11 February 2021

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This TaxFlash has been designed to keep our valued clients up-to-date with relevant tax developments. Please contact the Keypoint tax team if you have any questions about this TaxFlash. Click here if you'd like to be added to our mailing list.
  • The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) has amended its import and exports VAT guide to clarify that import VAT overpayments at Bahrain Customs can be claimed back in the VAT return or - for non-VAT registered importers - by applying directly to the NBR.
  • Bahrain-based businesses offering specific services listed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MoICT) need to report on their economic substance by 31 March 2021. See our alert below for more details.
  • Local media is reporting that nine people have been jailed in Bahrain over tax evasion offences, including importing goods without paying taxes, operating without a license and importing and selling banned materials.
VAT in the GCC
Survey closing soon!
With VAT starting to feel like business as usual for key decision makers at many GCC businesses, there couldn’t be a better time to launch a VAT survey!

Our Keypoint VAT benchmark – which will be repeated periodically – should take no more than five minutes to complete and is completely anonymous. Designed to identify some of VAT’s key impacts, your answers will help to develop clear insight into the maturing GCC market. Participants will receive a summary of our findings, allowing them to benchmark themselves against the market. Kindly submit your responses by Sunday 14 February.

Please click here to complete the survey.
Saudi Arabia
  • The General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT) has released its 2021 zakat calendar.
  • Taxpayers are reminded to take advantage of GAZT’s extension of the amnesty on penalties.
  • GAZT is continuing its inspection campaign, conducting over 3,300 inspections and finding over 500 tax violations over the last week.
  • Taxpayers visiting GAZT offices have to disclose their health status and activate the Tawakelna application.
TaxMatters 6
Our tax leaders held our sixth TaxMatters webinar on Monday 8 February, discussing tax developments across the GCC.  Please contact us if you would like a copy of the slides.
United Arab Emirates
  • The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) issued a clarification earlier this week confirming that a single VAT registration is required for natural persons holding more than one sole establishment. This restates the position outlined by the FTA previously in VAT Public Clarification VATP021 and summarised in our TaxFlash of 15 October 2020.
Qatar, Kuwait
  • Qatar: Tax treaty update - Rwanda.
  • Kuwait: no updates this week.
Technical tip
Transfer pricing

This week's technical tip outlines a simple practical example showing how transfer pricing (TP) requirements - often overlooked by Saudi Arabian taxpayers - can impact a Saudi business.

A Saudi-registered business transacts with related parties from a number of different countries.  40% of its shareholders are Saudi while 60% of its shareholders are non-resident (foreign). What are the business’ transfer pricing compliance obligations?
  • Country-by-country report (at a group level for MNEs with consolidated turnover above US$850m)
  • Masterfile (at group level) for Saudi-taxable persons with consolidated turnover above SAR6m
  • Local file (at KSA entity level) for Saudi-taxable persons with consolidated turnover above SAR6m
  • A transfer pricing affidavit (at KSA entity level) for all Saudi-taxable persons – which is submitted with the company’s annual corporate tax return
Key decision makers at Saudi businesses that transact with related parties or that are not 100% Saudi-owned - a significant proportion of the Kingdom's economic sector - should be aware of their transfer pricing obligations, particularly as GAZT is increasing its scrutiny of all taxpayers.
Our services

Our recently updated tax services brochure gives you a clear and succinct summary of the current tax landscape in the GCC. Click on the image for more details - or speak to your regular Keypoint contact for more details:

Mark Gamble
Head | Indirect tax
+973 3833 8641
+973 1720 6872

Raman Ohri
Head | Direct tax
+973 3516 2335
+966 50 286 4266

Tariq Haq
+973 1710 3480
+973 3628 3351

Dinesh Ravi
+966 13 845 9228
+973 3628 3359

Adil Fawzi
+966 13 845 9226

+966 5 3251 0366


TaxFlash is intended to provide general updates in relation to tax in the GCC. It is not a substitute for professional advice. You should seek appropriate professional advice from a tax advisor before making any decision relating to your particular circumstances.
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