Plethora of GCC tax changes go largely unnoticed

Published July 20th, 2010 - 08:44 GMT

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the leading international professional services organisation, today launches its latest biannual Middle East Tax Update highlighting the large number of tax regime changes in the region, many of which have gone largely unnoticed by businesses. This latest edition continues to highlight the extent of ongoing change to tax regimes in the region, as well as the impact that these changes will have on businesses.

The current fiscal challenges faced by governments across the region will result in fundamental and potentially far reaching tax changes, such as the introduction of new taxes and an increase in existing tax rates. These changes will present major challenges for businesses based in the region as the need to monitor and comply with new tax laws, or changes to existing tax laws, will create increased risks due to the penalties for non-compliance.

"Many organisations are not aware of the taxes present in the region and tax penalties can be high when laws are not respected and the correct tax payments are not made on time," commented Dean Rolfe, Middle East Tax Leader at PwC. "With such sweeping reforms taking place across the region businesses need to monitor changes to tax laws and where necessary respond to those changes by modifying their business practices."

Rolfe continued: "Debt levels will continue to be front of mind for Governments around the world and tax laws will continue to evolve in order to help balance the books. The Middle East region is no exception and businesses need keep a close eye on any proposed changes and the impact those changes could have on their business."

Around the region a plethora of tax changes have taken place, including:

New tax legislation in Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Oman.The introduction of conditions for withholding tax relief claims in EgyptKSA taxpayers now required to make advance payments of tax if their total annual liability is in excess of SAR 500,000. Withholding tax position on services performed for Qatar Financial Centre entities clarified.Dubai to enforce housing tax for all residents and property owners. Recent developments in double tax treaties across the region. 

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