GCC's VAT Timeline Uncertain

In 2016, the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) signed an agreement binding each to introduce a national Value Added Tax. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates began implementing VAT on January 1, 2018. 

When will the other four GCC members—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar—follow suit? 

According to a recent Bloomberg Tax article by DLA Piper tax advisors, Ton van Doremalen, Daan Arends and Wouter Kolkman, the following timeline is anticipated:

  • Bahrain: Potentially by October 2018, with possible postponement until the end of 2018.
  • Kuwait: By 2019, with possible postponement until 2021 due to the potential “credit-negative” effects.
  • Oman: 2019.
  • Qatar: Potentially by the second half of 2018, with possible postponement until 2019.

In GCC VAT: A New Constitution is now Established?, van Doremalen et al also discuss the special scheme for gold and diamonds now operating in the UAE, and the development of VAT practices in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE.


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