Qatar: Cabinet approves draft law on income tax and VAT

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On 3 May 2017 the Prime Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani chaired the Cabinet’s ordinary meeting. During its ordinary meeting, the Cabinet approved a draft law on income tax and some of its draft executive regulations. A draft law related to Value-Added Tax (VAT) was also approved by the Cabinet.

The Income Tax Law promulgated by Law No 21 of 2009 and Law No 17 of 2014 will be replaced by the draft legislation on income tax that exempts the share of non-Qatari investors in the profits of some corporations and investment funds from the income tax. The draft law also contains some development features of tax legislation to certify the simplification of process, strengthening the tax revenues and collection measures which in turn will help tax compliance.

The Finance Ministry has prepared the draft law regarding VAT under the unified GCC VAT agreement. This agreement requires each member state to take the necessary steps domestically for issuance of the relevant local law and procedural policies in order to implement the VAT with a view to executing the agreement’s provisions.

Though a firm date has not been fixed, policy makers in the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) are aiming to introduce a 5% VAT at the start of next year. The GCC has long planned to adopt the tax in 2018 as a way to increase non-oil revenues. The Cabinet accepted draft decision of the Council of Ministers to issue the executive regulation of the selective tax law.

The draft executive regulation contains provisions concerning tax declaration, tax entitlement, registration, the declaration of loss or damage to goods, methods of tax payment, inspection of defective goods, maintenance of accounting systems, the language of accounting records, and control and inspection.

The Cabinet has also approved a draft agreement on economic cooperation between Qatar and Poland, a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of combating terrorism between Qatar and Australia and a draft memorandum of understanding between the Qatar Central Bank and Bangladesh Bank.

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