Middle East Tax handbook
Adapting to regulatory change
Deloitte Middle East is pleased to present the 2015 edition of our Middle East Tax handbook – a comprehensive guide to help you keep abreast of tax rates and regimes in the Middle East region.
Changes in regulation and tax reform are often driven by a number of trends: a desire to provide a fiscal environment that fosters investment and entrepreneurialism, and the desire to integrate markets to facilitate cross border trade. Many countries also want to ensure that they are perceived as competitive vis-à-vis their international counterparts, so there is an inherent desire to make tax regimes more attractive.
Against this backdrop, governments are seeking to ensure their tax systems generate the revenues they expect. Coupled with an increased scrutiny on the transparency of tax planning, and pressure on large corporations to pay their ‘fair share’ of tax, there is increased pressure to navigate the complexity of the applicable rules and make informed decisions with respect to the tax risks you, our clients, face.
In this light, the international dimension of tax policy is critical. The OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project is crucial in steering the direction of tax regulatory reform going forward. This initiative is concerned with tackling aggressive tax practices which erode the tax base and shift profits to low tax or no-tax jurisdictions. The buzzword in this agenda is transparency - what is being paid, where it is being paid and why. The concept of simplicity is also fundamental – there is a desire to make paying taxes more straightforward, thus creating a system that allows global trade and businesses to flourish.
At our last conference, the BEPS review was in its infancy, however now we are seeing clear findings and actions emerging. Such insights allow us to guide our clients and consequently provide potential implications of the short, medium and long term impacts of their business decisions. Going forward, I expect to see tax technology playing an even bigger role, as departments look to transform their business models to identify deficiencies and improve operational effectiveness.
Preparedness is essential for adapting to regulatory change. Businesses need to understand the exposures they have, in all of the countries they operate in, as well as put a strategic framework in place to ensure they create long-term value and are compliant in this new world of tax regulation. At present, we continue to carefully monitor these trends in regulation to help you better manage what lies ahead.