GCC Indirect Tax Weekly Digest


GCC Indirect Tax Weekly Digest

January 21, 2019

Bahrain developments

NBT distributes logos for tax-free goods and services

The Bahrain National Bureau for Taxation (NBT) announced that it is distributing logos with the words “VAT Free” to certain businesses, to be placed on the goods and services they supply which are not subject to VAT.

While the logos are described as “tax exemption logos”, it is thought that these are applicable on zero-rated and out of scope supplies as well.

The NBT further stated that it is important for businesses to adopt the measure, making sure the logo is clear and visible to consumers. A requirement to place logos is not currently codified in the Bahrain VAT legislation, but may be introduced in the future.

NBT publishes new versions of VAT guides

The NBT has published new versions of the VAT general and registration guides. The tax group registration control criteria have been amended to specify that voting or market value interest can be held directly or indirectly. Further, the control criteria are now described as applying to a formal partnership arrangement itself rather than to each person in it.

KSA GAZT publications

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) has published the English versions of several guidelines which were previously published in Arabic.

Examination, Assessment, Correction, and Objection on GAZT Decisions guideline (English)

This guide provides an overview of the process of the procedural and administrative aspects of interacting with GAZT on VAT compliance matters.

The guide covers topics including instances where GAZT would assess VAT due, circumstances in which taxpayers must correct returns and the procedure for correction, the GAZT examination process, information requests, and the assessment objection process.

A flowchart is included, which details the possible scenarios in the VAT objections and appeals process.

Agents guideline (English)

This guide provides additional clarity to taxpayers regarding the VAT implications of transactions involving agents, or other situations where one person acts on behalf of another person.

The guide covers topics including the concept of agency for VAT purposes, the VAT treatment where an agent acts on behalf of a principal, the VAT treatment where an agent acts in its own name, importations by an agent, the onward charge of costs by agents, and considerations for specific sectors (including ride-sourcing apps and hotels).

Electricity and utilities guideline (English)

This guide is relevant to suppliers in the electricity and utilities industry. It includes sections on place of supply rules for supplies of electricity, gas, oil, or water through a pipeline distribution system; imports and exports via a distribution system; VAT treatment for the domestic electricity sector; common issues in distribution and retail utility contracts (such as discounts, security deposits, and bad debts).

Qatar excise tax developments

Numerous guidelines have been published by the General Authority of Customs in Qatar regarding implementation of excise tax, including a Taxable Person Guide and information on how to file the Transitional Excise Tax Return by stockpilers of excisable goods, due until the end of January.

According to the Excise Tax Law, stockpilers who had excisable stock as at 31 December 2018, 23:59 in excess of a value of 50,000 QAR have to get their stock audited by a third party before filing the Transitional Excise Tax Return. The requirement for a third party stock audit is not detailed either in the law or in the connected guides. Deloitte have developed a standard methodology for the stock audit to assist client being excise tax compliant

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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