What documents are required to be maintained for VAT purpose?

A Taxable Person shall keep and retain accounting books and records for Tax purposes, including all of the following:

  1. Accounting books related to the Taxable Person’s work (all of the transactions according to their chronological and numerical order).
  2. Balance sheet and profit and loss account.
  3. Records of salaries and wages.
  4. Records of fixed assets.
  5. Inventory records and accounts (including quantities and values) at the end of any relevant Tax Period.
  6. A copy of Tax Invoices, credit and debit notes issued, and original Tax Invoices received by the Taxable Person.
  7. All customs documents relating to import and export transactions carried out by the Taxable Person.
  8. Additional records determined by the Bureau.

Taxable Persons must retain records and accounting books in a secure way to avoid their damage, and in a state where they can be read and reviewed. A Tax Representative or Tax Agent shall keep the records stipulated above.

The Bureau reserves the right to request a Taxable Person to keep additional records and shall notify the Taxable Person where the Bureau considers this necessary.

Can I retain records and accounting books electronically?

A Taxable Person may retain records and accounting books electronically if the following conditions are met:

  1. Easy access and extraction of records and accounting books from the computer system upon the Bureau’s request.
  2. Ability to keep documents and records that support the records and the accounting books electronically or in hard copy.
  3. Records and accounting books are kept securely where no tampering or manipulation can occur.

The Bureau has the right to review the computer system used by a Taxable Person to ensure its compliance with the provisions of the Law and Regulations.

For how many years I should retain records and accounting books?

  1. The Taxable Person shall retain records and accounting books for a period of five years from the end of the Tax Period to which it relates.
  2. Records related to Capital Assets shall be retained for a period of five years from the end of the Tax Period in which the adjustment period for such assets ends.
  3. Records related to real estate shall be retained for a period of fifteen years from the end of the Tax Period to which they relate.
  4. The Bureau may, before the expiry of the periods stipulated in point 2 and 3 above, notify the Taxable Person where there is a need to retain records for a further period, which shall not exceed five years.
  5. If the Person is no longer a Taxable Person due to the transfer of ownership of the Economic Activity to another party or merging with another party, he shall still be obliged to retain records for the period preceding the transfer of ownership or the merger in accordance with the periods stipulated.
  6. In the event of insolvency or bankruptcy of the Taxable Person, his Tax Representative shall be required to retain his records for a period not less than twelve months from the date on which insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings came to an end.

Can I outsource keeping and retaining records and accounting books?

A Taxable Person may appoint a third party to keep and retain records and accounting books in accordance with the Law and these Regulations. In all cases, the Taxable Person shall remain responsible for such documents.

What will be the language of records and accounting books?

Records, accounting books and other documentation that are requested to be kept and retained shall be kept either in Arabic or English in accordance with the provisions of the Law and Regulations.

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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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