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GCC :VAT IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Posted on September 2nd, 2017 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

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GCC Apart from India GST new in recent past , In another milestone towards the implementation of VAT across the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Unified Agreement for VAT was published in the official gazette of one of the member states, Saudi Arabia.

The Unified Agreement provides the framework for the operation of VAT across the GCC.

Each GCC member state will implement the framework through legislation and other instruments. This milestone is another reason for companies operating in the Middle East to put in place or further their VAT implementation plans.. Companies in these region already started for Implemnating GCC .

Let's have a quick look :

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was formed in 1981 to create unity and economic stability amongst the member nations.

The International Monetary Fund recommended the introduction of an indirect tax system to increase revenue for the member countries.

All member states signed the VAT Framework Agreement, which establishes the main principles for the application of the VAT regime in the member countries.

Here are Key Highlights for KEY Unified VAT Framework

GCC KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Currently , GCC Member Nations

  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Each member will issue VAT legislation.

Majority of Tax system provide Tax Engine and Integration:

  • Logic to natively support Goods and multiple Services type transactions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
  • Domestic, Intra-GCC, and International (Import and Export) transactions are all supported

Why GCC is getting some much attention

Reason , a deadline is given for these countries

  • United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in Q4 2017
  • Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait in 2018 (dependent on legislation)

Though , It’s official: 2018 will see the start of implementation of a value-added tax (VAT) across the Gulf states

Business Functional Area where get impacted [TRANSITION-RELATED CHALLENGES]

Businesses will face the impact of VAT in two ways: by the additional investments needed for compliance,as well as the higher input cost of the new VAT, itself .

However, companies may refrain from passing on the entire input VAT to consumers owing to the fear of losing business.

Some key Challenges can be best understood as :

In Procurement : Major Trabsition Releated challenges might be

  • Formulate new procurement strategies
  • Vendor management
  • Revisit contracts and arrangements

Accounting & IT System

  • Update financial and point of sale systems
  • VAT coding for payables and receivables
  • Electronic documentation/process automation [ if any]

Sales & Pricing

  • Assess impact of VAT on demand/current contracts
  • Pricing strategy and terms of payment
  • Customer management

Knowing Where to Start

So, where do you start to determine which approach is best for you? Deploy a new ERP in the cloud? Keep your core ERP and connect cloud VAT services? Should go with Tax vendor ?

There are a number of factors to consider:

  • What is the age of your existing ERP system? Are you running the latest version of the software, or are you on an old vesrion?
  • In how many countries do you do business?
    • The more geographies, currencies,and languages you operate in, the more rules, regulations, and compliance issues you will need to consider.
    • It might be worth a full-scale migration to cloud in order to keep on top of all the permutations.
  • How many transactions does your ERP process in a day?
    • The higher the transaction volume, the more important it is that your core system be scalable enough to meet demand.
  • Are you looking at a full ERP replacement in the near future?
    • If so, it might make sense to take a phased, “outside-in” approach—starting with tax applications in the cloud to meet the immediate VAT deadline, and then moving core ERP to the cloud at a later date.

No matter which approach you decide on, VAT is coming. Every GCC business will need to comply. I recommend that you form a project team as soon as possible to understand how VAT will impact your business and operating model.

Assess the capability of your existing systems to comply with the new regulations.And then, choose an implementation partner and a software vendor with the real experience and capabilities to meet your needs.

More Reading

You can get more reading

Closing Thoughts

As per The UAE Ministry of Finance

The system for VAT registration and payment is being developed to meet the very best global standards using leading-edge technology. All services will be online and accessible 24/7, responding to the requirements of business. This reflects the UAE’s aim to be a leader in innovation and technology across all aspects.

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