VAT seminar addresses healthcare sector issues

Saturday 12 January 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

WTS Dhruva Consultants, a boutique advisory and FTA registered Tax Agent with presence in UAE, KSA and Bahrain, conducted a seminar recently on Value-Added Tax (VAT) for the representatives of healthcare service providers based in Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC).

At the seminar, WTS Dhruva Consultants also launched a comprehensive VAT guide for companies operating in the healthcare sector in the UAE. The guide, titled: “VAT on Health Care in UAE – Impact and Insights” elaborated and addressed numerous issues related to healthcare service providers, insurance companies, and related products.

Dr Ramadan AlBlooshi, CEO, Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory (DHCR), said, “It is important for us to help our partners in the DHCC community make informed decisions to help advance their delivery. Following the introduction of VAT at the beginning of this year, we received enquiries about its implementation and therefore we were keen to provide a platform to help them have a better understanding of VAT to facilitate compliance in the free zone. The seminar delivered by WTS Dhruva received positive feedback.”

Dinesh Kanabar, CEO and Founder of WTS Dhruva, said, “The VAT guide prepared by WTS Dhruva for the healthcare sector in the UAE is first of its kind in the country. The guide addresses numerous issues related to the activities of healthcare service providers. Our team of VAT experts, researchers with hands-on experience of the healthcare industry has covered a wide range of topics. This will be relevant and useful to a wide cross-section of organisations that comprise of the healthcare value chain,” said Dinesh Kanabar, CEO and Founder of WTS Dhruva.

The seminar titled: ‘VAT Guidelines for the Healthcare Sector in the UAE’ was held in the auditorium at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Complex and attended by around 150 people. WTS Dhruva’s Senior VAT experts addressed the seminar and answered questions raised by the participants.

Addressing the seminar, Nimish Goel, Partner at WTS Dhruva Consultants, said, “The government has a keen interest and focus on promoting the healthcare industry in the UAE. Keeping this intent in mind, the government has kept basic and preventive healthcare supply at a zero rate of VAT. But there are a lot of activities that are still subject to VAT.”

The majority of healthcare services under the UAE VAT law have been classified as zero-rated. This effectively means that such services are subject to VAT at 0% but with the eligibility to recover the VAT incurred on the associated costs. However, certain healthcare services that are not basic or preventive in nature but are more cosmetic are subject to the standard rate of VAT.

The National Agenda 2021, released by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai has laid special emphasis on the healthcare sector to help make the country a world-class healthcare destination.

Research reports suggest healthcare expenditure is projected to reach in excess of US$100 billion in the GCC, with UAE playing a prominent role. It is estimated that the UAE healthcare market is projected to reach Dh71.56 billion by 2020.

In its endeavour to make UAE a preferred healthcare destination for the world, the government is not only making efforts to improve and build a robust healthcare infrastructure, but it is also ensuring all the constituents of the eco-system are geared up to make it happen. And VAT is one such constituent that will play an important role in shaping the healthcare sector.

WTS Dhruva Consultants has been awarded a series of VAT mandates from major GCC businesses across retail, real estate, hospitality, financial services, energy sectors and healthcare. The firm has significant experience working with businesses in the Saudi Arabia and Bahrain region, and also functions from India, Singapore, and the USA.

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