Majority of businesses in UAE hire VAT consultants for VAT return filings. However, hardly any know much about these professionals or how to choose the right tax preparers.
Almost all businesses that utilize the services of VAT consultants in Dubai, UAE never ask about professional credentials. That is amazing considering the fact that hiring regulated tax agents in UAE means sharing crucial details about the business finances.
Steps to hire the right tax specialists in UAE
VAT consultants in the UAE have differing levels of education, expertise, and skills. Here’s a guide on finding the best tax professional for you:
Step 1: Determine your specific needs.
The first step in finding the right tax professionals to hire is to determine the specific services that you actually need. Most businesses in the UAE that are registered for VAT need basic tax return filing services. There are also others that require tax professionals who are capable of handling the more complex tax issues and be available to assist and consult with throughout the year.
Being a CPA or certified public accountant doesn’t immediately provide a guarantee that a professional is best-suited in managing your taxes. It’s similar to when a person has a heart condition. You’re unlikely to consult with a podiatrist. Just as medical experts specialize, the same applies for finance professionals.
A lot of CPAs specialize and focus on audits. Those who choose tax as a career may concentrate on specific areas like commercial, real estate, or personal taxation. Likewise, a non-CPA tax professional may have the expertise in some kinds of tax returns. The most important thing is to find the expert with the expertise and experience that you need.
Step 2: Ask your referrals or check online reviews.
As soon as you fully understand the scope and scale of the services that you require, it is time to start the search. The best place for doing exactly that is asking your network for referral or recommendation. If there are none that you trust, look for professionals online and check the reviews posted by previous clients.
It is best, however, to find people that are within your network that have the same profile as you. This means talking to business owners and workers that are in your industry. Trusted insurance agents and attorneys also have connections to experienced tax professionals. List down the recommendations that you get and check their online reputation.
Read also: How VAT in UAE Affects Small Businesses?
Step 3: Verify the credentials
If you will be hiring a firm, check their licenses and permits. However, it’s still no guarantee that they will be the best fit for you. There are tax specialists and preparers that may be capable of handling simple tax affairs; however, not necessarily trained in providing a more in-depth tax guidance. For more complex tax issues or help in creating and implementing tax-minimizing strategies, you would need a tax attorney, enrolled or regulated tax agent, or CPA.
Step 4: Set up an interview.
You can learn so much from online reviews. However, there is still nothing that can replace a one-on-one conversation. It’s particularly important when you are on the lookout for someone that you can partner with for years. Tax season is a very busy time for regulated tax agents in Dubai. Don’t expect a lengthy conversation with professionals. But, you should ask for at least five to ten minutes of personal conversation. Then, get these details should they not be readily available on a firm or professional’s website:
- What are ways for them to ensure data security?
- Is the charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for a service?
- Will the tax return be filed electronically?
- How many returns can a professional complete in a year?
- For a firm, how many tax specialists can be assigned to me?
If they’re doing paper submissions, it is because they are not doing a lot of tax return filings in the UAE. This may be the sign that you’re looking to pass up on that specific service provider, regardless of how great the credentials presented may be. You’d be better off with an enrolled or regulated tax agent that does tax regularly than a certified public accountant that only does tax on the side.
Read also: VAT Treatment for UAE Transportation
Step 5: Look out for red flags.
Not everyone that claims to be an expert on taxation is legitimate. These two red flags can mean a person isn’t competent:
- Promises an amazing return – if it sounds and feels too good to actually be true, then it probably is. Be very wary of people that say they’ll get you refunds that are in excess of what you have been receiving in the past.
- Refusal to sign your returns – regulated tax agents in the UAE have to be registered as the representatives of specific businesses with the Federal Tax Authority. If a professional refuses to register with the local tax authority, then look for someone else.
For further information, consult with VAT Registration UAE today!
Read also: How to Deregister from VAT UAE