Saudi Arabia Grants 30-Years Tax Relief to MNCs with HQ in its Country

Riyadh February 20 2024:

In a new step towards attracting foreign investments and global companies, the Saudi Arabian official Gazette has announced its plans to grant 30 years of tax relief to multinational companies (MNCs) establishing regional headquarters in the Gulf kingdom.

The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance and the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority today announced 30-year tax incentive package for The Regional Headquarters (RHQ) Program, to further streamline the process for MNCs to establish their RHQ in the country. The offer includes a 0 percent corporate tax and withholding tax rate for 30 years, which will be applied for companies from the day they obtained their RHQ license.

The tax relief granted to multinational companies establishing headquarters in the country comes before a January 1 deadline to open such branches in Saudi Arabia. The program aims to attract MNCs to set up their RHQ in Saudi Arabia and position the Kingdom as the leading commercial, industrial and investment hub for the MENA region.

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ZATCA Records 6 Million Customs Declaration and More Than 1 Million Zakat & Tax Declarations

Riyadh February 12 2024:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, through its land, air and sea ports, processed about 6 million customs declarations for the Kingdom’s imports and exports during the year 2023, amounting to more than 2.3 million containers, while the number of zakat and tax declarations for the authority’s taxpayers reached more than 1.6 million zakat declarations.

At the level of enhancing the security aspect, seizures across all customs ports during the year 2023 amounted to more than 50,000 seizures, including all prohibited items that the Authority thwarted in an attempt to smuggle them into the Kingdom.

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Kuwait, UAE Sign Double Taxation Agreement

Kuwait City February 11 2024:

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement to avert double taxation between the two countries, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

In its statement, Kuwait’s Ministry of Finance said the final agreement between the two regarding taxes on income on capital and to prevent tax evasion and avoidance had been signed.

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FTA Earns ISO Certificate for Implementing International Standard in its Innovation Management System

Abu Dhabi February 09 2024:

The innovation management system of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has earned a new international accreditation, in recognition of it implementing global best practices and standards that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of innovation management.

The Authority has been awarded the ISO 56002:2019 certificate, confirming its success in implementing the international standard for innovation management. This achievement coincides with the FTA’s participation in the month long UAE Innovates 2024 initiative.

The certification was granted after experts from the certifying body audited the FTA’s system and verified the accuracy of all related procedures. The Authority passed the audits successfully, confirming that its system provides an effective framework for driving innovation.

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FTA Launches Hackathon Event to Encourage Innovators in the Tax Sector

Dubai February 08 2024:

As part of its agenda for participating in the month long ‘UAE Innovates 2024’ initiative, held throughout the month of February, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has opened the door for participation in its Hackathon event.

With the Hackathon, the Authority aims to develop innovative technological solutions for the challenges the tax sector faces, in addition to strengthening cooperation and partnership among government, educational, and private institutions to achieve a sustainable impact.

The FTA invited innovators to participate in the event, which offers them an opportunity to generate pioneering solutions that address the challenges facing the tax sector in several aspects, including raising awareness about taxes in the community; employing advanced technology to streamline procedures, such as the submission of tax returns for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and combating tax evasion.

Submissions will continue to be accepted until 23 February, after which the Authority will organise a special event on 29 February at the Dubai Creative Hub – Emirates Towers, in collaboration with world-leading software developers SAP, the FTA’s strategic partner in digital transformation.

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FTA Launches 2nd Phase of Corporate Tax Awareness Campaigns in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi February 06 2024:

Tax Authority (FTA) has launched the second phase of its comprehensive campaign to raise business sectors’ awareness of Corporate Tax and provide continuous knowledge support to taxpayers. The campaign is part of the FTA’s efforts, in collaboration with the relevant parties, to ensure a seamless implementation of the Corporate Tax Law which entered into effect in June and applies to financial years that began on or after 1 June 2023.

The FTA explained in a press release today that the new phase of the Corporate Tax awareness campaign – which runs until the end of this year – will feature a number of events and virtual as well as in-person workshops across the UAE’s seven emirates. The program will focus on raising awareness about various specific topics such as legislation and the requirements and procedures for Corporate Tax compliance and will be tailored to the needs of each of the concerned taxpayer.

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MPs Approve 2% Tax on Expat Remittances in Bahrain

Manama February 02 2024:

Parliament has unanimously approved a legislation to tax expatriate remittances despite strong opposition from the government.

During its weekly session yesterday, Parliament Speaker Ahmed Al Musallam led the “yes” vote to impose a two per cent levy on the total amount remitted each time by an expatriate individual. It will be now reviewed and voted on by the Shura Council after Mr Al Musallam referred it urgently to the upper chamber.

The government was obliged by law to draft the Parliament-presented legislation within six months. However, it has asserted that a remittance tax would be unfair and ‘unconstitutional’.

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Oman Most Affordable Tax-free Country

Muscat January 19 2024:

Oman is the most affordable tax-free country to relocate to in 2024, with a relocation score of 7.92 according to research by award-winning expat insurance provider William Russell. It is also the cheapest country to purchase or rent an apartment in, as it boasts the lowest monthly living costs. It is also the third cheapest country for monthly utility bills, costing around £83 ($103).

Kuwait is the second most affordable tax-free country to move to this year, with a relocation score of 6.49/10. Single economy flights to the country range from US$159 to US$660 and Kuwait is also the second most affordable country for both monthly costs and utility bills.

Bahrain ranks third most affordable tax-free country to relocate to in 2024, earning a relocation score of 6.36/10. Bahrain is the second cheapest country to purchase an apartment in, costing US$173/sqm on average. It is also the fifth most affordable country for both monthly costs and utility bills.

Popular relocation spot – the United Arab Emirates – ranked the fourth most affordable tax-free country (relocation score 5.84/10), with monthly costs of around US$959, while the average monthly net salary in the UAE is around US$3,474.

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Qatar: General Tax Authority Announces Tax Return Filing Dates

Doha January 18 2024:

The General Tax Authority (GTA) announced the timeframe for the submission of tax returns for the tax year ending on December 31, 2023 and the application window extends from January 1, 2024 to April 30.

The GTA further clarified that all companies with a commercial register or a commercial ‎license must submit a tax return, and this requirement applies irrespective of whether they have ‎engaged in actual commercial activity. Submissions can be made through the Dhareeba tax ‎portal, dhareeba.qa or the Dhareeba Application, the service has been activated for the companies that meet the conditions for submitting a simplified tax return.

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UAE FTA Releases Guide on Tax Groups in Jan 2024

Abu Dhabi January 16 2024:

This month, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) released Corporate Tax Guide CTGTGR1 focusing on tax groups. The guide offers detailed explanations on various aspects of tax group and the conditions for establishing a tax group.

The parent company and its subsidiary/ies can request the FTA to form a tax group, if they are resident juridical persons, with the parent company owning at least 95 per cent of the share capital, voting rights, and entitlement to profits and net assets of the subsidiary/ies. Both entities should not be exempt or qualified free zone persons. Additionally, the parent company and its subsidiary must share the same financial year and follow the same accounting standards for preparing their financial statements.

The juridical person condition clarified that the sole establishments, freelancers, and unincorporated partnerships cannot be part of the tax group.

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