GCC Indirect Tax Weekly Digest
May 28, 2019
FTA launches redesigned website
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has launched a redesigned version of its website.
One of the main changes in the layout is that there are now more clearly separated sections for VAT and Excise Tax, with the relevant guides and information pages more easily accessible under each section.
The website features a virtual assistant which users can chat with to seek support on their queries. The homepage also includes an overview of important upcoming dates and recent new additions to the website.
Excise Tax implementation update
On 26 May 2019, the Oman Secretariat General for Taxation released a guide on the implementation of Excise Tax, as well as a set of frequently asked questions. This follows the publication of the Oman Excise Tax Law in the Official Gazette on 17 March 2019, with implementation of the Law effective 90 days afterwards (meaning that Excise Tax will come into force on 15 June 2019).
To our knowledge, no official announcement has been made yet on the scope of Excise Tax; however, the Guide lists Excisable Goods (and relevant Excise Tax rates) to include the following:
- Tobacco and tobacco derivatives: 100%;
- Carbonated drinks: 50%;
- Energy drinks: 100%; and
- Special purpose goods (including alcohol and pork products): 100%.
Although normally only Importers, Producers and Warehouse Operators would be expected to file Excise Tax returns, any business that has a stock of goods subject to Excise Tax and intends to use them for a commercial purpose must submit a Transitional Excise Tax Return declaring the value and quantity of Excisable Goods held at the time of implementation of the Law.
These transitional rules will necessitate a stocktake or review of the Excise Goods on hand on implementation of the Tax. Details of the format of the Transitional Excise Tax Return, the stocktaking procedures required, the process of submitting and paying tax due, and the Excise Executive Regulations, are expected to be released soon.
Note that businesses may have only 15 days to submit the Transitional Excise Tax Return. According to the Excise Law, failure to submit the Transitional Excise Tax Return could lead to a penalty of between 5,000 and 20,000 OMR and/or a jail term of between 1 and 3 years.
Excise Tax and GTA website update
The Qatar General Tax Authority (GTA) has launched its redesigned website, providing information regarding the implementation of new taxes, amendments to the existing tax laws, the role of the GTA and the Taxpayer Charter. The website is operational in Arabic and English and is constantly being updated.
In addition to the Arabic version of the Excise Tax Law that became effective from the beginning of this year (1 January 2019), detailed FAQs on the operations, procedures and forms regarding the Excise Tax Law and the Excise Tax Taxable Person Guide in English are published on the GTA’s website.
This digest is for information purposes only and should not be construed as advice. It does not necessarily cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. You should not act upon the contents of this alert without receiving formal advice on your particular circumstances.