28 March 2019
This TaxFlash has been designed to keep our valued clients up-to-date with relevant VAT developments. Please contact the Keypoint VAT team if you have any questions about this TaxFlash. Click here if you'd like to be added to our mailing list.
  • On 27 March 2019, the National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) held a workshop for the retail and wholesale sectors, emphasising tax invoice requirements and gave further guidance on how to file VAT returns. 
  • On 25 March 2019, the NBR released a VAT guide for financial services. The 119 page guide includes comprehensive guidance on:
    • VAT treatments of specific financial services (including Islamic financial products)
    • The insurance industry
    • Tax invoices
    • Input tax recovery for the financial services industry
  • The Keypoint VAT team will be issuing a separate VAT alert that summarises many of the key points in the guide - please contact us if you don't receive your alert.
  • On 24 March 2019, the NBR enabled taxpayer return filing login on their website. We understand the NBR will be contacting registered businesses.
  • Retailers who wish to participate in the VAT tourist refund scheme can now register for the scheme. Only eligible purchases made from registered retailers qualify for VAT refunds. More information on how the scheme operates can be found the Planet website.
Saudi Arabia
  • On 24 March 2019, the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) released a revised VAT guide for imports and exports. The guide covers:
    • Imports and exports of good and services
    • Transitional provisions
    • Input VAT deduction rules
    • Obligations for taxable persons
    • Penalties
    • How to apply for rulings (interpretative decisions)
  • The Federal Tax Authority's (FTA's) VAT refunds for business visitors is now fully operational, allowing non-resident businesses to apply for VAT refunds. A dedicated guide on the process is here.
  • The FTA has announced that over 300,000 business have successfully registered for VAT in the UAE, with the number of approved tax agents operating in the UAE up to 316.
  • The  UAE cabinet has approved allowing official participants of Expo 2020 Dubai to VAT refunds for costs incurred on goods and services directly connected to the development of their pavilions. A guide on the FTA's website gives further guidance on criteria as well as the refund process.
  • The FTA held a workshop for custom agents on how to check the digital tax stamps on tobacco and tobacco products, implemented on 1 January 2019 .
  • The Muscat Municipality has accused landlords of attempting to evade taxes by not registering tenant contracts. Leases must be registered and an administrative fee of five percent of the annual rental value is due to the municipality. To address revenue losses, the municipality has signed an agreement with the Oman Investment and Finance Company to tackle tax evasion. 
  • No updates for this period 
  • No updates for this period
Event - VAT seminar for registered businesses
On 25 March 2019, Keypoint hosted a seminar focused on VAT return filing and leading practice for VAT compliance at the Downtown Rotana in Manama.
The seminar included a panel discussion that featured - ss well as Mubeen Khadir and Chris Park from the Keypoint tax team -:
Our services
Keypoint assists with VAT implementation, as well as post-implementation services. Our VAT health-checks, advisory retainer support, and VAT return reviews give you comfort that your VAT return preparation process is robust.

Click on the image for more details on how we can assist you with managing your VAT compliance and other obligations - or speak to your regular Keypoint contact for more details:

Mubeen Khadir | Head of Tax | +973 1720 6879

Mark Gamble | Senior Manager  | +973 1720 6872

Raman Ohri | Senior Manager | +973 1720 6814

Sheikh Omar Hisham | Manager | +973 1720 6877

Willem Bam | Manager | +973 1720 6875

Tariq Haq | Manager | +973 1710 3480


TaxFlash is intended to provide general updates in relation to tax in the GCC. It is not a substitute for professional advice. You should seek appropriate professional advice from a tax advisor before making any decision relating to your particular circumstances.
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