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Keeping Accounting Records and Commercial Books

1.Accounting Records and Commercial Books shall include the following:

a. Accounting books in relation to that Business, which include records of payments and receipts, purchases and sales, revenues and expenditures, and any business, and any matters as required under any Tax Law or any other applicable law, including:

  1. Balance sheet and profit and loss accounts.
  2. Records of wages and salaries.
  3. Records of fixed assets.
  4. Inventory records and statements (including quantities and values) at the end of any relevant Tax Period and all records of stock-counts related to Inventory statements.
  5. Additional records as may be required in the Tax Law and its Executive Regulation.

b. In addition to the Accounting Records and Commercial Books mentioned, the Authority may require any other information in order to confirm, through an audit trail, the Person’s Tax obligations, including any liability to register for Tax purposes.

Period of Record-Keeping

  1. Every Person holding and maintaining any of the records mentioned, shall keep these records in a manner that enables the Authority, or an officer authorised by the Authority, to ascertain that Person’s Tax obligations, as follows:
    1. For a period of (5) years after the end of the Tax Period to which they relate in the case of a Taxable Person.
    2. For a period of (5) years from the end of the calendar year in which the concerned document was created in the case of non-Taxable Persons.
    3. For a period of 10 years from the end of the calendar year or any other period specified in the Tax Law for real estate records.
  1. The Authority may, before the expiry of the period specified above, inform the Person to retain the records for a further period not exceeding (4) years, in cases where he is required to do so including the following:
    1. If the Taxable Person’s tax obligations are subject to a dispute between him and the Authority.
    2. If the Person is being subject to a Tax Audit and that Tax Audit has not yet been completed.
    3. If the Authority has given notice to the Person that it intends to conduct a Tax Audit before the expiry of the original period specified to retain the records.
  1. If a Person is no longer a Taxable Person, he shall be required to comply with the provisions of paragraph (b) of Clause (1).
  2. Where a Person enters into bankruptcy proceedings, his Legal Representative is required to keep the records of that Person for 12 months from the date on which those proceedings have come to an end.
  3. For the purposes of Clause (4) of this Article, should the Authority require the records to be kept for a longer period, it may take possession of them, at a time agreed with the Legal Representative responsible for the relevant bankruptcy proceedings.

How to Keep Accounting Records and Commercial Books

1.The obligation to maintain Accounting Records and Commercial Books shall be met through any of the following:

  1. Creating the record and the retention of original Documents which support the entries contained in the record.
  2. Creating the record and preserving the information that was contained in the original document, provided that:

1) The information matches the data contained in the original document, and shall be available during the periods the person is required to maintain the records.

2) The information retained or stored in either photocopy or electronic form, and an easily readable copy of it can be reproduced within a reasonable period, if requested by the Authority.

2. The Authority may lay down the rules of preserving information contained in Accounting Records and Commercial Books, and impose such reasonable requirements for ensuring that the information will be as readily available to it as if the original records themselves had been preserved.

The use of a language other than the Arabic

  1. Tax Return, data, information, records and other Documents related to any Tax shall be submitted to the Authority in Arabic, as per the mechanism specified by the Tax Law.
  2. As an exception, the Authority may accept data, information, records and other Documents related to any Tax to be submitted to it in English; the Authority may, at its discretion, request the Person to translate some or all of these to Arabic.
  3. Where the data, information, records and other Documents related to any Tax are issued in any foreign language other than English, the Person is required to submit these Documents to the Authority as translated into Arabic.
  4. The Person submitting any translation of data, information, records and other Documents related to any Tax to the Authority shall be liable for the accuracy and correctness of the translation, and shall bear all associated costs. The Authority shall have the right to rely on the translation provided.

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The entire contents of this article is solely for information purpose and have been prepared on the basis of relevant provisions and as per the information existing at the time of the preparation.. It doesn't constitute professional advice or a formal recommendation. The author has undertook utmost care to disseminate the true and correct view and doesn't accept liability for any errors or omissions. You are kindly requested to verify & confirm the updates from the genuine sources before acting on any of the information's provided herein above.

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