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Amendments to the Saudi Tax Laws
Royal Decree No M/113
The Royal Decree No (M / 113) dated 2/11/1438H (25 July 2017) has amended Articles 56 (tax administration), 66 (objection and appeal) and 67 (formation and function of preliminary objection and appeal committees) of tax laws.
The salient features of the amendments are as follows:
Tax administration [Article 56]
- The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) will be responsible for the administration, inspection, assessing, collection of income tax and imposition of penalties under the tax laws.
- The penalty shall be imposed only by the Governor and a person authorized by the Board of Directors of the GAZT.
Objection and appeal [Article 66]
- The number of days allowed for filing appeal against the assessment and appellate order has now reduced from 60 to 30 days.
- The additional liability on the items accepted by the taxpayer shall be settled before filing the appeal.
- The amended provisions of tax laws are silent on the timing of settling of liability under dispute, whereas under the earlier provision of tax laws, the disputed liability was required to be paid or an equivalent amount of bank guarantee submitted before filing the appeal with the Higher Appeal Committee.
- Article 66(f) referring to the appeal before the Board of Grievance (BOG) has been deleted. Consequently, an appeal cannot be further filed with the BOG and the decision of the Higher Committee of Tax for Conflict and Dispute (HCTCD) will be considered final.
Formation and function of preliminary objection and appeal committees [Article 67]
- Reform in the Appeal Committees structure by forming two Committees namely:
- Settlement Committee of Tax for Conflict and Dispute (SCTCD)
- Higher Committee of Tax for Conflict and Dispute (HCTCD)
- The HCTCD will prepare the rules for both Appeal Committees within sixty days of the appointment of members of HCTCD. Thereafter, these rules will be finally issued by a Royal Decree.
- The SCTCD and HCTCD will not hear any appeals filed after five years of due date of liability under dispute or from the date of notification unless there is a valid reason acceptable to the Appeal Committees.
- The present structure of the Preliminary and Higher Appeal Committees will continue until the new Appeal Committees are constituted under the amended provisions of the tax law.
It appears that the above amendments in the tax law are effective from the date of issuance of Royal Decree i.e. 25 July 2017. The tax by-laws are required to be amended in line with the amendment provision of tax law, which will give more clarity to these amendments.
The above is only a brief summary of the amendment in the tax laws and has been written in general terms and therefore cannot be relied on to cover specific situations; application of the principles set out will depend upon the particular circumstances involved and we recommend that you obtain professional advice before acting or refraining from acting on any of the contents of this publication.
Deloitte & Touche Bakr Abulkhair & Co. (Deloitte) would be pleased to advise readers on how to apply the principles set out in this publication to their specific circumstances. Deloitte accepts no duty of care or liability for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this publication.