Sunday 6, March 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Though nothing has as of yet been confirmed, senior officials from Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE have all referred to implementing Value Added Tax (VAT) by GCC governments over the next two years and so it seems only a matter of timing rather that ‘if’ VAT will come. To that end, Deloitte held seminars in Dubai and Abu Dhabi during the last week of February to provide companies with a general understanding of VAT and its likely impact on their businesses. These seminars constitute the first of a series of seminars that will be held across the region.

More than two hundred and eighty business professionals attended the Deloitte seminars in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, chaired by Deloitte Indirect Tax specialists in the Middle East, Justin Whitehouse and Stuart Halstead. Bruce Hamilton, Director Goods and Sales Tax (GST) at Deloitte Malaysia, and Pierre Arman, Market Development Lead for Tax & Accounting at Thomson Reuters also provided their commentaries with regards to recent experience from the latest VAT implementation in the world and tax technology respectively.

“VAT implementation will be a major business issue and businesses would be well advised to consider the impact it may have on short to medium term business plans. Moreover, they need to consider pricing and working capital issues.” said Justin Whitehouse, Indirect tax leader at Deloitte Middle East.

As part of its continuous effort to support and provide guidance to firms throughout tax reforms, the Middle East Tax group at Deloitte has also created a free of charge bilingual online introductory guide about VAT. The guide discusses, amongst other areas, the drivers for implementing tax reform in the Middle East, key VAT principles and specific business issues aiming to provide an overall understanding of VAT.

“VAT is simple conceptually but in practice very complex and we hope our training is a first, small step, to helping local businesses address the implications of VAT implementation on their businesses in the GCC.” said Justin Whitehouse.