GCC Indirect Tax Weekly Digest


GCC Indirect Tax Weekly Digest

September 15, 2020

UAE developments

FTA publishes Business Bulletin on higher education

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has published a Business Bulletin on the higher education sector.

The document sets out the basic Value Added Tax (VAT) rules in relation to the activities and transactions commonly entered into by universities and other higher education institutions.

The Business Bulletin is similar to the previously published Business Bulletin on nurseries, preschools, and schools, with additional information specifically relevant to higher education institutions.

This includes clarification that the following supplies are standard rated:

  • Rental of halls/auditorium;
  • Courses to employees of corporates which are not in accordance with the curriculum recognized by the competent federal or local government entity;
  • Clothing required to be worn, e.g. laboratory coats, irrespective of whether or not supplied by the higher education institution as part of the supply of educational services;
  • Application/registration fees paid before enrollment in the institution; and
  • Fees on research conducted for external entities.

In addition, the Business Bulletin clarifies that field trips provided to students at an extra charge can be zero rated only if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The field trip is directly related to the curriculum; and
  • The field trip is not predominantly recreational.

Bahrain developments

NBR adds non-resident VAT refunds section to website

The Bahrain National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) has added a section to its website on the VAT non-resident refund scheme, and a corresponding application form and template for listing invoices/transactions.

Under Article 90 of the Bahrain VAT Executive Regulations, eligible non-residents may request a refund of the VAT incurred on certain expenses in Bahrain, if the following criteria are met:

  • The applicant is not registered or required to register for VAT in Bahrain;
  • The applicant is registered for VAT or similar tax in their country of residence;
  • The applicant’s country of residence has a refund process in place for persons registered for VAT in Bahrain;
  • The application is for a minimum of BHD 200;
  • The VAT incurred was in the course of conducting business activity; and
  • The applicant has not already submitted a refund application for the same calendar year.

The application window for each calendar year is between 1 January and 31 March of the following year (i.e. applications for refunds of VAT incurred in the 2020 calendar year must be submitted between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021).

Oman developments

Oman Tax webinar series

We are pleased to inform you that we will be hosting a tax webinar series throughout the rest of 2020, where our experts will discuss the latest tax developments in Oman. Click here to learn more and register for the series.

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.

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