PwC first of Big Four approved as a registered tax agent in the UAE

28 May 2018 2 min. read

Big Four firm PwC is the first of the accounting giants to be accepted as a registered tax agent by the UAE.

PwC has become a registered tax agent in the UAE in the second round of approvals earlier this month. Announced on the 3rd of May, the firm can now help its clients achieve their tax compliance obligations within the Emirates. The move comes as the UAE implements its new VAT tax system, which adheres to international best practice and was announced in mid-2017.

The VAT tax system has been backed by the International Monetary Fund and is an attempt to transition the country away from tax-free living. The 5% tax has been added onto the majority of goods and services across the country in a bid to boost government revenue following a downturn in oil prices.

As a result of the policy shift, individuals and the private sector alike have been pushed to register as tax authorities if they wish to practice VAT Law. Applications to the The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) opened in November last year and registration is a requirement for any person who has been appointed on behalf of another person to represent him or her before the FTA.

The new tax obligations – which the UAE government hopes will bring in $3.3 billion per year in revenue – will also open a lucrative new market for registered tax agents. The new profession has seen a high level of demand already for those working within the accounting and legal services by businesses which are seeking to measure the impact of the tax.PwC the first of Big Four to be approved a registered tax agent in the UAEThe FTA Director-General His Excellency Khalid Al Bustani believes that the registration requirements will “set a benchmark for other businesses to follow while hiring for tax-related positions.”

“These criteria will also work as a catalyst for the development of new job skills to meet the new employment opportunities that will result from implementing the tax system in the UAE,” he continued.

PwC are the first to have their application approved and are now legally able to help their clients achieve tax compliance and fulfill their obligations. The firm has met the standards set out by the FTA, which includes having good conduct and behaviour, never having been convicted of a crime, having obtained a certified university degree in tax, accounting or law, and demonstrating three years recent experience in tax.

Jeanine Daou, PwC Middle East Indirect Tax Leader, says in relation to the approval, “This is great news for PwC and our clients. As a key player in the market, being approved by FTA is a great honour and confirms our commitment in supporting the FTA in successfully implementing the tax system in the UAE.”