Saudi delays tax excise on sweetened drinks to December

Sweetened drinks will be subject to a 50% levy, while e-cigarettes and their liquids will face a 100% tax
Saudi delays tax excise on sweetened drinks to December
By Gavin Gibbon
Thu 13 Jun 2019 10:07 AM

Saudi Arabia has postponed a new excise tax on sweetened drinks, the The General Authority of Zakat and Tax has announced. 

The 50 percent tax on sugar sweetened drinks and 100 percent tax e-cigarettes and the liquids used in them was due to be implemented on July 1.

But the General Authority of Zakat and Tax has announced that it will now come into effect on December 1.

The world’s largest crude exporter has introduced several new taxes and fees over the past few years as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic transformation plan, which calls for boosting non-oil revenue.

Although crude still accounted for about two-thirds of the government’s earnings last year, non-oil revenue has been growing steadily.

It jumped 46 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, largely due to higher income from taxes on goods and services, including the excise levy.

The kingdom began imposing the excise tax in 2017, applying a 50 percent levy on soda and 100 percent on energy drinks and tobacco. Separately, the government introduced a 5 percent value-added tax in January 2018.

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