The value-added tax has applicable to around 90 percent of the total 350,000 SME companies and 20,000 large and very-large companies that currently exist in the UAE. All these companies will now need a lot of accounting and tax professionals who are familiar with the concepts of the VAT. This is expected to create a surge of new opportunities for local and international tax experts.
Tax professionals from countries like India who are already familiar with the implementation of complex tax systems like tax are looking for attractive career opportunities in the UAE and other GCC countries.
There are already many Indian chartered accountants working in the Gulf countries and the number is expected to go higher with the introduction of the VAT, as companies prefer to hire professionals with some experience in this type of tax system.
The availability of manpower is also not an issue since India produces more accounting professionals than any other country in the world. Another reason why Indian tax experts are being hired is the presence of many India based business firms in the UAE, who prefer to hire accounting experts from their own home country.
VAT in UAE creates high demand for India based tax experts
According to ICAI Chairman, Naveen Sharma, the demand for chartered accountants in UAE has seen an unprecedented growth in past months. As expected, VAT will impact the entire supply chain of business, creating the requirements for hiring more manpower. The tax and finance professionals and accountants, as well as IT professionals from all over the world, are getting better career opportunities from companies in the UAE.
At present, there are more than 9,000 chartered accountants working in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, with around 9,000 CAs in the UAE and over 11,000 more CAs in other GCC countries. The number will rise significantly as the time of VAT implementation nears and will continue for the next two years or so.
Besides businesses and companies, accounting firms are also the biggest contenders in terms of hiring. Various accounting firms in the UAE have already started hiring tax professional from all the world with the aim to increase their workforce before the VAT is implemented. Recruitment firms are also playing a major role in all this. They are getting a high demand for taxation candidates who also have some IT skills.
VAT has brought a lot of new opportunities for Indian CAs and expert accountants as they already have experience in dealing with indirect taxes such as VAT and GST (Goods and Services Tax), which is even more complex. The UAE companies are looking forward to benefiting from the experience and knowledge of Indian tax professionals. The fact that tax experts from India are manning and even heading a number of accounting firms in India and abroad is enough to instill a confidence among these UAE firms that these experts are the right choice to tackle the needs for VAT compliance.
This is also a wonderful opportunity for Indian and international tax firms with expertise in accounting, as they will now get a lot of projects relating to tax management for UAE based companies. CAs are already in a very high demand in India ever since the introduction of GST and the demand is soon expected to exceed the supply.
Around 300,000 companies in the UAE would fall under the cover of VAT and will be needing expert guidance to get compliant with the new tax system. VAT is expected to create more than 3,000 new job opportunities in the country. Even the companies that do not fall directly under the ambit of VAT will still need advice for various VAT related things. Many UAE based accounting firms have already started hiring CAs ad accounting professionals from India and other countries to suffice the increasing demand for the talent in this field.
Experts believe that these job opportunities will continue for at least next 1 or 2 years. The companies might need to maintain properly audited financials as a compliance with VAT policies. They will also need professional accounting experts or firms to represent them before the authorities.
As the demand for tax professionals is increasing continuously, many experts are offering their services at low rates to attract more business. It might be a good option for small businesses and startups looking for affordable services, however, the quality of these services may not be good enough.
The major reason for the big demand of Indian CAs in the UAE is the expertise of Indian tax professionals in a variety of tax types and regulations, including direct and indirect taxes. The India based chartered accountants and tax professionals are already proving themselves in the leading business environments at the global level. They should not have any problem managing the needs of the upcoming VAT system in the UAE. Many business entities in the UAE are already getting professional support from India based accounting agencies and may even consider hiring permanent experts after the implementation of the VAT.