Oman’s Ministry of Finance has reportedly postponed the implementation of value-added tax (VAT) until 2019, according to Omani media reports.
Citing ministry sources, the Times of Oman is reporting that certain products – such as tobacco and energy and soft drinks – will be taxed from mid-2018.
According to the newspaper, the delay until 2019 is expected to provide businesses in Oman with more time to adequately prepare.
While the states of the GCC all originally agreed to implement VAT in January 2018, only Saudi Arabia and the UAE say they are prepared to do so, with the rest of the GCC’s member states expected to follow later.
In October, Jihad Azour, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) director for the Middle East and Central Asia, noted that “all” the countries of the GCC remain committed to the implementation of VAT, which he called “an important tax reform that requires preparation” and communication with the private sector “to be ready to help them.”
Additionally, Azour said that the varying timeframes for VAT’s implementation are unlikely to have much effect on trade in the region.
“Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the two largest economies, and both of them have re-iterated their commitment to introduce [VAT]. Other countries can follow suit,” he noted. “It’s a domestic type of tax. The impact of this tax on other countries will be fairly limited.”
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.