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VAT Alert - May 2019

UAE Updates

Excise Tax Updates

  1. Cabinet Decision No. (33) of 2019

The Federal Tax Authority (‘FTA’) in the UAE has recently published a new Cabinet Decision related to penalties and fines to be imposed for non-compliance of Digital Tax Scheme. This Cabinet Decision has come into effect from the 1st of May 2019.

The penalties mentioned in the Cabinet Decision vary from AED 20,000 to AED 50,000 per incident, in addition to possible percentage - based penalties of 50% of Excise Tax due.

Access the Cabinet Decision by clicking here

 Other Updates

  1. FTA Website

The FTA has launched an updated and more dynamic version of the website where the layout has been changed to accommodate for separate sections of Value Added Tax (‘VAT’) and Excise Tax. Other sections of the website such as the legislation, guides and forms are also more accessible.

The new FTA website can be accessed here

GCC Updates


  1. Excise Tax and GTA Website Update

The Qatar General Tax Authority (‘GTA’) has redesigned the Tax website, allowing it to be operational in both English and Arabic. The website aims to provide vital information regarding any new taxes which may be implemented, particularly emphasizing the Excise Tax which has come into effect on January 2019.

The English version of the website can be accessed here

KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

  1. Islamic Finance VAT Guide

The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (‘GAZT’) in KSA has published English version of the Islamic Finance VAT guide, which was previously only published in Arabic. This guide provides clarity on the treatment of Islamic Finance products, and provides detailed information regarding the nature of these products and their related transactions.

The Guide can be accessed here


  1. Excise Tax Implementation Update

With effect from 15 June 2019, Excise Tax would be implemented in Oman. Excise tax is levied on manufacture, import and storage of some excisable goods. Below mentioned are product wise rates of Excise Tax that shall be levied in Oman:

  • Tobacco and Tobacco Derivatives - 100%
  • Energy drinks (100%)
  • Carbonated beverages (50%)
  • Alcohol (100%)
  • Pork meat (100%)

The Secretariat General for Taxation (‘SGT’) in Oman has recently published a guide on the implementation of Excise Tax, along with list of FAQs on the same subject matter.

The guide can be accessed here 

The FAQs can be accessed here


  1. Tourist Refund Scheme (‘TRS’)

The Bahrain National Bureau for Revenue (‘NBR’) has added a new segment on their website regarding the TRS, which is designed to allow Bahrain visitors to recover a portion of the VAT paid on eligible purchases made in Bahrain.

The segment can be viewed here

  1. Imports and Exports - VAT Guide Update

NBR has updated imports and exports VAT guide which can be accessed by clicking here