VAT’s UP

VAT’s UP

Saudi Arabia contemplating to cut VAT Rate

Date: 27 May, 2022

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External URL: https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/620938

Riyadh May 27, 2022:

Saudi Arabia is contemplating a cut down in the VAT rate which was increased to 15 percent in 2020 during COVID times. The VAT rate was tripled to shore up finances hit by low oil prices and diminishing global demand due to the raging pandemic.

Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said “We will ultimately consider cutting the VAT but at the moment we are still replenishing the reserves.”

Jadaan added “Saudi Arabia’s policy on fiscal sustainability would ensure that reserves do not fall below a certain percentage level of the country’s gross domestic product.”

The world’s biggest crude exporter, whose economy is estimated at $1 trillion, said in its budget for 2022 that the Fiscal Sustainability Program aims to de-couple the economy from oil price fluctuations, realizing several economic benefits for the non-oil economy and the private sector.

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Bahrain: Legal Action take against 18 Tax Violators

Date: 26 May, 2022

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External URL: https://www.newsofbahrain.com/bahrain/81376.html

Manama May 26, 2022:

The Ministry of Industry in cooperation with the National Bureau of Revenue (NBR) began inspections in the city to trace down tax violators early this year. Inspections were carried out in nearly early 40 trading outlets across Bahrain to ensure stringent compliance with the readjusted VAT rules. The retail outlets found guilty of tax evasion are facing fines and jail terms.

Eighteen trading establishments are facing fines of up to 10,000 BD for having violated the VAT laws in the region. The lawbreakers can also be jailed for five years.

The ministry and NBR stressed the importance of complying with readjusted VAT regulations and urged customers to report defaulters on their hotline 80008001 or send an email to vat@nbr.gov.bh

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ZATCA thwarts an attempt to Smuggle 29,000 Captagon pills hidden in a Cheese Consignment

Date: 18 May, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/News_879.aspx

Riyadh May 18, 2022:

During the inspection process of one of the vehicles at Al Haditha port, Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) managed to thwart an attempt to smuggle 29,000 Captagon pills found hidden in an artistic way inside glass boxes containing cheese.

The Captagon pills were discreetly inserted in plastic gloves and placed inside cheese containers, which were then cleverly placed within the luggage carried by the smuggler inside the vehicle. In coordination with the General Directorate of Narcotics Control, the consignment was seized and the culprit was arrested.

The authority confirmed that smugglers are seeking to exploit everything to try to introduce such contraband into the Kingdom through its land, sea and air customs outlets. However, the authority is on the lookout for such illegal attempts and seeks to combat drug smuggling of all kinds in its Kingdom.

The authority called on everyone to contribute to combating smuggling and protecting the society and the national economy by reporting defaulters on the number designated for security reports (1910) or via e-mail 1910@zatca.gov.sa or the international number (00966114208417).

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Saudi GAZT launches a Value-Added Tax Guide for E-Shops

Date: 17 May, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/HelpCenter/guidelines/Documents/E-commerce%20Guideline.pdf

Riyadh May 17, 2022:

The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) launched an interactive guide to educated online stores about the requirements of value-added tax. The guide will further enable e-storeowners to abide by their duties related to value-added tax and guide them on how to register, file a declaration and pay the due tax.

The guide outlines electronic stores as those operating through independent websites, social media platforms, smartphone applications, or instant chat applications.

The guide also does clarify the obligations of online store owners whose annual sales exceed 375,000 riyals annually before the Zakat and Income Authority. It includes registering for value-added tax, displaying the tax certificate in the online store, and filing tax returns on time.

View the Value-Added Tax Guide for E-Shops in Arabic.

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Kuwait General Administration of Customs signs MoU with Abu Dhabi Ports Group

Date: 13 May, 2022

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External URL: https://wam.ae/en/details/1395303034112

Abu Dhabi May 13, 2022:

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Abu Dhabi Ports Group and Kuwait General Administration of Customs for Virtual Trade Corridor between the two countries. This agreement will help in simplification and facilitation of cross-border trade with the help of new policies, procedures and integrated solutions.

With the establishment of the new virtual trade corridor, customs authorities in both countries will be able to access pre-arrival information for international cargo movements, making cross-validation of information significantly faster and promoting pre-clearance of goods. The MoU will also provide for accelerated procedures for expediting shipments of perishable goods and reduce dwell time at borders. The digital integration also has significant safety and security benefits, improving visibility for authorities over any possible risks associated with goods that move between the two nations, as well as reducing the inspection rate and simplifying procedures for authorization holders.

UAE Ambassador to Kuwait, Dr. Al Neyadi said, “The UAE and Kuwait have a vast cooperation opportunity as they both have exceptionally promising markets. We are confident that the cooperation between AD Ports Group and Kuwait General Administration of Customs will enhance trade exchange between the two countries, and will support their efforts in achieving digital transformation goals, streamlining shipping procedures to reduce transportation and shipping costs, as well as expanding economic cooperation.”

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Oman releases VAT Guide for Financial Services

Date: 09 May, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/Financial-Services-Sector-VAT-Guide.pdf

Muscat May 9, 2022:

The Oman Tax Authority (OTA) has finally issued a long-awaited VAT Guide for the Financial Services Sector in English on its website.

The Guide offers guidance on the application of the VAT Law and its Executive Regulations. It cover prime topics in banking, insurance, and Islamic Finance and outlines VAT treatments for many transactions and items, making it a useful reference for banks and other financial institutions when establishing suitable VAT treatment.

FTA's Board High on Development Plans to enhance Tax Systems

Date: 06 May, 2022

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/federal.tax.authoritys.board.of.directors.adopts.ftas.financial.statements.for.2021.explores.development.plans.aspx

Dubai May 6, 2022:

During a meeting at the Authority’s headquarters, the Board of Directors reviewed a report on FTA’s plans to further enhance its tax system’s procedures and upgrade its services. The Authority wishes to offer customers fast and hassle-free services on an easy-to-use digital platform in line with international best practices. The report called for implementing a host of initiatives to advance the FTA’s performance through continuous development and follow-up that uplift its tax system efficiency to meet taxpayers’ aspirations. On a different note, the FTA Board also examined the progress made in developing the draft corporate tax law.

HH Sheikh Maktoum issued directives to maintain the pace of upgrades to FTA’s services, boost the UAE’s competitive edge in terms of services offered, and support the country’s vision to become the world’s highest-ranking government on trust and performance indicators. The directives call for focusing on the customer and enhancing competencies to become a world leader in government services, drawing on UAE’s principles for the next 50 years.

The Happiness of FTA Customers

FTA’s reports demonstrate its efforts to maintain high performance scores across all activities and elevate its services to ensure satisfaction of all customers from varied segments of the society. His Highness iterated “FTA is committed to strengthening its relations with all entities involved in implementing the tax system in the government and private sectors, and to fulfilling its role in driving nationwide economic diversification policies through the administration and collection of federal taxes, in line with best practices.”

HH Sheikh Maktoum explained “The Authority is constantly reviewing its executive regulation for each tax legislation in order to ensure top-level performance and streamlined procedures. The phases ahead will witness sweeping developments and upgrades to tax systems in order to enhance overall service quality.”

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UAE Corporate Tax law to benefit Free Zone-based Companies

Date: 05 May, 2022

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External URL: https://gulfnews.com/business/analysis/uae-corporate-tax-law-will-continue-incentives-for-free-zone-based-entities-1.1651386482142

Dubai May 5, 2022:

Since the announcement of UAE’s nine percent corporate income tax (CIT) from June 2023, a widely discussed topic has been the taxability of free zone entities. The great news is that Corporate Tax will continue to benefit free zone-based entities with a host of incentives.

The UAE Ministry of Finance (MoF) issued a public consultation document inviting comments from stakeholders on the proposed legislation. This progressive step provides an opportunity for businesses to play a key role in formulating the UAE Corporate Tax law. The consultation document outlines the following points:

  • The UAE Corporate Tax regime will honour the tax incentives currently being offered.
  • Zero percent CIT rate will be applicable if the free zones entity earns income from outside UAE or within free zones.
  • Audited financial statements are a must.
  • Mainland branches of free zone entities will be taxed at the regular tax rate on mainland income.
  • Free zone entities with passive income such as dividend, royalty and interest from the mainland will attract a zero percent tax rate. Similarly, such entities in designated zones for VAT purposes supplying goods to the mainland will also be eligible for zero percent rate.
  • Free zone entities can be a regional sourcing hub; however payments made by mainland entities will not be a deductible expenditure.
  • Any other mainland sourced income to the free zone will disqualify it from the zero percent rate.
  • Free zone entities can make an irrevocable decision to be subject to the regular corporate tax rate.
  • For computing taxable income, accounting profit/loss would be the starting point. The default tax year would be the Gregorian calendar year. Dividends and capital gains would be exempt subject to certain conditions. Expenses on account of interest payments have been limited to 30 per cent of EBITDA and only 50 per cent of entertainment expenses would be allowed as deduction.

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MoF releases Public Consultation Document of the proposed Corporate Tax law

Date: 30 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://www.mof.gov.ae/en/resourcesAndBudget/Pages/Corporate-Tax-Submission-Public-Consultation.aspx

Dubai April 30, 2022:

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) issued a Public Consultation Document of the proposed Corporate Tax Law by FTA UAE.
Click here to view and download the document.

MoF urges taxpayers to provide clear and concise comments or views on the main features and implementation of the UAE CT regime in the region. You are encouraged to focus your comments on aspects of the proposed CT regime that may help to reduce compliance cost or complexity and improve certainty for both the tax administration and taxpayers alike. Comments on areas not covered in this document are also welcomed.

NOTE: Views to be submitted on or before 20 May 2022.

For support call 800533336 or send an email to info@mof.gov.ae

FTA launches 'Raqeeb', whistle-blower program for tax violations and evasion

Date: 29 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/the.fta.launches.raqeeb.aspx

Dubai April 29, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) launched Raqeeb, a “whistle-blower program for tax violations and evasion that aims to raise the level of tax compliance in the UAE and reduce tax evasion cases.

Effective from April 15, 2022, the whistle-blower program allows the Authority to receive reports from individuals on tax evasion cases, tax-related fraud, and violations of tax legislation. It also allows the Authority to verify the reports and grant monetary rewards to informants when certain conditions are met.

The Authority emphasized the newly launched whistle-blower program aims to enhance transparency and competitiveness in the field of doing business, raise tax compliance rates, and boost tax awareness and society’s confidence in the tax system. The program also motivates individuals to carry out their social responsibilities and contribute to combating tax violations. Informants will be given monetary rewards if the report leads to a collection of tax amounts worth more than AED 50,000.

Reporting information can be done through the Authority’s website, which contains a comprehensive guide on the reporting mechanism, procedure for obtaining monetary rewards and other legal matters related to the program.

KSA: ZATCA launches App to improve taxpayer experience

Date: 26 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://gulfbusiness.com/saudis-zakat-tax-and-customs-authority-launches-app-to-improve-taxpayer-experience/

Riyadh April 26, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has designed a new application to offer fast, reliable, and high-quality services to taxpayers. The App allows taxpayers from the business sector to complete their services in a much more effective manner. It also offers technical solutions to improve the taxpayer’s experience and contributes to enhancing the level of services provided by the Authority.

The ZATCA APP in total provides a host of 33 services, such as submitting zakat and tax returns, registering businesses and establishments, submitting objections, and viewing zakat and tax certificates. The application also allows taxpayers to inquire about the payment processes instead of visiting the Authority’s branches.

One of the most prominent advantages provided by the app is the online payment service that helps in completing the process of services in a more reliable and secure manner.

Read more.

UAE: Tax Compliance rate increases in Q1

Date: 25 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/compliance-on-tax-regulations-rises-in-q1

UAE April 25, 2022:

During the first quarter of 2022, businesses across the UAE have adopted the new tax structure and increased their compliance on regulations by depicting 2.42 percent growth in registration for value-added tax (VAT), as per data reports.

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) said the number of VAT registrants rose to 367,157 this quarter (January-March) compared to 358,468 in the same quarter last year.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Chairman of the FTA Board of Directors, issued directives to maintain the pace of upgrades made to the FTA’s services in line with international best practices and digital transformation plans.

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Shops in Oman to display a list of All VAT Exempt Products

Date: 22 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://timesofoman.com/article/115553-shops-urged-to-put-list-of-all-vat-exempt-items-in-oman

Muscat April 22, 2022:

Shop owners in Oman have been urged by the Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) to clearly label the list of zero-rated VAT products so as to not confuse or try to trick customers into paying more for such goods.

The CPA issued a notice stating “We direct all the commercial centers and shops across the various governorates of the Sultanate of Oman to affix labels mentioning all goods exempt from value-added tax.” Most of these VAT exempt items are staples essential for day-to-day life.

    The list of items exempted from VAT include:

  • Foodgrains such as wheat, rice, barley and corn, and flours made from them.
  • Milk products in their various forms, i.e. plain milk, milk powder, cheese and yoghurt.
  • Varieties of breads; water, salt and sugar.
  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Meat, fish, and poultry.
  • Coffee and tea.
  • Medicines and baby products.

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OTA requests Taxpayers to submit Tax Returns by end of April

Date: 20 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://timesofoman.com/article/115722-submit-your-tax-returns-by-this-date-tax-authority

Muscat April 20, 2022:

The Oman Tax Authority (OTA) has urged taxpayers subject to the provisions of Value-added Tax (VAT) to submit tax returns for the first three months of 2022 by the end of April.

The Tax Authority said in a statement: The period for submitting tax returns for the first quarter of 2022 ends on April 30. Hence the concerned are requested to file their returns before the lapse of the mentioned period.

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FTA, UAE orients NBR, Bahrain on the Digital Tax Stamp Scheme

Date: 19 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/bahraini.delegation.introduced.to.the.uaes.marking.tobacco.and.tobacco.products.scheme.aspx

Dubai April 19, 2022:

In a joint virtual meeting between officials from the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) and the National Bureau for Revenue (NBR), an official delegation from the Kingdom of Bahrain was oriented on the UAE’s Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products Scheme.

Implemented by FTA, the Digital Tax Stamps system enables the tracking of tobacco products electronically to combat tax evasion, protect consumers from fraud, prevent the sale of illegal products, and ensure the collection of due taxes on tobacco products sold in the market. FTA’s representatives briefed the attendees on the objectives, scope and steps for implementing the various phases of the Tobacco Products Marking Scheme.

His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director-General of the FTA, discussed ways to enhance cooperation, develop relations and work together to build expertise in the field of taxation. His Excellency opined that the meeting reflects the strong bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as their commitment to strengthen their partnerships in the field of taxes by exchanging information and experiences. He added ‘These meetings are essential to enhance cooperation between tax authorities in neighboring countries and to benefit from the regulations applied in the tax sector.’

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FTA releases Whistle Blower Guide

Date: 15 Apr, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/2022-04-14-Raqeeb-Whistleblower.pdf

Dubai April 15, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) released a user guide to help prepare informants on submitting information and leads in a confidential manner to inform the FTA of any natural or legal person evading tax, or committing other tax offenses. This measure aims to raise the level of tax legislation compliance in the country and reduce tax evasion cases.

    This guide is designed to help :

  • Understand the whistleblowing program.
  • Report business practices that violate the applicable tax legislation.
  • Understand the process and eligibility to receive a monetary reward where tax is successfully collected from tax offenders.
  • Provide accurate answers to the questions on the whistleblowing form by explaining what information is required to provide.
  • Understand the icons and symbols to complete the whistleblowing form.

Read more about the Whistleblower System for violation and tax evasion.

FTA forms a Youth Council to develop a Generation of Future Leaders

Date: 08 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/fta.launches.youth.council.aspx

Dubai April 8, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched a Youth Council, an initiative in alignment with the Federal Youth Authority. The council intends to support and empower the youth in the region.

The newly formed council will simultaneously enable the FTA to benefit from the ideas and vision of its council members and fulfill several objectives. This includes adopting its members’ suggestions to continuously improve its services, preparing a new generation of future leaders and providing a platform for innovation. The outputs are linked with the FTA senior management for use in implementing the Authority’s future strategies.

His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director-General of the FTA, stressed that this important step comes within the framework of government directions to enhance the empowerment of young people in various sectors and facilitate their role in public, community and business life.

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ZATCA issues Interactive guidelines to guide taxpayers about their E-Services

Date: 07 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/en/HelpCenter/guidelines/Documents/E-Services_Interactive_Guideline.pdf

Riyadh- April 7, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has compiled a list of guidelines to guide taxpayers and business owners in the region to use their e-services portal. The detailed guide comprises an in-depth explanation of the e-services offered and helps taxpayers to learn more about successfully processing transactions online.

The guide consists of service steps to complete each procedure for ZAKAT, VAT, Excise Tax, Withholding Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Real Estate Tax Service, Customs and General Services. The ultimate goal is to educate taxpayers to perform varied transactions and make the experience much easier and faster.

View the guidelines in the file.

ZATCA introduces Guide on Objections to ZATCA Decisions

Date: 06 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/HelpCenter/guidelines/Documents/Objection%20on%20ZATCA%20decisions.pdf

Riyadh- April 6, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has released a detailed guide clarifying the process to file an objection against a tax assessment raised by ZATCA. This is for those cases where taxpayers disagree with their decision.

The guide is available only in Arabic at the moment and can be viewed here.

UAE: With Corporate Tax on cards, Ministry plans to Reduce Services Fees for Businesses

Date: 04 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/uae/new-uae-corporate-tax-ministry-to-review-reduce-service-fees-for-businesses

Dubai- April 4, 2022:

The UAE Ministry of Finance (MoF) announced on 31 January 2022 that it will introduce a federal corporate tax regime in the region, which will come into effect on 1 June 2023 and will apply to net profits generated during financial years starting on or after 1 June 2023.

In lieu of this, the MoF plans to review the services fees in all ministries and federal entities. The review aims to reduce the fees in order to lessen the financial burden on the business community in the country.

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FTA Confirms an Advanced System for VAT Refund for Tourists

Date: 01 Apr, 2022

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/federal.tax.authority.confirms.systems.for.vat.refund.scheme.for.tourists.aspx

Dubai- April 1, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) confirmed that the VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists is witnessing continuous advancement and expansion. It has introduced more facilities to streamline and speed up the refund process for tourists eligible for a tax refund.

The authority noted that the system witnessed a significant increase in demand recently, as travel restrictions eased out. Mega event EXPO 2020 also helped the tourism sector in the UAE recover from the setback caused by the pandemic. The government’s efforts in supporting the travel industry was also another contributing factor.

The Refund Scheme for Tourists includes an integrated electronic system that creates a direct link between 13 air, land, and maritime entry/exit ports across UAE, with more than 13800 registered stores, allowing tourists to submit tax refund requests on their purchases. The system allows eligible tourists to reclaim the VAT incurred, provided they meet the specified criteria. The UAE is one of the first countries to implement such a Refund System characterized by the speed of completion, ease of procedures, and clarity.

During the Global Tourism Forum held at Expo 2020 Dubai, FTA in collaboration with its authorized operator (Planet) for VAT Refund Scheme – showcased the pandemic’s implications on shopping patterns and consumers’ behaviours along with economic indicators of recovery globally and locally. The event brought together representatives from many departments including the Department of Economic

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A Selective Tax system to be implemented in Kuwait

Date: 24 Mar, 2022

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External URL: https://gulfnews.com/business/kuwait-govt-moves-closer-to-selective-tax-system-1.86623564

Kuwait- March 24, 2022:

Due to high inflation rates and turmoil in global markets, both the national assembly and the people of Kuwait are likely to reject the VAT system in future. Hence the Kuwaiti government has deferred its plans to implement value-added tax (VAT) any time soon.

However, Kuwait is contemplating a move towards the implementation of a selective taxation system ranging from 10 to 25 percent. This excise tax will cover tobacco products, sweetened drinks, expensive goods such as watches, jewelry and precious stones as well as luxury cars and yachts, instead of VAT.

Sources expect that the selective tax will fetch around 500 million dinars annually to the government.

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FTA Launches New Website with Advanced Features to enhance Tax System Efficiency

Date: 23 Mar, 2022

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/fta.launches.new.website.with.topnotch.features.that.promote.happiness.among.customers.and.enhance.tax.system.efficiency.aspx

Dubai- March 23, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched an advanced website to provide an innovative digital experience, clarity of content and user-friendly browsing for taxpayers. The latest electronic display technologies on the site also enhance customers’ satisfaction and happiness, and further improve the tax system efficiency.

The Authority stated that its new website www.tax.gov.ae is designed to educate and spread awareness about tax rules and regulations in the country. The website allows digital participation and provides services in accordance with needs of taxpayers.

The platform offers 24/7 direct interaction between the Authority, business sectors, relevant authorities in the government and private sectors, and all interested groups inside and outside the country. FTA also reaffirmed that its new website incorporates advanced features to enable people of determination to access services and information with ease.

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CPA probes complaints about VAT fraud by commercial establishments

Date: 22 Mar, 2022

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External URL: https://timesofoman.com/article/114481-cpa-probes-complaints-about-vat-fraud-by-commercial-establishments

Muscat- March 22, 2022:

The Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) has started an investigation into complaints filed by consumers against some commercial establishments for charging value-added tax on products that are free of tax.

The Authority said “Work is underway to further probe into the matter, verify the accuracy and arrest the violators.”

The authority is fully monitoring the markets, and has requested consumers to actively report any violations that contradict regulations and laws of the land, that were established to organize markets, and protect consumer rights.

Read more.

OTA expands list of Zero-rated food items

Date: 21 Mar, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/قرار-رقم-89-2022-بتحديد-السلع-الغذائية-الخاضعة-لضريبة-القيمة-المضافة-بمعدل-الصفر-بالمائة.pdf

Muscat- March 21, 2022:

Oman Tax Authority (OTA) through Decision No. 89/2022 has expanded the list of zero-rated food items under zero-rated VAT. The new list now includes food products such as barley, corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton seeds, coconut or copra, and poultry food.

The products which are eligible for zero-rating are classified as per the Harmonized Code of Oman Customs tariff. The list is currently available only in Arabic.

NBR's Inspection Campaigns detect 29 Violations and close 2 Stores in the Kingdom

Date: 19 Mar, 2022

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External URL: https://www.nbr.gov.bh/releases/116

Manama- March 19, 2022:

Since the roll-out of the law to double VAT in January 2022, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, in cooperation with the National Revenue Authority(NBR), conducted inspection campaigns on shops and commercial establishments. As many as 40 shops and commercial establishments were inspected in the Kingdom to check their compliance. The main aim of the inspections was to spread awareness of the mechanisms to be followed to apply VAT in its modified basic proportion and ensure the interest of consumers.

The inspection campaigns detected around 29 violations that require the imposition of administrative fines that may reach 10,000 Bahraini Dinars in accordance with the law and also necessitated the closure of two precautionary stores. NBR is geared to take legal measures against the violating facilities, and refer those proven of an evasion crime to the authorities. Penalties could even reach up to five years imprisonment and a fine equivalent to three times the evaded added value.

Citizens and residents who come across any violation of the VAT law can report their complaints to the authorities by dialing 80008001 24/7 or sending an email to vat@nbr.gov.bh

Read more.

ZATCA Carries Out more than 1,300 Inspection Visits in the Kingdom

Date: 18 Mar, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/en/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_482.aspx

Riyadh – March 18, 2022:

Tax inspectors at Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority’s (ZATCA) carried out more than 1,300 visits in markets and shops in the Kingdom as part of the national program to combat commercial concealment.

The inspections took place in Riyadh, Makkah, Medina, Qassim, and Jazan, and included various shops, such as auto parts markets, health, food and beverages, oil and gas. Riyadh region witnessed the highest number of inspections, with a total of 126 visits.

According to the Authority, the visits resulted in the detection of 88 cases of initial suspicion of commercial concealment. This comes with ZATCA’s keenness to unify efforts in coordination with its government sector partners to combat commercial concealment in all its forms, minimize commercial transaction violations and increase tax compliance.

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FTA Actively Participates in UAE National Sports Day

Date: 16 Mar, 2022

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/fta.participates.in.7th.uae.national.sports.day.with.a.full.agenda.of.athletic.activities.aspx

Dubai – March 16, 2022:

National Sports Day is held every year in the UAE with the participation of sporting enthusiasts in athletic, physical, and heritage activities the entire day. This national occasion is organized in line with directives from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) participated in the 7th UAE National Sports Day under the theme ‘The UAE Unites Us’ with an agenda of athletic activities, that included bicycle racing, walking, and other sports activities. Prizes were distributed to the winners and participants.

The activities helped promote a culture of sports and brought in positive vibes among FTA staff. The Authority encouraged its employees to make sports a part of their daily lives, to support both their physical and mental health.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said that the sports events reported significant participation from their employees who exhibited great enthusiasm and a sporting spirit.

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OTA signs the Convention on the Provision of Tax Stamp Services

Date: 11 Mar, 2022

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3pUwfDq

Muscat – March 11, 2022:

As part of its effort to improve the efficiency of the tax system, Oman Tax Authority (OTA) signs the Convention on the Provision of Tax Stamp Services. The Authority signed an agreement to provide digital stamp services with De la Rue International, the world’s leading tax stamp printing company that specializes in the design of distinctive tax stamps.

The project of printing high-security digital stamps on selective products will be implemented in several phases gradually in the Sultanate of Oman. Each stage will target one type of selective goods traded in markets and the first phase is likely to begin in April for the targeted tobacco and cigarettes products. The last phase will involve the determination of the date for non-acceptance of goods without stamps.

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Oman publishes VAT Guide for Associated Persons including Tax Groups

Date: 04 Mar, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/الدليل-الإرشادي-لضريبة-القيمة-المضافة-الأشخاص-المرتبطون.pdf

Muscat – March 4, 2022:

The Oman Tax Authority (OTA) released VAT Guide for Associated (Related) Persons including VAT groups in Arabic.

Guidance is provided on the formation of tax groups for VAT. Associated persons may register as a tax group for VAT purposes if the following conditions are met:

  • All persons are tax resident in Oman;
  • All persons are legal persons;
  • All persons are registered for VAT according to the law;
  • One person (the parent entity), in or outside the group, must have control over all other persons in the tax group;
  • No person is a member of another tax group;
  • None of the persons are registered in a special regime zone.

No Income Tax on cards in the UAE

Date: 28 Feb, 2022

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/economy/is-uae-planning-to-introduce-income-tax-minister-clarifies

Dubai – February 28, 2022:

UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi clarified that income tax is not on the table in an interview with Bloomberg.

The interview comes in the wake of the UAE’s MoF’s decision to introduce corporate tax on business profits from financial years starting on or after June 1, 2023. With a standard statutory tax rate of nine percent and a zero percent for taxable profits up to AED 375,000 to support small businesses and startups, the UAE corporate tax regime will be amongst the most competitive in the world. The minister opined that corporate tax was received positively by the country’s corporate sector as the tax will replace most of the fees companies are currently paying.

Based on the MoF’s Corporate Tax FAQs, individuals will also be subject to corporate tax when they conduct business in the UAE under a commercial license 1.e under a freelance license).

FTA showcases Initiatives During ‘UAE Innovates 2022’

Date: 18 Feb, 2022

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External URL: https://www.tax.gov.ae/en/press-releases/Key-Initiatives-Showcased-During-UAE-Innovates-2022

Dubai – February 18, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched several initiatives set to take place across the UAE throughout February. The ‘UAE Innovates 2022’ initiative would promote a culture of government innovation by engaging the community in ambitious projects to design future experiences and develop initiatives that support the government’s plans to shape a better future, in collaboration with individuals and entities.

His Excellency Khalid Al Bustani, Director-General, FTA, asserted the Authority’s commitment to participating in the annual activities of the ‘UAE Innovates’ initiative. Through its participation, FTA encourages innovation and engages the public in the digital transformation process and the National Innovation Strategy, which aims to position the UAE among the most innovative countries around the world.

FTA is participating in the UAE Innovates Exhibition at the Festival Garden in Expo 2020 Dubai as part of the Innovation Month. The FTA team will introduce visitors to its innovative digital and electronic system for the Tourist VAT Refund Scheme to process requests easily and on time. The system reflects the UAE’s ongoing efforts to support the tourism sector and position itself as an ideal tourist destination.

Read more.

Dubai Customs issues New Policy on Client Registration for acquiring Customs Code

Date: 17 Feb, 2022

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External URL: https://www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae/en/PoliciesAndNotices/Policies/DCP53_2022.pdf

Dubai – February 17, 2022:

Dubai Customs released a new Policy i.e Customs policy no. 53/2022 on client registration for acquiring customs codes.

This Policy comes into effect from the date of issuance and supersedes any conflicting provisions. Earlier, Customs policy no. 28/2009 dated 22 October 2009 detailed the client registration-related matters.

The new policy regulates the client registration procedure for obtaining special identification codes and simplifies the transactions with Dubai Customs. This enables clients to adhere to stipulations laid for different custom transactions.

ZATCA announces Revised Penalties for Non-compliance with VAT and E-invoicing Rules

Date: 09 Feb, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/HelpCenter/guidelines/Documents/Reclassifies_VAT_Penalties.pdf

Riyadh – February 9, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) published an announcement on its website regarding penalties for violations of VAT rules. However, it is only available in Arabic.

View the reclassification of VAT Penalties by ZATCA.

As part of the announcement, the previous fines have been amended ushering in a more cooperative and educational approach for penalizing taxpayers for their non-compliance with VAT rules than previously.

Read more.

Bahrain Tax Authority releases VAT return guidance

Date: 04 Feb, 2022

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Manama – February 4, 2022:

From January 1 2022, the standard rate of value-added tax (VAT) in Bahrain increased to 10 percent from the previous rate of 5 percent.

Under the new transitional rule, supplies made during 2022 pursuant to a contract signed on or before 23 December 2021 are subject to VAT at a rate of 5 percent until the contract expires, is renewed or is amended (whichever is earliest).

For further clarifications the National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) has released a detailed manual in English for taxpayers:

For addressing any of your queries related to the new manual, get in touch out tax experts.

UAE to introduce 9% corporate tax on business profits from June 1, 2023

Date: 01 Feb, 2022

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/uae/uae-announces-new-tax-to-go-into-effect-next-year

Dubai – February 1, 2022:

The Ministry of Finance has announced that the UAE will introduce a federal corporate tax on business profits effective for financial years starting on or after June 1, 2023. With a standard statutory tax rate of 9 percent, the UAE corporate tax regime will be amongst the most competitive in the world.

The Ministry also confirmed that there will be no tax on profits of up to AED 375,000, in a move to support small businesses and startups.

The corporate tax will apply to all businesses and commercial activities alike, except for the extraction of natural resources which will remain subject to Emirate level corporate taxation.

No corporate tax will apply on personal income from employment, real estate and other investments, or any other income earned by individuals that do not arise from business or other forms of commercial activity.

UAE businesses will be given sufficient time to prepare for the introduction of corporate tax. The Ministry of Finance will issue further information on the new tax regime toward the middle of the year to help businesses get ready.

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Qatar to introduce new Passenger Tax at its airports from April 2022

Date: 31 Jan, 2022

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External URL: https://www.dohanews.co/qatar-introduces-new-passengers-tax-at-its-airports/

Doha – January 31, 2022:

Qatar Civil Aviation Authority announced that passengers arriving, leaving or transiting through Hamad International Airport will now have to pay extra service tax starting from April 1, 2022.

An official notice was sent to all airline managers and travel agents which included the amendment of the current fees and the introduction of new security and air freight infrastructure fees at Qatari airports.

The new tax will be applied to all tickets issued on or after February 1, 2022 and will be officially implemented from 12am Doha time on April 1, 2022.

To know more details about the fees to be paid by passengers click here.

FTA Extends Grace Period upto 1 year to pay penalties

Date: 27 Jan, 2022

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External URL: https://www.tax.gov.ae/en/press-releases/Federal-Tax-Authority-One-Year-Extension-on-Grace-Period-to-Benefit

Dubai – January 27, 2022:

The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) extended the grace period to benefit from re-determination of administrative penalties on violating tax laws until December 31, 2022.

The reduced administrative penalties amount to 30 percent of the total unpaid penalties that were imposed before June 28, 2021. The authority further elaborated that tax registrants who were not able to benefit from redetermination by December 31, 2021, can benefit until December 31, 2022.

The Cabinet decision provided an opportunity for the business sector to benefit from the reduction of administrative penalties. The decision will reduce burdens on business sectors and enhance their abilities to contribute more to the growth of the national economy. The decision is also a part of the FTA’s goal to provide a legislative environment that encourages a high level of tax compliance.

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Muscat Municipality to reinstate Municipal Tax from January 2022

Date: 24 Jan, 2022

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External URL: https://timesofoman.com/article/111098-muscat-municipality-to-reintroduce-municipal-tax

Muscat – January 24, 2022:

Muscat Municipality has issued a circular to business owners stating that the tax on all commercial activities and establishments, which were stopped as part of the economic stimulus package, will be reactivated from January 1, 2022.

The economic stimulus plan aimed at supporting the recovery efforts to mitigate the economic repercussions induced by Covid-19, which included an exemption from the municipal tax for hotel establishments, tourist restaurants, amusement centers and parks until the end of 2021.

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Dubai Customs amend Procedures for cross-border e-commerce

Date: 18 Jan, 2022

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External URL: https://www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae/en/PoliciesAndNotices/Notices/CN15_2021.pdf

Dubai – January 18, 2022:

Government of Dubai and the Dubai Customs Authority issues Customs notice No. (15/2021) for e-commerce companies in the region.

It applies to commercial companies, including SMEs, free-zone companies, logistics companies, and customs warehouses that provide online retail and selling services for goods and products through e-commerce channels. Both B2C and B2B transactions are covered in the notice.

The notice has been issued for the purpose of simplifying and facilitating customs procedures and regulating the movement of goods through cross-border e-commerce channels.

Kuwait’s MPs against Imposing Taxes to address Budget Deficit

Date: 17 Jan, 2022

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External URL: https://www.arabianbusiness.com/gcc/kuwait/kuwaits-mps-strongly-refuse-imposing-taxes-to-address-budget-deficit

Kuwait- January 17, 2022:

During the National Assembly’s session, MPs in Kuwait have strongly refused economic reforms that would involve imposing taxes on citizens in the country to address the budget deficit.

According to a state-run news agency, a number of politicians called for solutions to address the country’s budget deficit –A record KD10.8 billion ($36bn) deficit in 2020, up 175 percent from a year earlier.

During the session, the MPs affirmed the need to allow the oil sector to rely on other oil-related substances to create multi-income sources. However, it was emphasized that this solution shouldn’t be touching upon taxation.

Presently, Kuwait does not impose income tax on income earned by individuals. However, companies in the region pay 4.5 percent of their net profits, that includes zakat and labor support and a contribution to the Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

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OTA releases guide on VAT Registration Procedures for Non-Residents

Date: 12 Jan, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/VAT-Registration-procedures-for-non-resident-applicants-1.pdf

Muscat- January 12, 2022:

The Oman Tax Authority (OTA) has published a guide on VAT Registration procedures for non-resident applicants.

The guide explains the relevant provisions of the VAT Law and the VAT Regulations regarding the VAT obligations of non-resident people. This includes guidance for non-residents to register with the OTA when the conditions for registration are met. This forms the date from which they are obliged to pay the tax in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

The person who has no place of residence in the Sultanate may appoint a responsible person or tax agent (representative) in Oman, for the specific procedures.

View more.

OTA released a New VAT Taxpayer Guide for Oil and Gas Sector

Date: 07 Jan, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/2022-01-06-VAT-Taxayer-guide-Oil-and-Gas.pdf

Muscat- January 07, 2021:

Oman Taxation Authority (“OTA”) has issued a guide to provide additional interpretation and guidance for the application of the VAT Law and its corresponding executive regulations to the Oil and Gas Industry in Oman. The guide throws clarification on important practical aspects for the industry in Oman.

The aspects include the applicability of VAT for upstream, midstream, and downstream activities performed by the sub-contractors, contractors, and operators. Each of these areas has been elaborately discussed through the guide. It also includes the scope of zero-rating under Article 93 of the Executive Regulations, which is one of the crucial areas for businesses operating within the sector.

Click here to view the detailed guide – VAT Taxpayer Guide- Oil and Gas.

For more information, please contact Oman Tax Authority:
P.O. Box: 285, P.C. 100, Muscat
Hours: Sunday – Thursday | 07:30-14:30
Telephone: +968 2474 6996
Email: info@taxoman.gov.om

Bahrain Publishes Law Increasing VAT Rate to 10% from 2022

Date: 04 Jan, 2022

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External URL: https://www.lloc.gov.bh/HTM/K3321.htm

Manama- January 04, 2022:

Bahrain has published Law 33 of 2021 in the Official Gazette, which provides for the increase in the standard VAT rate from 5 percent to 10 percent with effect from January 1, 2022.

Article 4 of the law includes a transitional provision for supplies under a contract concluded prior to 1 January 2022. This includes that the 5% rate will continue to apply for such contracted supplies until the contract expires, is amended or is renewed or lapsed post a year after the law is effective, whichever is earlier.

NBR releases a set of FAQS relating to VAT increase

Date: 03 Jan, 2022

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External URL: https://www.nbr.gov.bh/vat_faqs/17

Manama- January 3, 2022:

NBR (National Bureau for Revenue) has released a set of FAQS on the transitional measures related to the VAT rate increase in Bahrain. The basic percentage of value-added tax has been changed from 5 percent to 10 percent effective from January 1, 2022.

Supplies of goods or services made on or after January 1, 2022, will be subject to 10% value-added unless the supply is zero-rated, exempt or falls within the transitional provisions set out below.

Bahrain Shura Council ratifies Doubling of VAT

Date: 23 Dec, 2021

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External URL: https://www.newsofbahrain.com/bahrain/77327.html

Manama- December 23, 2021:

Bahrain Shura Council, the upper house of the National Assembly, approves the draft law to double VAT to 10 percent in the country.

The Gulf’s smallest economy is seeking ways to cut spending and bring its budget back to balance in 2024.

Besides approving the VAT bill, MPs in Bahrain approved increasing social welfare and support allowance by 10 percent. Under the new social welfare system to be implemented from January 1, a low-income Bahraini would receive BD77 monthly, a couple would receive BD132 up from the current BD120, and each child BD25 (unchanged) but with the BD150 cap removed for the total given to a family.

Read more.

FTA confirms systems’ readiness of VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists

Date: 21 Dec, 2021

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External URL: https://www.wam.ae/en/details/1395303004260

UAE- December 21, 2021:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) organized field tours to the ‘Self-Service Kiosks’ in Dubai International Airport to ensure the system’s readiness. (As part of the VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists)

The tour was arranged in line with FTA’s strategy to offer services that meet taxpayers’ aspirations and its commitment to abiding by Cabinet Decision No. (41) of 2018 on Introducing the Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme.

During the tour, FTA Director-General Khalid Ali Al Bustani claimed that the services simplify VAT refund requests for tourists on purchases they make during their stay in the UAE. The streamlined procedure identifies taxes eligible for refunds, verifies purchased items are with the tourist and facilitates tax recovery.

Read more.

FTA has issued Reconsiderations User guide

Date: 16 Dec, 2021

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External URL: https://www.tax.gov.ae/-/media/Files/EN/PDF/Guides/Reconsiderations-User-GuideEnglishV10-17-11-2021.pdf

UAE- December 16, 2021:

The FTA of UAE has issued a Reconsiderations User guide for both Registered and Non-registered users.

The guide in detail explains in detail the process to be followed for filing of reconsideration form. It helps taxpayers navigate the e-Services portal from a systems perspective, to successfully complete the filling of the Reconsiderations form. It is designed to help you:

  • Create an e-Services account with the FTA.
  • Provide accurate answers to the questions on the Reconsideration form by explaining the information required.
  • Understand the icons and symbols you see while completing the form.

It is pertinent to note that since 19 November 2021 , Reconsideration requests service are available on the e-services portal instead of FTA’s website.

Oman has no plans to increase VAT rate

Date: 15 Dec, 2021

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External URL: https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/oman/oman-confirms-no-plans-to-increase-vat-1.84370035

Muscat- December 15, 2021:

Oman’s Minister of Finance Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi has confirmed that the state will not follow Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on VAT rise. Omani Ministry declared that the standard 5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) rate continues in 2022. Al Habsi affirmed ‘We have seen some countries increase the VAT tariff but our government has no intention to increase the current VAT.’

This move comes despite neighboring countries Saudi Arabia (15%) and Bahrain (10%) both raising VAT from the original Gulf Coordination Council launch rate of 5%. Of the six GCC states, Kuwait and Qatar are yet to implement VAT as part of the agreed VAT and Customs Union.

Read more.

FTA publishes new Public Clarification on 'Mobile Phones, Airtime, and Data Packages Made Available to Employees for Business Use'

Date: 14 Dec, 2021

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External URL: https://www.tax.gov.ae/-/media/Files/FTA/links/Public-Clarification/VATP028---Input-Tax-Recovery---Mobile-Phones-Airtime-and-Data---29-11-2021.pdf

UAE- December 14, 2021:

Due to COVID-19, there has been an increase in work-from-home arrangements, resulting in some instances where employers pay for Phones, Airtime, and Packages’ expenses to allow employees to perform their roles remotely. Many businesses enter into agreements with telecommunication service providers to make mobile phones, airtime (call minutes) and data packages available to their employees to perform their roles outside office hours or at locations away from the office.

In this regard, the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) published a new VAT Public Clarification (VATP028) that provides guidance on the application of the VAT legislation in respect of the recovery of input tax incurred on Phones, Airtime, and Packages acquired for business use.

ZATCA publishes Guide for developing a Fatoora compliant QR code

Date: 13 Dec, 2021

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/Guided-to-developed-FATOORA-compliant-QR-code.pdf

Riyadh- December 13, 2021:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) published a guide that gives a technical explanation on how to develop a Fatoora compliant QR code for E-invoices. In accordance with the E-invoicing resolutions issued by ZATCA, all simplified invoices must contain a QR code containing certain prescribed information.

Electronic Invoicing is a procedure that aims to convert the issuance of paper invoices into an electronic process that allows the exchange and processing of invoices, credit and debit notes in a structured digital format between the buyer and seller. (View the E-invoicing guidelines)

View the guide on how to develop a Fatoora compliant QR code .

Read more: The first phase of mandatory electronic invoicing (FATOORAH) regulations have come into force in Saudi Arabia on December 4, 2021.

Bahrain to raise VAT to 10% by 2022

Date: 09 Dec, 2021

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/economy/bahrain-to-double-value-added-tax-from-5-to-10

Manama- December 9, 2021:

The Gulf’s smallest economy Bahrain has announced the doubling of value-added tax (VAT) to 10 percent from 5 percent in 2022. The reform is part of its plans to fix the Gulf state’s finances.

The VAT increase likely to start next year could contribute receipts of about 3 percent of the gross domestic product in the next few years, up from about 1.7 percent this year, a rating agency has estimated.

“The successful approval of the VAT increase by parliament is a critical milestone within our economic recovery plans and our aim of achieving a balanced budget by 2024,” the ministry of finance said.

Saudi Arabia tripled its VAT rate to 15 percent last year to bolster state revenue when oil prices slumped. The UAE and Oman imposed a 5 percent VAT under a common 2018 framework by the GCC. Kuwait and Qatar have yet to implement the tax.

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1st phase of mandatory E-invoicing comes into force in Saudi Arabia

Date: 05 Dec, 2021

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External URL: https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/614322/SAUDI-ARABIA/E-invoicing-in-Saudi-Arabia-comes-into-force

Riyadh- December 5, 2021:

The first phase of mandatory electronic invoicing (FATOORAH) regulations have come into force in Saudi Arabia on December 4, 2021. FATOORAH project is expected to produce a major positive impact on the Saudi economy by bringing down hidden economic transactions and promoting fair competition.

Read more- ZATCA announces Penalties for E-Invoicing Violation

The first phase of E-invoicing means the complete cessation of using and issuing handwritten invoices. Now onwards, all tax payers are obliged to generate electronic invoices using compliant e-invoicing systems. Manual and hand-written invoices through text editors or number analysis applications will no longer be valid.

The authority lauded its efforts for spreading enhanced awareness amongst taxpayers and their readiness before the implementation date. This enabled private sector establishments to prepare well with the requirements for complying with E-invoicing.

The ZATCA has launched an E-Invoicing detailed guide explaining pertaining terms, categories subject to the E-invoicing regulations and types of transactions.

The second phase of e-invoicing will be implemented on January 1, 2023, to establish integration between E-Systems of taxpayers and the authority’s regulations

Read more.

Bahrain : 122,842 cases of VAT violations recorded

Date: 29 Nov, 2021

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External URL: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1014918

Manama- November 29, 2021:

More than 120,000 value added tax (VAT) violations were registered in Bahrain over the last three years.

Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said that the violations included delays in VAT registration and declaration, failure to transfer payments on time and implement display, pricing and billing rules and regulations .

KSA: The new deadline for filing October monthly VAT returns - Nov 30

Date: 28 Nov, 2021

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/News_467.aspx

Riyadh – November 28, 2021:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority has called on taxpayers from the business sector to submit their tax returns for last October month, no later than November 30, 2021. Late returns are subject to penalties between 5 percent and 25 percent of the unpaid tax amount.

Taxpayers can submit their tax returns quickly via the website (zatca.gov.sa).

Taxpayers wishing to obtain more information regarding value added tax can get in touch with the Authority’s office on :

  • Their unified number which works 24/7 (19993)
  • On Twitter (@Zatca_Care)
  • Via e-mail (info@zatca.gov.sa)
  • Instant conversations via the authority’s website (zatca.gov.sa)

Read more.