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GAZT launches public consultation on VAT
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Zakat and Tax (GAZT) has launched a public consultation of the Draft Implementing Regulations for Value Added Tax (VAT), which is open for feedback until August 19.

This consultation follows the closure of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) VAT Draft Law public consultation.

The Draft Implementing Regulations expands on the areas covered within the KSA VAT Law, detailing rules for implementation and giving taxpayers sufficient information to complete their VAT compliance requirements.

The draft implementing regulations covers, but is not limited to, the scope of taxation (exemption or zero-rated status) for certain goods and services in selected industries, registration rules, VAT grouping, date and place of supply, import and exports, the treatment of used goods, input tax deductions and the review and appeals processes.

Source: GDN Online 20 July 2017

Residential real estate in the UAE to be exempt from VAT
Residential property in the UAE, some financial services, undeveloped land and local transport will be exempt from VAT, which will be introduced at a rate of 5 percent on 1 January next year, the Ministry of Finance said on its website.

“Supplies (including sales or leases) of commercial properties will be taxable at the standard VAT rate,” the ministry said.

“On the other hand, supplies of residential properties will generally be exempt from VAT. This will ensure that VAT would not constitute an irrecoverable cost to persons who buy their own properties.”

The UAE has yet to publish its VAT law, which will clarify details about the implementation of the tax. Businesses will be looking to get more clarity on certain clauses of the law to avoid falling into legal traps.

Source: The National 20 July 2017

UAE says no special VAT rules for SMEs
The UAE will have no special VAT rules for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

Source: Arabian Business 18 July 2017

Shoura approves VAT law
The Shoura Council on Wednesday approved the draft VAT law. It also stressed the need for activating the uniform program for Citizens Account prior to implementing VAT.

Yahya Al-Samaan, assistant president of the Council, said that the Council took the decision after listening to the report of the financial committee on VAT, read out by its chairman Osama Al-Rabiah.

He said that the draft law is in line with the provisions of the uniform agreement, signed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to implement VAT.

Source: Saudi Gazette 13 July 2017
SKP's comments
The GCC Member State’s draft domestic regulations should be decoded upon their release. Furthermore, the updated FAQs of the United Arab Emirates and the FAQs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia serve as a reliable reference tool. While it is expected that there will be certain implementation issues, the businesses should be preparing for smooth transition into the VAT regime.
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