Webinar shares business tips for managing VAT during COVID-19

Webinar, organised by Dubai Chamber in collaboration with The Oath Magazine and Pinsent Masons LLP, examined the impact of COVID-19 from a VAT perspective and outlined key considerations for businesses operating in the UAE.

Webinar shares business tips for managing VAT during COVID-19

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Better management of the compliance cycle of VAT can go a long way in helping businesses navigate COVID-19 successfully, tax experts from international law firm Pinsent Masons LLP said during a recent webinar hosted by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The webinar, organised in collaboration with The Oath Magazine and Pinsent Masons LLP,examined the impact of COVID-19 on businesses from a VAT perspective and outlined several key considerations for companies operating in the UAE to help them minimise costs and ensure compliance. 

A total of 235 participants attended the webinar, including business owners, managers, finance, legal and human resources professionals representing a wide range economic sectors and fields. The session wasmoderated by Joanne Clarke, Tax Director (VAT), Pinsent Masons LLP, who is an international VAT advisor specialising in technical advisory, compliance and disputes.  

During the webinar, Clarke stressed on the importance of improving VAT cash flows and minimising capital costs associated with the tax. Businesses should actively seek to identify and mitigate real VAT costs that impact their bottom line, she noted. 

Clarke advised businesses to be cautious when dealing with transactions and activities driven by COVID-19 pressures such as contract defaults, corporate restructuring, bad debts, as these can have a VAT impact that can be significant and negative if not managed correctly.In addition, she encouraged companies to avoid non-compliance and administrative penalties wherever possible and seek professional support in dealing with tax authority interactions.

Joanne Clarke, Tax Director (VAT), Pinsent Masons said: "While we have all been operating in a COVID-19 environment for the majority of 2020, the real financial impact of COVID -19 continues to be felt at a fiscal level and by businesses alike. In this session, we looked at the COVID-impact from a VAT perspective, to support businesses with mitigating risks, increasing VAT cash flows and potentially optimising their VAT position, so that VAT is not another cause of financial pressure on businesses during this time.”

Jehad Kazim, Vice President- Legal Services at Dubai Chamber, mentioned that the participants benefited from the webinar as it provided an ideal opportunity for them to pose their questions directly to the experts and added that VAT remains an area where businesses in the UAE continue to see guidance and support. She noted that the strong participation in the webinar is a positive sign that the business community is committed to ensuring full VAT compliance and staying informed about important regulatory developments.  

Dubai Chamber regularly organises training seminars and workshops to raise awareness about important matters and issues impacting the business community in Dubai. These events fall in line with its strategic objectives of creating a favourable business environment and supporting business growth in the emirate.