Insights

Deloitte Middle East Tax Handbook

Embrace the change. Lead with confidence.

All you need to know about the tax landscape in Bahrain Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Palestinian Ruled Territories, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen

We are pleased to present the new edition of the Deloitte Middle East tax handbook – a comprehensive guide to help you keep abreast of the regional tax rates and regimes. Change is the one constant. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which includes the energy-driven Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, is currently facing a double-whammy, in the form of oil price shocks and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is adversely impacting economic growth.

The governments are pressured to explore ways of maximizing revenues. At the global level, we have seen the response from the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with the issuance of the Pillar I/II Blueprint reports on taxation of the digital economy and the global minimum tax.

In the Middle East region, governments have also shown their commitment to transforming their economies into mature markets, aligned with global best practices. Taxpayers in the region are facing this reform during a time of unparalleled pressures of the fast-paced global regulatory changes. These
changes include a series of new regulations such as tripled Value Added Tax
(VAT) rate and introduction of a new Real Estate Transaction Tax (RETT) in the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Economic Substance rules in the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, VAT implementation and personal income tax
announcement in Oman and new Transfer Pricing regulations in Qatar.

With more developments in the offing, corporate tax and finance teams need to
respond quickly and explore ways to preserve cash, optimize their tax charges
and manage the overhead of the tax function. Business executive teams should
also work closely with their technology partners to agree and implement the right tax technology architecture, especially that building a high performing tax function is critical to tax transformation success. Effective use of technology, including data management and analytics, is integral to this.

The current environment caused by COVID-19 has been quite a ‘stress test’ for tax and/or finance teams. Businesses have had to go virtual with little time to prepare and are facing cost pressures and rapid and abrupt reduction in headcount. At the same time, their tax teams are having to play a key role in navigating the pandemic's impact, meeting compliance requirements, managing tax risk and responding to audits in a remote-working environment.

In order to navigate the changing landscape, businesses need to be resilient in dealing with the immediate impacts, as well as prepare for what is yet to
come.

The Deloitte Middle East Tax practice is committed to supporting its clients and business partners in these challenging times. We hope that the Middle East tax handbook will prove useful to businesses who are looking to invest in the region, as well as those who are already present, but are looking to undertake a review of their tax position.

Middle East Tax Handbook
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