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Updates to the Private Clarifications Guide

August 8, 2023

Nearly seven months after the issuance of the December 2022 version of the Private Clarifications Guide, the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) Federal Tax Authority (“FTA”) has issued a revised June 2023 version of the Private Clarifications Guide.

This article seeks to highlight key updates introduced to the Private Clarifications Guide by the FTA through a general comparative analysis between the two guides.

Key Updates Introduced to the Private Clarifications Guide in June 2023

  • The guide code has changed from “User Guide | USEG001” to “Tax Procedures | TPGPC1”. In the FTA’s publications, a user guide typically refers to a ‘how-to-use-system’ guide rather than a tax guide. While it could be understood that the June 2023 version is concerned with a different concept, the FTA explicitly stated in the last page of the June 2023 version that such version is an update of the December 2022 version. For both versions, the guide appears to address both tax and system concepts. 
  • The ‘system’ part of the guide, i.e. how to submit the clarification request and fill in the fields, is updated to reflect the new EmaraTax system compared to the old e-Services system. Noticeable changes include:
    • Private clarification requests can no longer be submitted without an EmaraTax portal account (this refers to a system sign-up, not a tax registration).
    • Tax Agents may only submit clarification requests for the specific tax types approved for that agent by the FTA.
    • An option to submit clarification requests for Corporate Tax is introduced, allowing the submission of registration-related clarification requests as of 1 August 2023.
  • Clarifications are now subject to a fee of AED 1,500 or AED 2,250 depending on whether it relates to one type of tax or more. The fee is generally non-refundable but may be refunded if the FTA does not issue the private clarification.

The June 2023 version of the Private Clarifications Guide has been published in both English and Arabic on the FTA’s website.

Conclusion

As the UAE’s Federal Tax Authority continues to refine its guidelines and procedures, the June 2023 revision of the Private Clarifications Guide offers essential insights for stakeholders. These updates, including the change in the guide’s code and the introduction of fees for clarifications, underscore the dynamic nature of the UAE’s tax landscape. Given the importance of adherence to these guidelines in the context of maintaining business credibility and ensuring the nation’s economic robustness, it is of paramount importance for stakeholders to be well-versed with the latest changes. While the tax landscape may appear intricate, understanding it is vital for upholding a company’s financial standing and preserving the economic equilibrium of the UAE. For those seeking clarity on the recent alterations or navigating potential ambiguities, consulting a legal or tax professional is highly advisable.

This article is prepared by Mohamed El Baghdady, Head of Tax and Financial Crimes, and Marwan Alnooryani, Senior Tax Associate, at Habib Al Mulla & Partners Law Firm.

Seek Legal Counsel

Our expertise in tax law and regulations allows us to provide clients with effective and accurate tax advice, taking into consideration their unique circumstances and needs. Additionally, our experience and knowledge in handling tax disputes enable us to represent clients in discussions with tax authorities, as well as in court proceedings. 

Our track record of successfully resolving tax disputes and helping clients minimize their tax liabilities has likely earned us a reputation as a trusted and reliable tax advisor. Our tax and financial crimes team, led by our Head of Tax and Financial Crimes, Mohamed El Baghdady, has successfully advised and represented clients across various industries, including, but not limited to, consumer goods and retail, services, real estate, oil & gas and banking and finance, before the government authorities, tax tribunals and courts. Our clients have been successful in multiple tax disputes before the committees and courts.

For further information, please contact, Mohamed El Baghdady, Head of Tax and Financial Crimes, on mohamed.elbaghdady@habibalmulla.com or any of the members of our team.

Mohamed El Khatib

Principal Partner – Head of Disputes
mohamed.elKhatib@habibalmulla.com

Mohamed ElBaghdady

Senior Associate
mohamed.elbaghdady@habibalmulla.com

Marwan Alnooryani

Senior Associate
marwan.alnooryani@habibalmulla.com

Basem Ehab

Associate
basem.ehab@habibalmulla.com

Kholoud Hafez

Associate
kholoud.hafez@habibalmulla.com

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