“The introduction of VAT regime is not merely a change in taxation. It’s a change in how we do business”

Grid: With implementation of VAT around the corner in UAE, what more can you tell us about the proposed VAT legislation, with an emphasis on financial services?

Jigar Doshi: UAE VAT law has been designed in such a way that, at a macro level, it will cover almost all the supplies of goods and services including import of goods / services, real estate, energy and even water supplies.

There are certain relaxations offered in the manner of zero rating and exemptions in the UAE VAT law. For instance, exports, international transport, certain education services are to be zero rated, whereas certain financial services, supply of empty land, local passenger transportation are to be exempt from the VAT levy. All other supplies will attract the standard rate of 5%.

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“Check with your bank what they have on record for you. Are they going to look at your passport or your residence?”

The Grid: With the introduction of the new Common Reporting Standard (CRS) into most GCC countries this year, many business families and banks will become busy dealing with this. How does CRS work and will it affect individuals in the GCC?

Deloitte: Broadly speaking, if you are resident in one jurisdiction and you have a financial account in another and both of those countries have signed up to the CRS, then the information about your financial account will be sent, annually, to the country in which you are resident.

The Grid: Which countries in the GCC have signed up?

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