes Agents specialising in government entities, charitable organisations, non-resident (foreign) businesses, property owners, Excise Tax registration, registering warehouse keepers and Designates Areas, and Corporate Tax.
The Federal Tax Authority noted that it had held a series of awareness workshops and coordination meetings for taxpayers and Tax Agents to raise awareness about the importance and features of the “Specialised Tax Agent” initiative. Moreover, the Authority carried out numerous media campaigns to encourage the use of the service and to explain its procedures.
Tax Agents were classified by adding their specialisation based on previous experience in specific sectors or tax services. Agents can choose the sectors or tax services under which they wish to be classified by providing supporting documents, including recommendation letters from taxpayers and previous experience certificates. The specialisation is optionally added for Tax Agents who wish to be classified under the initiative.