In February 2017, Royal Decree 9/2017 mandated electronic filing of income-tax returns, for which the Secretariat General for Taxation (“SGT”) launched a portal later that year. This included a then-optional provision to submit withholding tax (“WHT”) returns online.
The SGT's recent announcement states taxpayers must submit WHT returns exclusively through the online portal with effect from 1 November 2018, in an effort to simplify tax compliance and phase out paper filing.
Taxpayers yet to obtain their portal login credentials must do so immediately, so as to submit WHT returns online.Taxpayers may face challenges if a reduced rate is applicable on specified foreign payments (e.g. tax treaty relief), as the online form does not currently allow deviations from a set WHT rate (10% as per the Oman tax law). The online form includes ‘consideration for provision of services’ as a category, introduced following the widening of the scope of WHT in February 2017. However, it omits the titles ‘interest’ and ‘dividend’ as specified categories of payments. In these cases, until the SGT resolves these administrative gaps, taxpayers will need to furnish submissions with underlying documents to substantiate their WHT compliance.
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