Key UAE Tax Changes: Amendments to the UAE Excise Tax Executive Regulation
November 23, 2023
On August 17, 2017, the Federal Decree-Law No. 7 of 2017 on Excise Tax (“Excise Tax Decree-Law”) was issued, followed by Cabinet Decision No. 37 of 2017 on the Executive Regulation of the Federal Decree-Law No. 7 of 2017 on Excise Tax (“Excise Tax Executive Regulation”) on September 24, 2017, both with effect from 1 October 2017.
On September 26, 2022, the Excise Tax Decree-Law was amended for the first time, with the amendments going into effect as of October 14, 2022. In total, eight articles have been amended in the Excise Tax Decree-Law, and a new article was introduced on the Statue of Limitation.
However, the Excise Tax Executive Regulation remained unchanged until November 6, 2023, where the UAE’s Cabinet of Ministers issued Cabinet Decision No. 108 of 2023 on Amending Some Provisions of the Excise Tax Executive Regulation (“Amended Executive Regulation”). Most of the provisions of the amended Executive Regulation will be effective starting December 1, 2023.
This article seeks to elucidate the key amendments introduced in the Amended Executive Regulation, aiming to equip taxpayers for upcoming shifts, fulfill new tax commitments, and capitalize on the benefits offered by the revised regulations.
Key Highlights and Amendments in the UAE’s Amended Excise Tax Executive Regulation
- Article 1 of the Amended Executive Regulation omits many previous definitions, instead referring readers to the Excise Tax Decree-Law, making the legislative environment simpler and more consistent.
- Three new terms were introduced in Article 1 on the ‘Definitions’, which are “official evidence”, “commercial evidence”, and “shipping certificate”.
- Ceasing to conduct activities that trigger an Excise Tax liability result in the taxable person being considered as non-liable for Excise Tax as of the date following the expiry of (6) six months from the date it ceases to conduct such activities, unless it is proven that it has the intention to resume conducting such activities in the coming (6) six months.
- The FTA may now forcefully deregister an Excise Tax taxable person in specified cases.
- Failure to keep audited reports in respect of stockpiled Excise Goods can lead to the FTA considering the whole inventory of Excise Goods as “excess” with Excise Tax becoming due in full.
- Excise Goods are no longer considered ‘released for consumption’ where there is a natural shortage in the quantity of Excise Goods, subject to meeting the specified requirements.
- Relaxed evidentiary requirements for the purposes of exempting an export of Excise Goods from Excise Tax compared to the former evidentiary requirements where taxable persons could not benefit from export exemptions without obtaining and retaining an Exit Certificate.
- Excise Tax Designated Zones that fail to continue to comply with the conditions and requirements will be treated as normal lands forming part of the UAE mainland.
- Deductible Excise Tax for exported Excise Goods is now subject to similar evidentiary requirements as applicable to exempting exported Excise Goods.
- Two instances are introduced for the purposes of deductible Excise Tax on exported Excise Goods, during which a taxable person for Excise Tax purposes is treated as if it had settled the due Excise Tax.
- Persons that are not taxable persons for Excise Tax purposes but who are exporting Excise Goods to outside the UAE may request a refund of the previously paid Excise Tax on such goods subject to compliance with the evidentiary requirements, effective from June 1, 2024.