Welcome to the April edition of our tax newsletter, bringing you news on global and regional tax developments. 

International updates

OECD: 12 “No or only nominal tax jurisdictions”

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently issued a release reporting that 12 “no or only nominal tax jurisdictions” began their first tax information exchanges, under the OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practice’s global standard on substantial activities. This includes the UAE and Bahrain.

For more details, click here

Taxation of the digital economy: KPMG development summary

As the tax digitization debate continues, multinational companies will need to stay abreast of both short- and long-term developments to navigate and prepare successfully for the resulting changes to the global tax landscape.

To access the full KPMG development summary on taxation of the digital economy, click here (PDF 2.25 MB)

GCC updates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai Customs extends grace period for customs declarations submission

Dubai Customs released Notice No. 05/2021 on 17 March 2021 on the submission of customs declarations and required documents. As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the recent notice extends the grace period for declarations filed between 1 February and 30 June 2021, until 30 September 2021.

Companies importing and exporting to and from the UAE via Dubai can take advantage of the suspension to re-organize their internal processes to comply with Dubai Customs requirements no later than September 2021.

For more details, see the full KPMG tax flash here.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

Main Regulations for the Integrated Logistics Bonded Zone

Saudi Arabia has issued the main regulations, including the Tax Regulations and Employment Regulations, for its first special economic zone, the Integrated Logistic Bonded Zone (ILBZ), announced in October 2018.

A company or branch of a company that is licensed to carry out activities in the ILBZ (“established entities”) will be eligible for tax benefits and exemptions for prescribed activities. The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) will issue additional guidance to clarify the conditions and the procedures that need to be followed by established entities to benefit from the ILBZ tax benefits and exemptions.

For more details, see the full KPMG tax flash here

Employment and mobility updates for Saudi Arabia

KPMG Saudi Arabia released its first newsletter on recent employment and mobility measures, including new Saudization measures, temporary work visit visas, and the labor reform initiative.

For the full KPMG newsletter, click here.  

Bahrain

March 2021 and Q1 VAT returns to be submitted by 3 May 2021

The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) posted a reminder on their website for VAT return deadlines for 1 March - 31 March 2021 and 1 January - 31 March 2021, which must be submitted from 1 April until 3 May 2021. Any payments are also due by 3 May 2021.

For the NBR announcement, click here.

National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) has revamped its website

The NBR has revamped its website and restructured the homepage layout and content to make it more intuitive and user-friendly. It is worth noting that new functionality and pages have been added on excise tax and foreign tax relations.

For more details, see the full KPMG tax flash here (PDF 204 KB).

Qatar

Tax filing deadlines have been extended

As part of Covid-19-related relief measures, the General Tax Authority has extended the tax return filing deadlines for the tax year 2020. As per the issued circular, tax returns submission deadlines have been extended by two months. The extension does not apply to entities operating in the oil and gas sector.

To read the circular, click here.

Oman

The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs has published two decisions on the operating procedures for the Committee and zero-rating of VAT on certain medicines and medical devices.

The first, Decision Number 57/2021, regulates the working of the Committee that is responsible for adjudicating income tax, value added tax, and excise tax-related “grievances”, and the second stage of disputes following objections. This Decision also repeals and replaces the Regulations governing the work of the Income Tax Committee issued by Ministerial Decision No. 52/2004.

The second, Decision Number 59/2021, provides for the zero-rating of supply of medicines, herbal medicines, biological products, health products, food for medical use, and medical devices, for which the Ministry of Health issues permission for release in accordance with the Customs Code.

For more details, see the full KPMG tax flash here