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Are you VAT ready or still searching for VAT experts in the UAE?

Posted on 25.09.2017

Are you VAT ready? Secure the talent you need

With VAT registration in the UAE quickly approaching, many businesses are securing the experts they need. Others, however, have yet to allocate a budget to the VAT implementation process.  This is concerning, especially since there is a shortage of VAT talent in the region. If you’ve yet to hire VAT experts for your business, have you thought about what you’re going to do?

In July 2017, Deloitte published survey results which indicated that only around 50% of businesses think they will be ready for VAT implementation in 2018.  While this is an improvement from earlier in the year, it means that half of businesses are still at risk of receiving hefty penalties for non-compliance. 

Here’s my advice from a talent perspective if you’re unprepared.

How to find and secure VAT experts locally

Regionally, as there are few taxes in existence, finding people locally with VAT experience is difficult. That’s not to say the talent pool is empty. The Big4 and some MNCs have been gradually building up their teams since the start of the year, so there are some skilled and regionally adapted VAT candidates out there. However, most of these recruits are now embedded in their company and unlikely to move.  Unless of course a lucrative offer were to come on the table...

Attracting candidates from outside the GCC

There is a much wider pool of VAT experienced talent outside the GCC, but this can be a time-consuming process. Not to mention, these candidates are highly-sought and well compensated, so enticing them from their jobs would require a big offer. Finally, there isn’t a great desire to relocate amongst this group. As most are senior-level, they are established in their communities, have family commitments, etc. Overall, attracting international candidates is not an easy task.

What’s the cost of not being ready for VAT implementation?

As a business, if you delay in hiring VAT experts, you may risk paying premium rates to consulting firms for their services or you may pay way above the salary banding for experienced VAT specialists.

Another option is to train your current finance team to implement the necessary processes and IT systems, but time is ticking and the penalties for non-compliance are significant fines.

Your best option?

Put a plan in place today to hire the VAT experts that you need. Delaying will inevitably cost you money.

Hanson Search Dubai are experts in VAT talent in the UAE and we have an international network. If you want to speak with a professional, don’t hesitate to contact us for a confidential chat.

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Author: Elaine Hardman

With over 17 years of experience in executive search and recruitment, Elaine has a well-developed ability to build relationships and engage stakeholders.

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