KPMG: COVID-19 tax developments and resources
- KPMG's daily update on global tax developments in response to COVID-19: https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2020/04/taxnewsflash-coronavirus-covid-19-developments.html
- Across the KPMG Global Tax & Legal Network, our leaders have put forward tax and legal considerations for affected businesses: https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2020/03/tax-and-legal-considerations-flowing-from-disruption-caused-by-covid-19.html
- An overview of jurisdictional tax measures and government relief measures, as reported by KPMG member firms in response to the COVID-19: https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2020/03/jurisdictional-tax-measures-in-response-to-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.html
- KPMG Global Tax and Legal’s summary of COVID-19 related reading: https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2020/03/responding-in-a-crisis.html
The Dubai government recently announced several short-term measures as part of an economic stimulus package intended to aid UAE businesses navigate the potential impact of COVID-19.
Dubai Customs has confirmed:
- There will be a refund of 20% of the 5% customs duty imposed on imported goods sold locally in the UAE. Goods imported between 5 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 which are liable to customs duty at the rate of 5% are eligible for the refund.
- There will be an exemption from the berthing fee for arrivals and departures, and direct and indirect loading fees for traditional wooden commercial vessels registered in the UAE at Dubai and Hamriyah Port between 15 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.
- The AED 50,000 bank or cash guarantee required to undertake customs broking activities is revoked.
- The bank or cash guarantee deposited by existing customs brokers and clearing companies will be refunded.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi, respectively, have recently announced several short-term measures to counter the effects of COVID-19.
On 12 March 2020, the Dubai government announced an AED 1.5 billion economic stimulus package to enhance liquidity and cushion the potential impact of the current global economic situation caused by the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. The package includes 15 focused initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of doing business and simplifying business procedures, especially in the commercial, retail, external trade, tourism and energy sectors.
Abu Dhabi has also announced 15 initiatives focused on supporting SMEs and easing the availability of loans to local companies. These measures are a part of “Ghadan 21”, an AED 50 billion development plan announced by Abu Dhabi in 2018 aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the emirate.
The government of Saudi Arabia is implementing additional measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Kingdom’s economy, including several measures designed to ease filing and payment requirements for taxpayers for a limited period.
Pursuant to Royal Decree (RD) No. 45089 dated 23 Rajab 1141H (18 March 2020), the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) issued a circular which announces relief from certain penalties and postponement of Zakat, tax and withholding filing and payment extensions for the period 18 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 (the concession period). The key measures are outlined below:
- Cancellation of penalties for late filing or revision of tax returns
- Cancelation of penalties for late registration
- Payment of tax due in the concession period in installments
- Cancellation of all other penalties pertaining to tax due in the concession period
- Extended due date for filing and payment of Zakat and tax return for the 2019 fiscal year
- Extended due date for filing and payment of withholding tax
The Oman Tax Authority provided certain corporate tax relief measures specifically to taxpayers affected by COVID-19 as a result of the precautionary measures imposed by the government to counter the pandemic in Oman. These include the following:
- Deferral of tax return filing and payment of tax by up to three months from the due date
- Exemption from all fines and penalties related to such deferred filing and tax payments
- Tax deductions for all donations or contributions made towards handling COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with the prescribed rules under the income tax law and the executive regulations
- Other measures include flexible tax payment mechanisms; extended timeline for filing objections against tax assessments; and additional time to submit supporting documents and clarifications for ongoing objection proceedings
The Omani government announced relief measures to mitigate economic impact and help individuals and businesses navigate these unprecedented times.
Economic measures: On 18 March 2020, the Central Bank of Oman announced a comprehensive incentive package to inject additional liquidity of more than OMR 8 billion (USD 20.78 billion) into the economy.
Customs-related measures:The Omani customs authority has announced that where the importer is unable to obtain or produce the necessary authorizations (i.e., documents and certificates of the goods from the exporting country), the relevant goods will still be cleared.
Further, the current requirement to obtain a guarantee for the non-submission of original legalized documents has been waived until further notice.
Pursuant to Royal Decree (RD) 66/2019 establishing the Tax Authority (TA) of Oman, His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik Al Said issued RD 42/2020 on 31 March 2020 - promulgating the Organizational Structure of the TA. This RD includes a By-Law and is effective from the date of its issuance (31 March 2020).
The General Tax Authority (GTA) has issued Circular No.5 for the year 2020 Thursday evening, in response to letters received by the GTA, requesting an extension of the deadline for filing tax returns for the year ending 31 December 2019 (FY 2019).
The GTA has provided an extension of two months for filing the tax returns for FY 2019; whereby 30 June 2020 will now be the deadline to file the said tax returns. The circular has been issued in light of the exceptional circumstances that the State is facing during this period.
- The budget for ministries and government departments increased by KWD 500 million for the fiscal year 2020/2021
- Monetary and liquidity stimulants
- Central Bank of Kuwait measures:
- Discount rate reduced to a historic low of 1.5%
- Repo rates, overnight, one-week and one-month reduced to 1%, 1.25%, and 1.75%, respectively
- Capital adequacy ratio lowered from 13% to 10.5%
- Risk weight for SMEs lowered from 75% to 25%
- Limit of financing increased from 90% to 100%
- Loan to Value (LTV) ratio to be increased for properties
KPMG Tax Event
Join our webinar 14 April 2020 – Managing through a crisis: Tax and legal impacts in the Middle East - Session 2
We will focus on GCC governments’ initial responses to the current environment, in light of the impact of Covid-19. We will cover:
- Taxes from a federal budget perspective
- Response from GCC tax authorities
- Impact on the Tax function
- Managing tax authority risk
Date: 14 April 2020
Time: 15:00 - 15:45 Abu Dhabi
14:00 - 14:45 Riyadh
Register your interest here.
Please also find the replay of our first COVID-19 related webcast – focused on initial GCC government responses and managing VAT cashflows – here.