The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced that online registration for Value Added Tax (VAT) is now open, through its website. 

As part of the Authority's preparations for the 5% VAT, set to be introduced from 1 January, 2018, the registration portal will be available 24/7 to ensure business-readiness by aligning organisations' financial and technical systems to comply with the regulations and procedures, WAM reported.

Businesses must register for VAT if their taxable supplies and imports exceed the mandatory registration threshold of $102,000 (AED375,000) per year.

Khalid Al Bustani, director-general of FTA, said, "This is part of our commitment to enhancing the readiness of different businesses and raising their preparedness for the easy application of the distinct tax system that is consistent with global best practices and embodies the leading position of the UAE at all levels. The Federal Tax Authority is keen to give the business sectors sufficient time to adapt their operating systems to the requirements of the VAT system.

"The registration portal is available to all businesses around the clock to assure the ease and usefulness of the registration procedures to all businesses from all sectors through the website, which has been specially designed to meet international standards and to provide guidance to registrars on the completion of their applications."

The FTA has urged all businesses to learn and understand the implications of the VAT system and to align their work with the reporting and compliance requirements by the government.

Businesses are also asked to ensure that they meet the conditions that allow them to uphold their obligations, which might call for making certain changes.