News Update

Saudi Arabia to reconsider VAT upon GDP growth

Date: 04 May, 2021

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/region/mena/saudi-arabia-to-reconsider-vat-after-achieving-economic-objectives

Riyadh- May 4, 2021:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will reconsider value-added tax (VAT) after it has achieved certain objectives related to its economy and economic growth, a senior official has said.

The decision to increase VAT from 5 % to 15 % from July 1, 2020 was taken by the Saudi government in response to the economic impact of Covid-19 and the decline in revenues from lower oil prices. The Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan has said that tripling value-added tax (VAT) to 15% was the best among the tough choices the government took during 2020.

He affirmed that taxes are an essential part of non-oil-dependent countries, indicating that the government’s goal is to expand the economy to reduce the economic burden, off the shoulders of their nationals or the private sector.

“Saudi Arabia will reconsider the value-added tax upon achieving certain objectives, such as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth, economic broadening, and a steady rise in oil price,” Al Jadaan said.

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Saudi Arabia has no plans to introduce income tax: Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman

Date: 29 Apr, 2021

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External URL: https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/saudi-arabia-has-no-plans-to-introduce-income-tax-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman-1.1619558916351

Riyadh- April 29, 2021:

Saudi Arabia has no plans to introduce income tax and the 15 percent VAT rate is a temporary decision for 5 years, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said in a TV interview. He also spoke on plans to eventually reduce the VAT rate, iterating that the move to increase the rate to 15 percent was a painful decision that he had to undertake.

In a wide-ranging TV interview to mark the fifth anniversary of the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy, the Crown Prince spoke about the Kingdom’s economic plans, developments and achievements made since the launch of Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the Kingdom’s economy without reliance on oil.

The Crown Prince explained figures related to housing policies, legislation and the private sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s economy, reviewing many economic figures, most notably the growth reflected in the Saudi stock market index.

Speaking of the future, Mohammed bin Salman said “We would launch vision 2040 after achievement of goals of vision 2030. He also revealed that the Kingdom is in discussions to sell 1 percent of state oil firm Saudi Aramco to a leading global energy company. Aramco previously sold a sliver of its shares on the Saudi bourse in December 2019, generating $29.4 billion in the world’s biggest initial public offering.

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KSA issues 40,500 fines for tax violations in first quarter

Date: 25 Mar, 2021

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External URL: https://www.arabnews.com/node/1830706/business-economy

Riyadh- March 25, 2021:

Saudi officials have issued 40,500 fines related to a number of different kinds of tax violations this year.

Governments worldwide are cracking down on tax evasion after sources public finances took a hammering during the pandemic. Few Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, introduced value added tax to boost revenues and reduce the dependency on oil revenues.

About 1.3 million registered taxpayers exist in the Kingdom according to the authority’s website.

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No Customs Duty on personal items worth SR3,000

Date: 21 Mar, 2021

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External URL: https://www.saudigazette.com.sa/article/604509/SAUDI-ARABIA/No-customs-duty-for-personal-belongings-worth-SR3000

Riyadh- March 21, 2021:

Saudi Customs has clarified that travelers arriving in Saudi Arabia will not have to pay customs duty on new personal belongings if they are worth less than SR3,000 ($800). The report mentions that threshold for personal shipments is SR1,000 which includes the value of the goods and freight charges. However as per Saudi customs, a 15% value-added tax (VAT) is imposed on imported goods.

Students returning from abroad will be exempted from taxes on household furniture and personal belongings at the end of their studies or at the end of work abroad after submitting a proof of college attendance, it said.

Cars manufactured in 2016 and afterwards are allowed to be imported from UAE to Saudi Arabia, if they follow local specifications and standards and the fuel economy standard. Tax will be applied at 5% of the vehicle’s value, in addition to 15% VAT. The 15% VAT rate also applies to goods imported from other Gulf states, in addition to shipping fees, customs fees and any other charges. These will be applied until the electronic services system among the Gulf countries begins, Saudi Customs said.

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GAZT launches an interactive guide to educate electronic stores on VAT requirements

Date: 07 Mar, 2021

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External URL: https://gazt.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/News_555.aspx

Dubai- March 7, 2021:

GAZT launches a VAT guide for stores to enable owners of electronic stores to comply with their obligations relating to VAT and guide them how to register, provide acknowledgment and pay tax. The guide includes a definition of electronic stores for those operating through independent websites, social media platforms, smart phone applications or instant chat applications.

The guide clarifies the obligations of the online store owner whose annual sales exceeds 375 thousand riyals annually before the Zakat and Income Authority, which include registering for value-added tax, displaying the tax certificate in the online store, filing tax returns and paying tax liabilities.

The Authority emphasized the necessity for the online store to clearly display the VAT registration certificate in front of consumers, regardless of the electronic sales platform through which the merchant operates in order to avoid imposing fines on the store.

View the VAT guide for e-shops.

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KSA: Fines on late VAT returns have been waived until June 2021

Date: 02 Feb, 2021

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External URL: https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/602768

Saudi Arabia- February 2, 2021:

The Saudi General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) extended the waiver period of fines and financial penalties for non-payment of Value Added Tax (VAT) until June 30, 2021. The move is part of the Kingdom’s initiatives to help the private sector face the economic fallout resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.

Taxpayers will be exempted from fines on delays in the payment of taxes or filing tax returns. They will be also exempted from the penalties imposed for correcting tax returns under the VAT law.

Taxpayers will be 100% exempted from penalties, if they fully pay the principal tax due under the relevant tax returns during the period from January-March 2021. GAZT added that 75% of fines will be waived if taxpayers fully pay the principal tax due under the relevant tax returns during the period from April-May 2021. A 50% waiver will also apply to taxpayers that fully pay the principal tax due under the relevant tax returns during June.

However, The GAZT clarified that the measure does not include any waivers of penalties that were imposed by the authority, other than delays in tax payments, submission of tax returns and correction of tax returns. The initiative does not also cover the fines imposed for tax evasions and the fines paid before January 21.

Saudi authorities clarify which cars are exempt from VAT

Date: 30 Dec, 2020

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External URL: https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi-authorities-clarify-which-cars-are-exempt-from-vat-1.76132760

Saudi Arabia- December 30, 2020:

While some car owners put a value-added tax of 15% on the cars they sell off outside the taxable showrooms, the Saudi Zakat and Income Authority confirmed, in response to an inquiry, that selling a used car from an unregistered individual, who does not run a business to another individual is not subject to VAT, local media reported.

According to the Zakat and Income Authority, taxable cars include vehicles sold off in auctions if the seller is carrying out an economic activity and cars sold off by showrooms or VAT registered businesses.

Saudi Arabia to review VAT increase after the pandemic ends

Date: 22 Nov, 2020

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/coronavirus-pandemic/coronavirus-saudi-arabia-to-review-vat-increase-after-covid-19-crisis-ends

Riyadh- November 22, 2020:

Saudi Arabia will review its VAT increase after the coronavirus pandemic ends, the Kingdom’s acting media minister said.

Saudi Arabia tripled value-added tax to 15% in July to offset the impact of lower oil revenue on state finances.The decision was a painful one and has undoubtedly caused concern for every individual and family.

“This decision is like any other decision, it can be revised God willing when this crisis is over,” Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi told reporters at a news conference, referring to the global pandemic.

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