The day when tax will be fully digital is almost upon us. Like Saudi Arabia, the UAE has adopted the GCC’s Unified VAT Agreement on digital taxes for foreign sellers. The VAT rate for digital products is 5%. There is no registration threshold.

What does this mean for overseas businesses? They must register for VAT by creating an e-Services account with the Federal Tax Agency and then complete a VAT registration form. This form is available in Arabic and English.

This is just one example of why adopting a ‘making tax digital’ (MTD) approach will be paramount for commercial businesses in the future. The emphasis on using readily available technology platforms to manage every aspect of commercial operations is profound. Receipt capture to track expenses and manage commercial finance will become increasingly prominent in the months and years to come as will cloud computing.

But how do you get your business ready for the complete integration of a digital tax process? By following these steps…

If You’re Not Already Tax Digital – Now’s The Time to Start

Despite the ready availability of receipt capture and cloud computing technology, many businesses across the UAE are steadfastly sticking traditional expense and accounting practices. The longer you delay automating your tax, the more difficult it will be complete day-to-day operations – and service your clients.

It’s critical that you get all the pieces in place to make sure a seamless transition to digital platforms when the inevitability of making tax digital happens. However, this presents an opportunity for SME’s as their smaller infrastructure will make it easier to adopt an MTD approach – and get a leg-up on larger organizations. Why not start by using an OCR receipt scanner to manage your expenses? Small businesses will be amazed by the efficiency and benefit of this simple change.

Talk to The Experts

Like anything else, if you’re uncertain about any aspect of MTD and how it affects your business, you need to talk to a learned professional who can give you sound advice. In Dubai, you’ll find a wealth of accountants and finance professionals who can offer sage advice and guidance on a host of issues regarding MTD.

Moreover, if you’re determined to automate your company accounting processes, but are unsure which platforms to choose, a quick search online will return all the information you need to decide how best to implement the new process. If you’re looking for advice about receipt capture and how it can benefit your business, you need only contact Tabscanner – we’d be happy to explain why receipt scanning is, and will be, integral to commercial success in the coming months and years.

Don’t Be Afraid to Trial Software

Finding the right platform to help your business prosper in an MTD environment can be a challenge. For instance, an OCR receipt scanner is integral for businesses who manage an abundant amount of receipts. Finding the right software to suit your commercial operations is paramount.

You need to understand your chosen software’s compatibility. Does it allow you to submit VAT receipts? Is it cloud conversant? Is it suited to the size of your organization? Does it streamline processes?

The most astute businesses will choose software that offers a multi-purpose solution. For instance, account management software that allows you to raise invoices, schedule payment reminders and manage cash flow is far more beneficial than software that only has the capabilities to complete one, or two of these functions.

Give Yourself Time to Adapt to Any Changes

Any commercial changes require an adjustment period. This is true regardless of your business nature, size, the sector you work in or the extent of the change. Have a plan to arrange and manage any changes and you’ll ease the adjustment period.

If your business makes the decision to use receipt capture technology to accurately manage your expenses, make sure that you provide sound employee training. It’s also a good idea to initiate the OCR receipt scanner in a well-organised and managed fashion. Employees will need time to adjust to new processes. Overloading individuals with a heavy digital expense workload may pose more problems than solutions.

It’s important to understand that adopting an MTD or digital expense management process should be implemented with a little disruption as possible to your business.

So, what’s the takeaway? MTD in commercial operations is coming – faster than you may think. It’s important to be prepared and to have an online infrastructure that supports the changes. If not, you may find yourself lagging behind your competitors.