In a move designed to help affected businesses navigate the financial and administrative impact of COVID-19, the Federal Tax Authority (“FTA”) in the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) has extended the due date for filing the excise tax return and payment of excise tax for the month of March 2020 by one month from 15 April 2020 to 17 May 2020.

To facilitate this extension within the existing legal framework, the FTA has extended the (monthly) tax period that commenced on 1 March 2020 by one month so that it will now end on 30 April 2020 instead of 31 March 2020 and will therefore be, in essence, a two month tax period.

Notwithstanding that tax period extension to 30 April 2020, the FTA announcement indicates that excise registered taxpayers will be required to:

  1. File separate excise tax returns for March 2020 and April 2020 by 17 May 2020; and
  2. Pay excise tax for March 2020 and April 2020 by 17 May 2020.

Mirroring similar measures adopted by tax administrations globally and in the region, this extension has been communicated by the FTA to excise registered taxpayers directly and will no doubt be a welcome relief for affected businesses.