Welcome to the Saudi Arabia focus edition of Law Update.
One of the key markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that continues to lead from the front is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). As the largest country in the Middle East and the 18th largest economy in the world, the progress KSA continues to make is underpinned by its Vision 2030 that envisions developing the country as an investment powerhouse and hub that ultimately connects Asia, Europe, and Africa. Given Saudi Arabia’s significance to the regional economy, our team of experts have prepared a range of pertinent articles that provide insights into new laws, regulations, and the legal landscape in the Kingdom.
This edition will provide you with an up-to-date guide on matters such as; the framework issued by the Saudi Central Bank on IT governance, the anti-corruption landscape under Vision 2030; we also provide practical tips for dispute avoidance. This is only a snapshot; there are many more articles within the KSA focus section for you to read, which we hope you will find valuable and enjoyable.Read the edition
As you may be aware, Bahrain will introduce VAT with effect from 1 January 2019 and companies in the UAE with operations in Bahrain should immediately assess the impact of the VAT on their business in Bahrain.
We are actively assisting clients on the implementation of VAT in Bahrain and have a dedicated local team on the ground. Click here for more information on the implementation of VAT in Bahrain and Al Tamimi’s VAT offering.
Tourist Refund Scheme to come into effect on 18 November 2018
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has recently announced that the Tourist VAT Refund Scheme will come into effect on 18 November 2018. The first phase envisages the digital system of the Scheme to be implemented at the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah international airports. It is expected that the system will be fully operational and rolled out to all airports and land and seaports in the UAE by mid-December.
FTA publishes VAT guidelines on ‘Charities’
The FTA recently published VAT guidelines on charities which set out criteria for a charity to qualify as a designated charity for VAT purposes. The guide explains the circumstances under which activities of a charity will be treated as business or non-business activities for VAT purposes. The guide also clarifies the application of the deemed supply rules to charities. In addition, the guide confirms that charities that carry on a business and make taxable supplies in excess of the mandatory registration threshold should register for VAT and that designated charities may be able to recover VAT incurred in respect of their charitable activities under a special refund scheme.
FTA publishes updated VAT guidelines on ‘Real Estate’
The FTA issued a new version of the VAT guide on real estate. The guide clarifies that in the case of retention payments, the date of supply will be triggered at the earliest of (i) date the retention payment is made; (ii) the date of issuance of a tax invoice in relation to the retention; and (iii) 12 months from date of completion of work.
Further, the guide also clarifies that in the context of snagging, where the customer holds the retention payment permanently and VAT has already been accounted for, the supplier may make an adjustment in its VAT return either by declaring it as a ‘bad debt’’ (if payment is still due) or by issuing a tax credit note (if it is accepted that no payment is due at all).
Please do not hesitate to contact Al Tamimi’s Tax Team if you require any assistance.