On the 25th of September 2016, BDO UAE successfully hosted a VAT Seminar at the Address Hotel in Dubai. The seminar had the key objective of preparing participants for the introduction of VAT into both the UAE and more broadly, the GCC. Speakers at the event included Gerard Rahman, CEO of BDO UAE and Ivor Feerick - Chair of BDO International VAT Centre of Excellence and Partner at BDO Ireland.
The keynote speaker Mr Ivor Feerick who gave a two part presentation on Preparing for the Introduction of VAT in the GCC. In the first segment, Mr Feerick gave a background of VAT and why governments are generally focusing more on VAT in comparison to other direct taxes. Through calculations and an interactive session, he demonstrated the implications for various VAT treatments and how businesses were supposed to treat and account for the VAT component of transactions. The full rounded session provided participants the opportunity to ask questions while simultaneously highlighting the key compliance issues likely to arise with tax authorities.
The second half of Mr. Feerick’s presentation focused more on the implementation of VAT in UAE, the GCC at large and what participants were likely to expect in the short term. He predicted that consumer confidence would be negatively affected in the initial introductory stages due to increased costs of commodities. In his analysis of VAT related obligations of businesses, Mr. Feerick pointed out the likelihood of a disincentive for non-compliance which would likely be through firm penalties from the regulatory authorities.
In conclusion, Mr Feerick outlined the key steps for businesses to take in preparation for the tax regime, and once again opened the floor for an interactive question and answer segment. A vote of thanks was given by Gerard Rahman to conclude the seminar before participants were invited for a lunch and networking session.