GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) countries have agreed ‘in principle’ to the GCC VAT Agreement to levy VAT (Value Added Tax) in the region. This will help the region to reduce their dependence on oil and other hydrocarbon products as a source of revenue. It is agreed by all the GCC countries that VAT will be introduced in every country latest by 1st January 2019. However, UAE decided to implement VAT likely w.e.f 1st January 2018.
We believe the decision to implement VAT would cause a paradigm shift in the business dynamics of the country as well as the region. Like most of the countries across the world, businesses in the Gulf region also will now have to adhere to stringent VAT regulatory and statutory compliances and report the same on a periodic basis. The challenge for the business community in the Gulf will be to understand the new VAT Law and implement the same well before the due date.
VAT is one of the most common types of consumption tax found around the world. Over 150 countries have implemented VAT. It includes the European Union (EU), UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, India etc. USA, GCC countries and some other countries, especially from African continents, have not introduced VAT.