- June 6, 2021
- Posted by: Ajmal
Requirement to use Arabic language in corresponding with the GTA including submission of the financial statements (“FS”)
After the issuance of the Law No. 7 of 2019 (in relation to protection of Arabic Language), in April 2019, the GTA issued the Circular No: 14 of 2019 requiring all the taxpayers to submit their FS in Arabic for the taxable years starting on 1 January 2020 and onwards.
With the introduction of Dhareeba during 2020, all income tax returns are now required to be submitted through Dhareeba. The income tax return filing module in Dhareeba currently does not specify that only Arabic FS should be attached. We further note that the Dhareeba system currently does not have an “automatic control/check” to verify whether the FS attached by taxpayers in Dhareeba are in Arabic or English. While the GTA has not issued any further official guidance with respect to the requirement to submit FS in Arabic (or whether FS in English only will continue to be acceptable), considering the provisions of the Circular 14 of 2019, there is a potential risk that the GTA may at a later stage reject the submission on the grounds of non-compliance (i.e. on the basis that submission of FS in Arabic is considered mandatory).
Based on our informal inquiries, the GTA has been reminding to submit Arabic FS starting from the taxable year ended 31 December 2020 and thereby comply with the requirements under the Circular No: 14 of 2019. We therefore recommend all the taxpayers to comply with the instructions contained in the Circular 14 of 2019 while submitting their annual income tax returns in Dhareeba unless any official guidance is issued by the GTA allowing taxpayers to submit their tax returns along with English FS.