VAT’s UP

VAT’s UP

OTA releases Manual Guide on Updating Taxpayers Data

Date: 04 Oct, 2022

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3yd10rx

Muscat October 4, 2022:

Oman Tax Authority has made an announcement urging taxpayers to update their communication data of their institutions when they access to the Tax Authority’s electronic portal.

In a statement the Tax Authority said “Taxpayers should update the communication data of their institutions when they access to the Tax Authority’s portal www.taxoman.gov.om. We appreciate your cooperation to update this data that will allow you to access the electronic services provided by the Tax Authority in the future.”

In regards to this, the Authority has also issued a step by step guide outlining the process for updating contact details.

Click here to view the guide.

OTA activates Digital Tax Stamps in Oman

Date: 02 Oct, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/10.pdf

Muscat October 2, 2022:

Starting from September 19,2022, importers and local manufacturers in Oman can request the digital tax stamps which will be sent to manufactures to put on molasses and other tobacco products.

Ahead of the rollout of the second phase of its Digital Tax Stamp initiative on October 14, 2022, the Tax Authority of Oman has urged importers of tobacco products and spirits to obtain excise tax stamps from it to be supplied to their overseas principals for affixing on their goods before they are shipped into the country.

The scheme, which came into effect on June 30, 2022, aims to strengthen regulation of trade and sale of excisable products and optimize the collection of tax levied on such goods. The digital tags will also help clamp down any illegal imports of excise goods in the country.

View more details in the file.

ZATCA releases VAT Guidelines for Electronic Contracts

Date: 26 Sep, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/2022-09-26-VAT-guidelines-electronic-services.pdf

Riyadh September 26, 2022:

ZATCA releases VAT Guidelines for Electronic Contracts. The guideline is addressed to all natural and legal persons who carry on economic activity and who are subject to VAT. The purpose of this guideline is to provide more clarifications regarding VAT consequences on electronic contracts entered into between a supplier and a customer.

For further advice on specific transaction, you can approach the Authority on its website which contains a host of tools and visual guidance materials.

FTA announces 100 percent Digital VAT Refund Scheme for Tourists

Date: 25 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/federal.tax.authority.and.planet.tax.free.announce.worlds.most.innovative.aspx

Dubai September 25, 2022:

The UAE’s Tax Authority (FTA), in partnership with Planet Tax Free, launched the world’s most innovative and 100% digital VAT-refund scheme for tourists. The paperless procedure is considered the most advanced solution of its kind in the world and is a reflection of the government’s continuous adoption of proactive solutions based on the concept of proactive government work, to meets the requirements of the future and positively reflect on customers.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference in the presence of H.E. Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of the UAE Federal Tax Authority and Eyad Al-Kourdi, General Manager of Planet Tax Free, the operator of the tax refund system for tourists in the UAE.

The integrated system was demonstrated at the press conference, showcasing the strength of using electronic invoices issued at the point of sale registered within the authority’s system, instead of traditional paper invoices. The new solution is integrated electronically between retail outlets and the tax refund scheme, ensuring a seamless digital process of issuing, sending, modifying and saving invoices for tourists.

Read more.

ZATCAs 2 hours Customs Clearance Initiative continues its efforts

Date: 20 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/en/MediaCenter/News/Pages/News_945.aspx

Riyadh September 20, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has concluded making all the necessary preparations to expand the application of the customs clearance initiative within the two hours specified by the noble royal order and has worked on this in collaboration with 26 government agencies that serve as customs clearance agencies.

The Authority is expanding the implementation of the initiative in order to further the clearance system’s efforts to facilitate cross-border trade in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to become a global platform for logistics service.

According to the Authority, importers’ can utilize the feature of pre-submitting the documents needed for importation 72 hours before the consignment arrives at the port, in addition to meeting all clearance requirements from the relevant authorities, and contribute to the accomplishments made during the final stage of the clearance system.

In this regard, the Authority, through its integrated work with the National Competitiveness Center and in continuous cooperation with the clearing authorities, has achieved a tangible development at the level of customs clearance procedures within the framework of its strategy that meets the requirements of the Kingdom’s vision 2030 to be a pioneer in customs work at the regional and global level, fostering national competitiveness and enhancing national competitiveness.

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FTA holds 3 Youth Circles on Tax Culture to support SMEs

Date: 16 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/en/media.centre/news/youth.panels.aspx

Dubai September 16, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) Youth Council, in cooperation with the Federal Youth Authority (FYA), held three youth circles on Tax Culture to Support Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) as part of the Council’s initiatives to raise tax awareness and facilitate tax compliance through direct engagement with youth business.

More than 100 representatives of SMEs participated in the discussions in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman. The sessions were attended by FTA Director General, His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani, FYA Director General, Saeed Al Nazari, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) Undersecretary, Rashid Al Baloosh and the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprise Development Executive Vice President, Saeed Al Marri, alongside a number of federal and local authority officials.

The youth circles dealt with a set of aspects that include the services provided by the authority, its future directions to enhance youth tax culture in the SME sector and the prominent challenges young people face at SMEs and ways to overcome them.

Read more.

FTA publishes a Guide on 'Excise Stock Movement For Warehouse Keepers not Registered for Excise Tax'

Date: 15 Sep, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/Non-Registered-Excise-Stock-Movement-Guide-English_V1.2-19-08-2022.pdf

Dubai September 15, 2022:

A Public Clarification was published on August 2022 by the FTA on ‘Excise Stock Movement Guide For Warehouse Keepers who are not Registered for Excise Tax’.

This guide helps Warehouse Keepers (WHK) understand their responsibilities of holding a warehouse in a Designated Zone (DZ) in the UAE and navigate the e-Services portal from a systems perspective. It further throws lights on the following aspects:

  • The process of declaring Excise Goods that belong to Excise taxpayers that are held in the Designated Zone beginning January, 2021.
  • Assist in understanding the Excise Tax compliance obligations that Warehouse Keepers have to comply with.
  • An overview of the declaration forms that need to be filed by the Warehouse Keeper of Designated Zones in the UAE holding stock of Excise taxpayers and explanation of the icons and symbols included in the forms.

The sections of the guide offer a detailed explanation about the declaration forms and who, how and when a Warehouse Keeper should complete and submit them to the FTA.

FTA announces World’s First Paperless Tax Refund experience for Tourists

Date: 14 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://www-khaleejtimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.khaleejtimes.com/uae/uae-announces-worlds-first-paperless-tax-refund-experience-for-tourists?amp=1

Dubai September 14, 2022:

The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced the world’s first paperless tax refund scheme for tourists.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director General of FTA, said the system has been linked with the retailers hence all the receipts will be generated electronically and tourists will not have to carry paper receipts of their purchases for claiming VAT refunds. UAE is the first country in the world to achieve this milestone.

The tourists need to spend a minimum of AED 250 to claim a VAT refund. In addition, there are a number of kiosks placed at various locations in the country for tourists to claim a refund.

Read more.

FTA to implement Muwafaq Priviledge Package for Facilitating SMEs

Date: 13 Sep, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/FTA-Muwafaq-Emailer-2022-AllaboutVAT.pdf

Dubai September 13, 2022:

In line with the development goals set by the UAE to support small and medium enterprises, which represent the backbone of the national economy, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has begun designing and implementing Muwafaq Privilege Package which aims to provide innovative tax solutions to facilitate transactions for SMEs with speed, ease and accuracy.

The highlights of the Muwafaq package include:

  • Acceleration of tax registration procedure.
  • Preparing and offering low cost tax accounting programs to ease financial burdens of SMEs.
  • Prioritization of SME procedure requests to facilitate ease of access to FTA services.
  • Cooperation with service providers to offer certain taxpayers support services for SMEs.

View more benefits.

FTA resumes Tax Clinic initiative in Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah

Date: 12 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3eLtz8o

Dubai September 12, 2022:

The Tax Clinic initiative organised by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) resumed its field activities across the emirates with sessions in Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah. The sessions were designed to raise tax awareness and enhance tax compliance , while establishing and maintaining direct communication with business sectors,.

Two rounds of sessions were held last month under the campaign. The first of which was held over three days from 16 to 18 August at Tasheel Enjaz – Alrams Centre in Ras Al Khaimah, while the second round took place at the Tasheel-Al Thiqah Multi-Services Centre in Mleiha in the Emirate of Sharjah from 23 to 25 August.

The Tax Clinic initiative was launched way back in August 2018 in all seven emirates to raise tax awareness, assist taxpayers in overcoming any obstacles they face and ensure self-compliance. FTA representatives present across all locations answer questions about registration, how to file tax returns and pay tax-related obligations. FTA organized these remote awareness sessions under the Tax Clinic initiative for more than two years, bringing together hundreds of business sector representatives and tax system stakeholders.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani said “The Federal tax Authority organizes the Tax Clinic campaign in collaboration with Departments of Economic Development and municipalities across all seven emirates, under the framework the FTA established for coordinating with its strategic partners in the public and private sectors providing top-quality services and ensuring the successful implementation of tax legislation.”

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Dubai Customs Authority Bans Export of Iron Scrap & Wastepaper till Sep 30

Date: 11 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae/en/PoliciesAndNotices/Notices/CN7_2022.pdf

Dubai September 11, 2022:

The Dubai Customs Authority published customs notice 07/2022 announcing a temporary ban on the export and re-export of iron (ferrous) scrap and paper waste. The customs notice states that the temporary ban on iron scrap and waste paper exports has been extended until September 30, 2022.

The UAE had issued a similar notice in 2020 which said that the ban is effective from May 15, 2020 for a period of four months ending 1September 15, 2020. This was in regards to strengthen the country’s domestic demand.

View the notice.

VAT of a Car Exported from Saudi Arabia cannot be Refunded

Date: 10 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/624404/SAUDI-ARABIA/VAT-of-a-car-exported-from-Saudi-Arabia-cannot-be-refunded

Riyadh September 10, 2022:

Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) clarified that it’s not possible to refund the paid value-added tax (VAT) on a car that has been exported from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This clarification came while responding to an inquiry from a Saudi citizen asking about the possibility to receive VAT refund after he purchased a car, then exported it from the Kingdom.

He was asked to get a VAT refund in Saudi Arabia after he paid another new VAT in the country to which he exported the car to.

It stated that all the services and commodities are subjected to the VAT with a percentage of 15 percent if it has been provided by the establishment or by an activity or business owner registered in the VAT system.

Read more.

OTA organizes Workshops on VAT and CIT

Date: 09 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://timesofoman.com/article/120719-tax-authority-organises-workshops-on-vat-and-corporate-income-tax

Musact September 9, 2022:

The tax authority, in coordination with the General Authority for Economic and Free Zones, organized two workshops on value-added tax and corporate income tax in the Salalah Free Zone, in the presence of several officials and employees of the authority, the industrial city of Raysut (Mada’in), the free zones of Salalah and Mazyona, the office of the governor of Dhofar and investors in the industrial zones.

The first workshop presented by Saeed bin Ahmed Al-Shanfari, Director-General of the Second General Directorate of Taxation, addressed several themes. The most important one was on Value Added Tax Act imposed on all supplies of goods and services in Oman unless exempted or submitted at zero percent. Other topics discussed were VAT mechanism, types of supplies, tax rates and tax-exempt supplies.

Participants were also introduced to VAT returns filing mechanism, annual revenue components, tax collections and services provided by the Tax Authority through its website.

The workshops were attended by a large number of employees and investors in the industrial zones, who widely interacted by asking questions to the tax specialists who in turn provided all the necessary clarifications about the tax.

Read more.

Bahrain: National Revenue Authority prepares for Implementation of Digital Stamps

Date: 07 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://www.nbr.gov.bh/releases/142

Manama September 7, 2022:

The National Revenue Authority confirmed that as of October 16, 2022, the distinctive mark system of Digital Stamps will be applied to cigarette products in the country. This decision is implemented in line with the directives of the CEO of the National Revenue Authority, where all cigarette products available for sale must be marked with the stamp for trading in the local market.

The Authority called on all importers and traders in the region to deal in appropriate quantities and not to store large quantities of cigarettes that do not bear digital stamps, so that the stock will be cleared before October 16, 2022.

This directive will help them prepare for the ban on the sale, circulation, possession and supply of cigarettes that do not bear stamps. After the commencement of the digitization phase, any product in the supply chain that isn’t digitally stamped will have to be either destroyed or moved outside the territory of the Kingdom to avoid issues with the law for non-adherence. Penalties can range from administrative fines to cases for Public Prosecution.

Read more.

ZATCA signs MOU with Hungarian National Tax and Customs Authority

Date: 05 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/News_942.aspx

Riyadh September 5, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on tax administration with the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Authority. The MOU was signed by His Excellency the Governor of ZATCA, Eng. Suhail bin Muhammad Abanmi and Mr. Ferenc Fagogeli, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Commissioner of the National Tax and Customs Authority of the Republic of Hungary.

The memorandum includes a general framework for cooperation in the field of tax administration between the two countries. It also discusses ways for cooperation in a number of fields notably in digital solutions, and review of experiences of both sides in tax applications.

This memorandum comes within the framework of the Authority’s endeavor to strengthen its strategic relations at the international level for upgrading tax system and its services.

Read more.

UAE and Kuwait Sign Double Tax Treaty

Date: 04 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://twitter.com/MOFKW/status/1564542419823198208

Kuwait City September 4, 2022:

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have recently signed a treaty for the avoidance of double taxation, as announced by the the Kuwait Ministry of Finance on Twitter.

This is the first tax treaty that Kuwait has signed with a Gulf Cooperation Council member state. The objectives of the tax treaty are to expedite cooperation in tax matters, strengthen ties between the two countries and unite the economic and investment partnerships in the region.

This move is in line with the efforts of both countries to grow commercial trading, boost investment opportunities, enhance development goals and also provide full protection of goods and services exchanged in both the countries.

View more.

Bahrain: The National Bureau of Revenue (NBR) updates list of Excise Goods

Date: 02 Sep, 2022

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External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/قائمة-السلع-الانتقائية.pdf

Manama September 2, 2022:

The National Bureau of Revenue (NBR) updated the selective list of goods subject to excise tax as a continuation of the recent excise tax developments.

Kindly click here to view the entire updated list of goods subject to excise tax.

Majalis Abu Dhabi conducts Awareness Session on VAT Refund to UAE Nationals on building new residences

Date: 01 Sep, 2022

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3U0xXRb

Abu Dhabi September 1, 2022:

As part of the lecture series at Majalis Abu Dhabi at the President’s Court, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) held an awareness session that was broadcast live on Majalis Abu Dhabi’s Instagram account on the procedure for UAE nationals to recover the Value Added Tax (VAT) incurred on building their new residences. The session was broadcast live on Majalis Abu Dhabi’s Instagram account.

The session was held remotely, bringing Emirati citizens together with a team of experts from the FTA who explained the process for refunding VAT to UAE citizens on the construction of their new residences.

Speakers at the session clarified the steps to be taken to recover VAT through the FTA’s e-Services, starting with submitting the refund request with all supporting documents, all the way to receiving the refund amount by bank transfer to the applicant’s account.

During the session, the FTA’s team of experts outlined the criteria for submitting a VAT refund request incurred on the construction of new residences by UAE citizens, explaining the steps needed to create and verify an e-Services account for new users, as well as how to create a special refund requests account. The team also outlined how to submit and track a refund request, the deadline for submission, and the required documents. They also highlighted which potential applicants are eligible to recover VAT on their new homes, as well as which taxes are refundable.

Read more.

ZATCA launches Public Consultation document on Amendments to Excise Tax Regulations

Date: 29 Aug, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/RulesRegulations/Taxes/Documents/RETT%20Implementing%20Regulation.pdf

Riyadh August 29, 2022:

A draft of the proposed amendments to the RETT Regulations was issued by ZATCA on 27 June 2022 for public consultation on the National Competitiveness Centre platform.

Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority’s (ZATCA) board of Directors approved all the proposed amendments to various Articles of the Real Estate Transaction Tax (“RETT”) Regulations without any changes. Click here to access the official announcement. Also view the RETT Regulations with approved amendments.

ZATCA has also issued a new version of the RETT Implementing Regulations (in Arabic) after incorporating the approved amendments. Click here to view the entire document.

Commercial Establishment Shutdown for violating Tax Regulations worth AED 91 million

Date: 28 Aug, 2022

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/crime/dubai-tobacco-facility-shut-down-for-tax-violations-worth-dh91-million

Dubai August 28, 2022:

Following a joint inspection campaign by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) in cooperation with the General Administration of the Federal Criminal Police in the Ministry of Interior and the General Command of Dubai Police represented by the General Department of Investigation and Criminal Investigation, a non-compliant commercial establishment was seized and closed in Dubai after it was caught selling tobacco-based products without Digital Tax Stamps.

According to the press release, a total of 5,430,356 packs were confiscated from the violators for not bearing the trademark of Tax Stamps and the tax due on these products amounted to 91,833,016 AED.

The Authority took necessary legal measures against the violating establishment, as part of its continuous efforts to strengthen control over markets and prevent malpractices. The Authority reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing collaboration with all relevant federal and local government entities in order to ensure tax compliance across the emirates.

Read more.

Read more on Digital Tax Stamps to Track and Trace Excisable Products

ZATCA Tightens Custom Controls to curb smuggling of Narcotics

Date: 16 Aug, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/News_934.aspx

Riyadh August 16, 2022:

During a stringent inspection schedule, the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) thwarted an attempt to smuggle 1,100,000 narcotic pills, after finding it hidden in a toys and clothes consignment received through the port of Jeddah Islamic Port.

In coordination with the General Directorate of Narcotics Control, the 5 culprits were arrested right on time. All thanks to the Authority’s efforts, which asserted that it will continue to tighten customs control over the Kingdom’s imports and exports through all its customs outlets, in order to achieve security and protection of society from malpractices.

At the same time, the authority also called on citizens and residents to contribute to combating smuggling in all its forms by communicating any such violations to its hotline 1910 OR 00966114208417 or via e-mail 1910@zatca.gov.sa. Through these channels, the authority receives reports related to smuggling crimes in complete secrecy and will bestow a financial reward to whistleblowers if the notified information is accurate.

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KSA: ZATCA issues Simplified Guide on E-invoicing requirements

Date: 11 Aug, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/E-Invoicing/Introduction/Guidelines/Documents/E-invoicing%20Detailed%20Technical%20Guidelines.pdf

Riyadh August 11, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) of KSA has issued a Simplified guide on E-invoicing requirements in English. The guide aims to provide the taxpayers an overview of the E-invoicing implementation in the Kingdom and its requirements to facilitate their readiness for first and second phase.

The guide acts as a guide for users to understand the taxpayer’s user journey in preparing and successfully onboarding their E-invoice systems, and complying with the E-invoicing regulations with respect to cleared and reported invoices.

View the E-invoicing Detailed Technical Guidelines

Also view the Simplified Guide for E-invoicing Requirements

UAE: FTA Extends Timeframe to Pay Penalties till 31 December 2022

Date: 10 Aug, 2022

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3p8fgNf

Dubai August 10, 2022:

FTA calls tax registrants to benefit from the extension of the grace period for the re-determination of administrative penalties on violating tax law until December 31, 2022.Tax registrants who were not able to benefit from redetermination by December 31, 2021, can now benefit from the one-year extension.

The decision has been taken by the Cabinet in line with the wise leadership’s directives to 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.

View more.

Bahrain: National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) releases Manual on Tax Stamps

Date: 09 Aug, 2022

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External URL: https://www.nbr.gov.bh/publications/view/DS_manual_importers_Local_Manufacturers

Manama August 9, 2022:

The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) has issued a detailed manual on Tax Stamp for domestic importers and local manufacturers. The Digital Stamp Scheme is a supervisory system to track excise goods from the manufacturing stage to the point of consumption to limit smuggling instances within the Kingdom of Bahrain, thereby reducing the possibility of Excise evasion.

The manual provides clarity on the digital tax stamp on excise products in the country. It contains the following:

  • An overview of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s excise rules and procedures in regard to the Digital Stamps Scheme.
  • The necessary guidance needed to navigate the Digital Stamps Scheme online portal and the process of ordering and tracking digital stamps from the perspective of an importer of excise products.

NOTE: The manual intends to provide general information only and does not represent exhaustive or legally binding guidelines. For more information as case, you may directly contact National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) via email ds@nbr.gov.bh

View more.

UAE: FTA sets Time Limit for Claiming Refund of VAT by Tourists

Date: 08 Aug, 2022

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Dubai August 8, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) issued Decision 4 of 2022 for ‘Setting the Time Limit for Claiming Refund of VAT by Tourists’. Following are the key points of the decision.

  • One year time limit has been set up for tourists to claim the refund of Value Added Tax through bank card or by cash, from the date of verification of the refund request.
  • If Tourist does not claim the VAT refund within one year, in such case operator of the Tax Refunds for Tourist Scheme has to deposit the unclaimed amount to FTA within 1 month from expiration of the time limit of 1 year.
  • This decision will be effective from 1st June 2022.

View more.

UAE: Lawyer Penalized with Imprisonment and Fine for Tax Evasion

Date: 05 Aug, 2022

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External URL: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/crime/uae-lawyer-fined-dh3-million-sentenced-to-3-years-in-jail-for-tax-evasion

Abu Dhabi August 5, 2022:

The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court convicted the accused Asim Ghafoor, who has American citizenship, of committing two crimes of tax evasion and money laundering. The court sentenced him to three years in prison and imposed a fine of AED 3 million, along with deportation from the UAE.

The case arose upon the American authorities’ request for judicial assistance regarding their investigations of the accused for making suspicious money transfers to the state.

The UAE Public Prosecution (PP) started its procedures by studying the judicial assistance request and verifying the nature of the financial transactions related to the aforementioned accounts and bank transfers. Suspicions of money laundering crime aroused as the accused carried out international transfers without proof of their source. Based on the findings of the investigations, the accused was found guilty by the Criminal Court on charges of tax evasion and money laundering.

Read more.

OTA: Taxpayer Services conducts Tax Awareness Campaigns through Field visits

Date: 29 Jul, 2022

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3OI8DM2

Muscat July 29, 2022:

For those subject to VAT in the Governorate of Muscat the Auditor Services Department of the Tax Authority launched awareness campaigns on the importance of tax compliance from 24 July to 18 August.

Specialists from the Working Group carried out awareness-raising campaigns in the Auditor Services of the Tax Authority on 24 July by visiting a number of shops in the state of Muttrah. They provided subjects with necessary information on the accurate methods of recording tax and the timely submission of tax returns through the electronic portal of the tax authority.

During the awareness drive, brochures and manuals on tax laws were also distributed. These manuals also explain the step-by-step process to clear all tax transactions in their electronic system.

The widespread campaign contributes to raising awareness of the importance of tax compliance and also helps ease the completion of tax transaction.

View more details.

ZATCA initiates Procedures for Implementing Phase II of E-invoicing Project

Date: 27 Jul, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/en/MediaCenter/News/Pages/News_912.aspx

Riyadh July 27, 2022:

Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) clarified that it has started the procedures for implementing Phase II (Integration Phase) of E-invoicing. This phase aims to integrate E-invoicing solutions of taxpayers with ZATCA’s platform -FATOORA, where the authority will inform targeted taxpayers to complete procedures for implementing the second phase.

ZATCA has revealed that the implementation of Phase II of the E-invoicing project will begin on January 1, 2023, with selected taxpayers in the first wave. The selection was based on the revenue subject to VAT for the year of 2021 exceeding 3 billion SAR.

ZATCA stated that Phase II requires additional requirements, the most prominent being the integration of taxpayer’s E-invoicing solutions with FATOORA, issuance of electronic invoices in a specific format, and inclusion of additional fields in the invoice. Furthermore, the procedure of E-invoicing would occur gradually in waves, and ZATCA would inform the requirements directly at least six months prior to the integration date.

Read more.

UAE's FTA increases Inspection Visits 104% in 6 months

Date: 22 Jul, 2022

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External URL: http://wam.ae/en/details/1395303068351

Dubai July 22, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) significantly expanded its efforts in collaboration with various government departments, ministries and authorities to protect consumers from non-compliant products, combat tax evasion and ensure compliance with tax legislation and procedures.

During the first half of this year, the FTA carried out 9,948 inspection visits in local markets across the country in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, Customs and Port Security and various Economic Development Departments.

Inspections conducted in the first half of 2022 increased by 104 percent compared to 4,878 inspections conducted in 2021 during the same period.

Read more.

Ajman Free Zone witnesses 33 percent Increase in Corporate Tax Companies

Date: 15 Jul, 2022

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External URL: https://www.wam.ae/en/details/1395303060045

Dubai July 15, 2022:

As the UAE gears up for the implementation of corporate tax in 2023. Ajman Free Zone records a significant increase of 33 percent in the number of corporate tax institutions.

H.E Eng. Ali AlSuwaidi, Director-General of Ajman Free Zone, stated that “The Federal Corporate Tax will become applicable in 2023 and is believed to propel the country forward.”

“Businesses are expected to align their relevant processes in order to ensure full compliance with the new law, and will need the assistance of specialized tax advisory firms specializing in this domain. As a global business hub, Ajman Free Zone is prepared to address these requirements with innovative solutions and cost-effective packages, while facilitating growth opportunities for tax advisory companies. Moreover, we recognize the importance of these entities to enhance our performance and ensure compliance with federal regulations.”

“In addition, the introduction of the corporate tax is set to position the UAE as an attractive destination for foreign direct investments. This will drive us to help companies grow and expand, streamline their business processes, and attract more foreign investors who can benefit from the competitive advantages of Ajman, one of the region’s top investment destinations,” he added.

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Oman: Collection of Withholding Tax Suspended till 2025

Date: 14 Jul, 2022

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External URL: https://timesofoman.com/article/118068-suspension-of-withholding-tax-on-dividends-and-interests-extended

Muscat July 14, 2022:

As part of the Sultanate of Oman’s Vision 2040 plan with a vision of achieving high economic growth, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik floated Oman’s Economic Stimulus Plan on 3 March 2021. According to the plan, a circular was issued by Capital Market Authority (CMA) announcing the suspension of the collection of withholding tax at 10% on dividends of shares, returns on Sukuk and interests on bonds till May 6, 2022.

The circular was addressed to the general public of investors, public joint stock companies, Muscat Stock Exchange, Muscat Clearing and Depository Company, audit and law firms and the companies operating in the field of securities.

However, in relation to the questions raised on social media by investors and those interested in investing on the Muscat Stock Exchange on the fate of the decision, a new Circular 11/2022 was issued announcing the extension of the suspension of the collection of withholding tax on dividends and interest for a further period of five years till 2025 (i.e no withholding tax will apply during these years). The CMA clarified that this decision to extend suspension till 2025 was taken as part of the economic stimulus plan.

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ZATCA sets 15th July as deadline to submit excise tax returns for last May and June

Date: 12 Jul, 2022

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External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/ar/MediaCenter/News/Pages/News_919.aspx

Riyadh July 12, 2022:

The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has requested all taxpayers from the business sector subject to selective goods tax to submit their tax returns for the months of the last May and June. The deadline for submission is set on the fifteenth of this month without fail.

The Excise Goods Tax in force in the Kingdom is imposed on goods that have a negative effect on public health or the environment at varying rates and the list includes soft drinks, energy drinks, sweetened drinks, and tobacco and its derivatives.

Taxpayers can submit their declarations quickly through the website (zatca.gov.sa), in order to avoid the penalties for non-submission within the specified period. The fines are at the rate of 5% of the value of the tax that should have been declared for each month’s delay in submitting the declaration.

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OMR 301 million collected as VAT in Oman in 2021

Date: 07 Jul, 2022

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External URL: https://timesofoman.com/article/118602-omr301mn-collected-as-vat-in-oman-in-2021

Muscat July 7, 2022:

The value-added tax (VAT) increased by 0.3 percent over the estimated figure to reach OMR 301 million in 2021 in Oman. The authorities also collected OMR 103 million in selective tax, an increase of 8.8 percent during the same period.

This followed a unified Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreement to implement VAT to find alternative sources of revenue other than oil and gas.

Statistics further reveal that the total tax and fee revenues decreased by 8 percent to reach OMR1.49 billion at the end of 2021 compared to the approved budget estimate of OMR1.62 billion. This decline was mainly attributed to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy which had resulted in frequent closures and restrictions on goods and travel movements through international ports.

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FTA released new Public Clarification on Excise Goods

Date: 01 Jul, 2022

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External URL: https://bit.ly/3NFNy49

Dubai July 1, 2022:

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has issued a public clarification EXTP007 offering guidance on excise goods. The guide explains the scenarios where relief from excise tax may be granted for excise goods that are found to be deficient, shortage, considered as wastage, or where goods are intended to be destroyed.

The highlights of the public clarification are as follows:

Excise goods that are considered wastage or deficient when located within a designated zone will be treated as released for consumption and therefore will be subject to excise tax. However, as an exception, goods will not be considered to be released for consumption where:

  • Warehouse keeper notifies FTA within 30 days of discovering the deficiency in stock or shortage in quantity. This notification is given through a form on the e-services portal – Lost and Damaged declaration EX203B.
  • Shortage or deficiency is due to a legitimate cause accepted by FTA.
  • Where these conditions are met, a taxable person will not be required to account for excise tax on deficient or missing goods.

    View more in the guide.

    ZATCA denies rumors on VAT Exemption Certificate

    Date: 30 Jun, 2022

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    External URL: https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/622375

    Riyadh June 30, 2022:

    Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) have denied the existence of a value-added tax (VAT) exemption certificate.

    The Authority clarified that all business owners in the region who engage in economic activities are to obligatory register in the VAT system if their annual revenues reach the mandatory limit, which is SR 375,000. However, business owners who engage in economic activities and whose annual revenues are less than SR 187,500 are not obligated to register.

    The Authority also clarified that businesses whose annual revenues exceed SR 187,500 but do not exceed SR 375,000 are eligible for the optional VAT registration.

    If revenue touch the mandatory registration threshold, then business owners are required to register within 30 days.

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    FTA released a new Public Clarification on Gold Making Charges

    Date: 29 Jun, 2022

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    External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/DataFolder/Files/Guides/VAT/VAT%20Guides/VATP029%20Gold%20Making%20Charge15062022.pdf

    Dubai June 29, 2022:

    The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has recently released a Public Clarification – VATP029 on Gold Making Charges, iterating that the suppliers of the gold jewellery are required to pay VAT on the making charges component by charging the same in the invoice, which would not be covered under the ‘special reverse charge mechanism’.

    This Public Clarification provides detailed guidance on the VAT legislation application pertaining to making charges received by gold jewelers and further explains several instances where the making charges are taxable under VAT or not.

    View the file.

    ZATCA released an Updated Draft of the e-Invoicing Implementation Resolution

    Date: 22 Jun, 2022

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    External URL: http://www.allaboutvat.com/wp-content/uploads/E-Invoicing-Implementation-Resolution-Ar.pdf

    Riyadh June 22, 2022:

    Electronic Invoicing (e-Invoicing) has gone live in Saudi Arabia (KSA) since December 4, 2021 and its further implementation has been planned in two phases:

    1. Phase 1Generation phase- which has gone live since December 4, 2022.
    2. Phase 2 Integration phase- to go live on January 1, 2023.

    With regards to the Integration phase, it is anticipated that six months before the second go-live date i.e by July 1, 2022, the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) will invite the first wave of taxpayers to integrate their IT systems with ZATCA’s Fatoora Portal.

    The ZATCA released an updated draft of the e-Invoicing Implementation Resolution in Arabic on May 27, 2022. The changes made to the resolution, annexes and the related technical specifications are relevant for the latter phase that will go live on January 1, 2023.

    FTA releases a Guide to acquaint Taxpayers with their Tax Obligations

    Date: 15 Jun, 2022

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    External URL: https://tax.gov.ae/ftatacsoft5cms/DataFolder/Files/Guides/VAT/Awareness/Get%20to%20know%20your%20Tax%20Obligations.pdf

    Dubai June 15, 2022:

    As a UAE business resident, you need to be aware of your varied tax obligations and abide by the tax laws in the country. That’s why it is important you understand your federal, state and local tax requirements. This will help you file your taxes accurately and make timely payments, thus saving you from penalties and encountering trouble with the law.

    In this regard, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has issued a Comprehensive Guide on ‘Know your Tax Obligations’ to orient Taxpayers with their tax liabilities. The guide includes:

    • Criteria for VAT registration
    • Supplies exempt from VAT
    • Zero-rated VAT supplies
    • VAT records and supporting documentation
    • Formation of tax groups
    • Creating and using e-services account
    • Obligations after tax registration
    • Elements of a valid tax invoice
    • Timely submission of tax returns and tax return periods
    • Entitlement to recover input tax
    • Contact details of FTA

    For more details log onto www.tax.gov.ae

    Oman and Tanzania sign Agreement to avoid Double Taxation

    Date: 14 Jun, 2022

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    External URL: https://timesofoman.com/article/117882-oman-tanzania-sign-several-agreements-in-various-fields

    Muscat June 14, 2022:

    The Sultanate of Oman has signed an agreement with the Republic of Tanzania to avoid double taxation and prevent tax evasion on income. A number of other memoranda of understanding have been signed-in various fields that cover energy, tourism, natural resources, higher education and training and national museums.

    A tripartite memorandum was signed between the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce. A memorandum was signed between the Oman Investment Authority and the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority.

    An investment fund will also be established between the two countries that will be concerned with investment in several fields including agriculture, fishing and mining.

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    Saudi increases Custom Duties for 99 products

    Date: 13 Jun, 2022

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    External URL: https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/621693

    Riyadh June 13, 2022:

    Saudi Arabia increased customs tariffs on 99 commodities including vegetables, livestock and fish from June 12, 2022.

    Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA), issued the decision of adjusting the customs tariffs based on the ceilings committed by the Kingdom in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Saudi government is hoping to use custom increases to improve the balance of payments, increase exports and bring the private sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) to 65%.

    Among the changes are customs tariffs on sheep and goats rising from zero to 7%. Twelve types of fish and shrimp have also seen a rise with a minimum of 6% and a maximum of 15% respectively. A number of vegetables including onions, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant and zucchini now have import tariffs of 5%, up from zero.

    The move came pursuant to the powers granted to the finance minister to protect and encourage national industries and local agricultural products.

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    KSA: Taxpayers Exempt from Fines and Penalties for 6 months

    Date: 06 Jun, 2022

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    External URL: https://zatca.gov.sa/en/MediaCenter/News/Pages/news_886.aspx

    Riyadh June 1, 2022:

    Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) announced the launch of an initiative to waive fines and penalties for tax payers. The exemption will remain applicable for a 6-month period starting from 1 June 2022 till 30 November 2022.

    The fines include delay in registration, late payment, report submissions and other general provisions related to VAT. However, the initiative doesn’t include fines related t tax evasion and fines that had to be paid before the launch of the initiative.

    ZATCA has requested taxpayers to fully review the initiative through the simplified guideline available on its website. It includes a detailed explanation of the most important aspects of the decision, the types of penalties and the conditions that apply for benefiting from the exempt fines.

    The Authority has urged all taxpayers to benefit from the initiative before it ends on November 2022. Any queries in this regards can be clarified by:

    • Dialing their call center number 19993
    • Or through their twitter account @Zatca Care
    • Or sending an e-mail to info@zatca.gov.sa.

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    Israel and UAE boost ties by signing free trade pact

    Date: 01 Jun, 2022

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    External URL: https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-uae-sign-free-trade-deal-ambassador-2022-05-31/

    Dubai June 1, 2022:

    Israel and UAE sign a free trade agreement on May 31, 2022. The pact aims to boost ties between the two countries by eliminating most tariffs and lifting their annual bilateral trade to more than $10 billion within five years. As per the official data, Emirati-Israeli trade records stood at $1.2 billion in 2021.

    Tariffs will be removed or reduced on 96% of goods traded between the nations including foods, medicine, diamonds, fertilizers, jewelry and chemicals.

    The agreement was signed in Dubai by Minister of Economy and Industry Orna Barbivai and her counterpart, UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri after months of negotiations.

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    Oman: Expat faces fine, imprisonment and deportation for Tax Evasion

    Date: 31 May, 2022

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    External URL: https://timesofoman.com/article/116617-expat-faces-fine-jail-term-and-deportation-for-tax-evasion

    Muscat May 31, 2022:

    An expat has been fined OMR 1,000 and was imprisoned for a month for non-adherence to tax returns submission. The court also ordered his deportation from the country at the end of his sentence.

    Tax Authority said in a statement “The Court of First Instance in the Wilayat of Al Buraimi recently issued a court ruling against one of the companies operating in the Sultanate of Oman that is not obligated to submit tax returns for violating the provisions of the Income Tax Law issued by Royal Decree No. 28/2009 and committing a misdemeanor of non-compliance to submit tax returns.”

    The Anti-Tax Evasion Department received a notification from one of the partners in the company on the mishandling of financial transactions. By referring to the records in its electronic system it was found that the accused did not file tax returns.

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    KSA: Purchases from Bahrain exceeding SR 3,000 must be disclosed

    Date: 30 May, 2022

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    External URL: https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/621162/SAUDI-ARABIA/Passengers-purchases-from-Bahrain-exceeding-SR3000-must-be-disclosed

    Dammam May 30, 2022:

    The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) clarified whether fees will be applied to devices that are transported by travelers from Bahrain via the King Fahd Causeway.

    The authority confirmed that travelers coming from Bahrain via the King Fahd Causeway bringing purchases worth more than SR 3,000 would be obliged to disclose it.

    ZATCA noted that the fees applied to travelers will only be applied to new items wrapped in factory packaging that has not been used yet. It also indicated that travelers would be charged a value-added tax (VAT) of 15% on all imports they bring with them.

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    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

    Read more.

    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.

    Read more.

    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.”

    Read more.

    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.

    Read more.

    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.

    Read more.

    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.

    Read more.

    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.