FTA launches whistle-blower program for tax violations & evasion effective as of April 15

FTA launches whistle-blower program for tax violations & evasion effective as of April 15

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has announced the launch of Raqeeb, the "whistle-blower program for tax violations and evasion", which aims to promote community control over local markets, raise the level of tax compliance in the UAE and reduce tax evasion cases.

Effective as of Friday, April 15, 2022, in line with the Cabinet Decision regarding the implementation of the whistle-blower program for tax violations and evasion, which allows the Authority to receive reports from individuals on tax evasion cases, tax-related fraud, and violations of tax legislation. It also allows the Authority to verify the reports and grant monetary rewards to informants when certain conditions are met.

In a press statement issued today, the Authority explained that the whistle-blower program for tax violations and evasion aims to enhance transparency and competitiveness in the field of doing business, raise tax compliance rates, and boost tax awareness and society’s confidence in the tax system. The program also motivates individuals to carry out their social responsibilities and contribute to combating tax violations. The program grants the informants with monetary rewards if the report leads the Authority to collect tax amounts worth more than AED50,000.

The Authority called on all community members to participate in the efforts through the program, which provides an easy and clear mechanism for reporting tax violations. Reporting information can be done through the Authority’s website, which also includes a comprehensive guide on the program, how to report, the criteria and mechanism for obtaining monetary rewards for reporting, and other introductory, legal and procedural matters related to the program.

The Authority asserted that the mechanism for reporting tax violations adheres to the highest confidentiality standards, and ensures that the identity of the informants is not disclosed to any party, and provides them with full protection and immunity to ensure that they are not exposed to any harmful consequences for carrying out their social responsibilities by reporting illegal practices.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director-General of the Authority, stressed that the whistle-blower program for tax violations and evasion is in line with the wise leadership’s directives to implement the tax system in accordance with the highest standards that drive further growth of the national economy, ensure transparency, and maintain economic momentum by providing a legislative environment that encourages self-compliance, and keeping pace with changes through continuous issuance of decisions in accordance with the interim requirements.

"By implementing the whistle-blower program for tax violations and evasion, the Authority strives to provide an opportunity for all segments of the community to contribute to regulatory efforts, help protect markets and public funds from tax evasion, drive compliance among all taxpayers, and prevent illegal practices,"

"The program contributes in strengthening the concept of community partnership to reduce harmful practices in local markets and help protect the UAE’s financial resources. Tax evasion is one of the most significant challenges which the tax systems around the world face, considering that it is illicit practice that is harmful to the economic systems, and curbing such practices requires joint efforts from the government and society."

The Authority confirmed that the new program would improve the efficiency of tax collection, increase tax awareness, and enhance society’s confidence in the tax system. The program also ensures that the tax system is being implemented justly without evasion or fraud, and reduces the duration for investigations related to cases of tax evasion and violations of tax legislations, by providing additional evidence that the Authority can rely on in its procedures to ensure the accurate collection of taxes and ensure greater effectiveness in audits, thus curbing tax evasion.

The Authority explained that under the program, the Authority may use the information provided by the informant to detect violations and tax evasion, determine the procedures for approving monetary rewards and the powers to grant such rewards, and determine the procedures and conditions that must be followed. The Authority may also set the requirements that must be fulfilled in relation to any information provided by the informant; including requirements for proof, verification, and documentation, along with other conditions and requirements necessary for the administration or implementation of the whistle-blower program for tax violations and evasion.

News Source: Emirates News Agency

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