IMPACT OF VALUE ADDED TAX ON SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE UAE

Impact of VAT
Impact of VAT on small businesses in the UAE

United Arab Emirates, previously considered a tax haven, has introduced 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) from 1st January 2018. The statutory authorities have stipulated that any firm having an annual turnover of Dh375000 or greater is required to register for VAT. In the recent months there has been a scramble for registration, considering the hefty fine of Dh20000 for non-compliance.

Small business owners and middle class families are worried about the rise in prices and how it will affect their standard of living.

TIPS TO SAVE TAX DESPITE VAT

As individual enterprises, companies will incur VAT at every stage in the supply chain. But one of the benefits of value added tax is that businesses which purchase goods and services from each other can register as a group for the purpose of taxation. One representative firm can take on the responsibility of complying with the regulations. The companies remain separate entities and the handshake is limited to tax liabilities. This is especially beneficial for small businesses as it prevents duplication of tax.

Restructuring is another way to reduce the effects of value added tax on business. When a company is purchasing raw products on a regular basis from another firm for further processing; the two can join forces to form one entity. The cost of purchasing raw material reduces to 0%. The funds saved can be used fruitfully for statutory tax compliance.

Following a traditional pattern of tax savings, small firms must invest in employee group health insurance schemes. Even if the organizations have to pay premiums, the long term effect is good. When employees are insured they feel safer in the workplace. This will result in improved efficiency, higher production and better annual turnover; thus compensating for the tax burden.

LONG TERM BENEFITS OF VAT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Up until a decade ago, the authorities in UAE had depended solely on escalating prices of crude oil to generate revenue. With the rising popularity of alternative fuels, there has been a steady reduction in demand for petroleum. It is imperative for the GCC countries to look for other sources of revenue to maintain the same standard of living.

Any palpable decline in the standard of living that global tourists expect of the UAE; will mean less tourists and consequently reduced turnover for businesses. Small enterprises rely heavily on tourism for sustainable income.

According to the Undersecretary to the Ministry of Finance, His Excellency Younis Haji Al-Khouri, with 5% VAT the anticipated revenue is AED10-12bn in the first year itself.

This will definitely have a positive impact on the economy as a whole. The revenue can be used for improving/maintaining infrastructure, enhancing tourism and making businesses more self-sufficient.

DISADVANTAGES OF VAT

To cover the burden of VAT businesses will have to increase the prices of their products and services. The tax will be passed on to the consumer. Some firms may lose a few of their clientele. But this negative response will last for a short period. Most buyers are creatures of habit. If they are accustomed to certain goods and services they will definitely return.

HOW TO AVOID NON-COMPLIANCE

Whenever a company has to comply with tax related statutory regulations, it has to maintain numerous records that clearly define:

  • Working capital and cash flow,
  • Operational costs,
  • Stages of supply chain,
  • Marketing strategies and pricing,
  • Accounting and taxation.

Documentation and reporting will increase the annual expenditure of the small concern.

On the other hand, the VAT imposed in the UAE will promote transparency and honesty among the business community and will improve the credibility of small business firms. This will in turn lead to a more evolved economy, better customer relationships and increased profits.

Therefore, it is crucial for small business owners to be well informed about VAT. Computation of value added tax is not an easy process. The best way to avoid any non-compliance issues is to seek professional advice. An advisor can help the firms with the complicated procedures of registration for VAT and related documentation, without jeopardizing their current business goals and objectives. In this transitional phase, firms specializing in Value Added Tax advisory are the safest bet for small businesses.

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7 TIPS FOR A GREAT VACATION WITH KIDS

In the month of March most families are Google-searching the best summer holiday destinations. All of us look forward to a relaxing vacation at least once a year. Many parents say that travelling with small kids can be a horrendous task! But if you plan your vacation carefully it will definitely be less stressful. Here are some easy tips for a great family vacation

START EARLY – Being early at railway stations/bus stands/airports will give you leverage in case there is a traffic jam on the way. You will also have spare time once you check in. Looking for your seats when you have small kids tagging along can be stressful. An early start gives you time to relax a little at the terminal before the rush for boarding.

INVOLVE THE CHILDRENVacation packing for children must be a collaborative effort. Involving the children from a very early age will instill a sense of responsibility. It is worth purchasing small satchels which kids can carry. They need not carry anything heavier than a small box of their favourite goodies. Also, encourage the older ones to push the luggage trolley. 

Click on the link for a tasty and nutritious snack which is perfect for kids: https://thestorytellerskitchen.com/prasadache-ladu-dry-fruit-ladoo/

CARRY FIRST-AID – When you are planning a family vacation you must also stock the first-aid kit with bandages, ointments, ear/eye drops, anti-allergy syrups, cold-cough syrups, pediatric paracetamol in case of fever, etc along with the usual medicines you carry.

PACK EXTRA SNACKS – Besides the goodies the kids are carrying in their satchels, keeping extra snacks in your hand-luggage is sensible. In case of unexpected delays the extra snacks will come in handy.

CARRY VIDEO GAMES – I wouldn’t normally recommend video games for children. But they will be your best friends while travelling. The games will ensure that your children are seated in one place and fully occupied at airport terminals/bus-train stations. It is worth the indulgence if they help to keep the children close to you in a crowded place.

TAKE SOME BOOKS – Usually kids are hyperactive when they are in a new environment like a hotel room. Carry some children’s books to read to them at bedtime. If they sleep well they will be cheerful the next day; which means an enjoyable day for you as well.

USE TRACKING DEVICESGPS tracking devices for kids are easily available online. These are wearable, the most popular kind being children’s wristwatches. They can be synchronized with your mobile phone so that you can locate your kid in case he/she is lost in the crowd.  Kid locators are available with Android as well as iOS compatibility.

Trips with kids should not be a matter of just “surviving family vacations”. It should be a time to have fun with the family in beautiful surroundings. I am convinced these tips will make your next family holiday a memorable experience. Have fun…

Dr. Ms. Samina A. Boxwala – From Humble Beginnings to Vice Principal of Nowrosjee Wadia College

Dr. Ms. Samina A. Boxwala
Dr. Ms. Samina A. Boxwala
Dr. Ms. Samina Boxwala  could have opted for a well-paid career in Industry with a M.Sc. from IIT Mumbai and Ph.D. Maths from Mumbai University. Instead, she has dedicated her life to sharing knowledge with others. She has been a remarkable asset to the field of academics and is a recognized Ph.D. guide. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, she shares some aspects of her impressive career…

Me: What inspired you to take up academics as a career when everyone else was rooting for Information Technology?

SAB: I am very passionate about teaching. Even during my student days, I would give tuitions to earn pocket money and I enjoyed that time thoroughly. It was then that I realised I was cut out to be a teacher.

As an undergrad at Nowrosjee Wadia College, Pune, India, I was fortunate to have some really great Mathematics teachers. They made learning Math fun and encouraged me to love the subject as much as they did.

Me: What was the turning point in your life that attributes to your current success?

SAB: It was in my final year as a student in Wadia College that I decided on two aspects of my career:

  • I was going to be a teacher.
  • And I was going to be a teacher only in Wadia College.

This has proved to be the best decision of my life. I always feel totally alive when I am in a classroom. Every pore of my being is engaged when I am teaching. At the end of every session, especially one where I have taught some difficult concepts, I feel that I have fulfilled my life’s purpose!

Me: What kind of pitfalls have you come across in your career? How did you overcome them?

SAB: Very early on in my career (probably in the very first year of teaching) there were a few people who were sceptical about my abilities. However, I was fortunate enough to have one mentor who kept my spirits up during this difficult phase.

Eventually, with a lot of hard work, I could turn the others around into believing in me. Once I had proved my competence and credibility the journey has been more or less smooth and there has been no looking back.

Me: What are your strengths?

SAB: Of course my parents…I owe them my sincere gratitude for the numerous sacrifices they made to give me a good education, though not being highly educated or very well off themselves.

The formal study of ‘Logic’ as part of my curriculum has sharpened my ability to think clearly. I am blessed with a good IQ and have an intense desire to excel in every task that I undertake. These qualities have helped me stay focused through all the personal/professional difficulties.

I have never taken it easy. I have paved the path from Lecturer to Vice Principal with hard work, consistent effort and the pursuance of perfection; which qualities still define my work ethics and working style. Being a part of the Management as a Life Member of Modern Education Society which runs, amongst others, the Wadia Colleges, gives me a great feeling of achievement. 

Me: Who was the biggest influence in your life?

SAB: None other than my mentor – Prin. Dr. M. M. Andar.  I am so proud to follow in his footsteps. Sir continues to inspire me even today with his characteristic smile and his willingness to learn a new subject even post-retirement. Both students and colleagues benefit equally from his encouraging-helpful nature, including the junior-most ones. It’s no wonder that his students revere him and develop a love for teaching Mathematics. 

Me: Is there anything else about your career you would like to add?

SAB:  I have always felt a wonderful sense of belonging in the Wadia College Campus, which I refer to as my first home. A street hoarding outside the college reminds me of my duty on a daily basis. It reads, “Your privileges cannot be greater than your obligations.”

Recently, I had the privilege to be the NAAC and IQAC Coordinator and to lead my alma mater to an A+ for re-accreditation by NAAC. In the true sense, I feel humbled to have had the honour of bringing glory to my Institution.

Me: Any message for young aspirants on International Women’s Day…

SAB: I would like to quote my favourite song from The Sound of Music:

“Climb every mountain, Search high and low,
Follow every byway, Every path you know,
Climb every mountain, Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow, Till you find your dream,
A dream that will need, All the love you can give,
Every day of your life, For as long as you live…”

And while you are doing all this, don’t forget to celebrate life!

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

LMS – the Best Way to Retain Your Job and Study

Online Courses
Learning Management Systems

Why take a break in service when you can study a course through Learning Management Systems (LMS) and retain your job? LMS is a software application that can deliver education and training online, as well as document, track and report your progress. Learning management system education gives you the freedom to study whenever you are off-duty. Some examples of LMSs are SAP, aTutor, Google Classroom, CallidusCloud, JoomlaLMS, etc.

Learning Management System Benefits

Being cloud-based, Learning Management Systems do not require storage space on multiple locations. The data from one remote server can be accessed by instructors and students from anywhere in the world, after proper authentication.

Printed course materials, instructors’ travel fees, coaching classes, your cost of travelling to class, etc are some of the major expenses that are eliminated. LMS education doesn’t require students to purchase specific hardware. E-Learning platforms are accessible on desktops, laptops, tablets as well as smartphones. Hence, the Learning management systems cost is much lower than traditional school courses.

Considering the different time zones of various nations studying via LMS is very convenient. Whether you are in America or Japan, Scandinavia or Australia; you can log into your courseware at a time that suits you.

LMS education and testing is carried out through quizzes, simulations, and pseudo-classroom interactive (video-conferencing) methods, making it an enjoyable experience.

Study material can be very easily modified by the developers to comply with the latest changes in the courses. Hence, the course content is always up-to-date.

Majority LMSs are integrated with social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Students can use message boards, forums and social media groups, where input from other members could be helpful.

Importance of learning management system lies in the fact that students have the freedom to study at any time and at their own pace. There is no age limit to enrol for a LMS course. Also, there is no need to give up the current job to acquire more knowledge.

Low Cost Fun Filled Activities for Long Weekends

 

Long weekends can be boring if we don’t have an interesting activity planned in advance. Costly air fares and resorts do not fit into everybody’s budgets. People have different priorities where spending is concerned.

Weekends is the time to for some solo activities or for quality time with family and friends. Here are few Low cost weekend activities that you can enjoy this year.

Celebrate life!

2 tricks to stay fit on a low budget

A low budget fitness programme according to me should be a no-budget one. This may sound impossible but it is actually very easy to follow. If all you want is to do is keep fit forget about expensive gyms . There are two major deciding factors for fitness – exercise and diet. But this does not necessarily mean you need to follow a strict exercise routine or eat only salads! Here are 2 tricks to stay fit on a low budget.

EASY HOMEMADE DIET

Take note of the signals given by your body. Your digestive system constantly gives you indications on which foods are good for you. If you feel fresh and energetic after eating fruits eat more fruits. If abstaining from meat makes you feel weak and tired, make fish or chicken a part of every meal. Vegetarians can use sprouts, cheese, pulses or lentils instead of meat. No two diets will be the same because each person’s metabolism is different. Buy fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses and meat that are grown locally.

Heat-n-eat readymade meals are your worst enemies. Avoid imported and canned foods even if they are well within the expiry date.
The easiest low budget way to fitness is eating home-cooked food. I don’t mean elaborate four-course meals but healthy, simple meals. For example, a salad made with steamed boneless chicken pieces (or bean sprouts), cherry tomatoes, lettuce leaves, mayo, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and eaten with toasted garlic bread tastes superb. It takes less than 5 minutes to assemble. Finish off with a homemade cupcake made with whole wheat and dried fruits. Your favourite deep fried foods can be a Sunday treat.

YOU CAN EAT EVERYTHING IN MODERATION AS LONG IT IS COOKED AT HOME.

NO COST EXERCISE ROUTINE

Most of us buy weekly groceries on weekends. You’ve enjoyed your weekend treats of fried foods and cake for lunch. Sunday evening is the time to burn the calories! Walk to the supermarket if it is just 15-30 minutes away from your residence.

Or else invest in a bicycle. Both walking and cycling will keep you slim and the muscles toned. Whether it’s shopping or just for exercise, cycling will definitely keep you fit. The health benefits include:

  • Improved cardiovascular health,
  • Better muscle coordination,
  • Strong bones and improved mobility of joints,
  • Optimum cholesterol levels,
  • Stress management, and many more.

Don’t want to spend on a bicycle right now? No issues! Just walk more than you usually do. A bicycle costs very little compared to a motorcycle or car and walking costs nothing at all. So choose your own combination of diet and exercise to keep fit on a low budget.

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