KSA VAT changes 1 July 2020

June 29th, 2020 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)announced that the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate will increase to 15% from the current 5%, effective 1 July 2020.The increase is one theof additional measures taken by the KSA government in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, due to the decline in government revenue resulting from lower oil prices, reduced economic activity and increased healthcare expenditure.

How could this impact your business?
In addition to the increased VAT rate, businesses in KSA should expect an increased level of scrutiny from the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT), as VAT becomes a more important source of revenue.

Businesses whose sales are partially or fully VAT exempt, will experience an increase in costs as a direct effect of the rate increase. Nevertheless, the rate increase will impact all industry sectors in KSA and not primarily the Financial Services, Insurance and Real Estate sectors. All consumers will finally bear the brunt of the increases and it is not clear whether a lower rate of VAT, may still continue to apply to such items as food and utilities, to mitigate the impact.

We advise to review existing contracts that provide for continuous or periodic supplies of goods/services, and consider the required documentation changes that should be effected before 1 July 2020. Be clear on the correct rate of VAT to charge on contracts and supplies that span both June and July 2020. As o the 2018 introduction of VAT shows, transitional rules can be difficult to implement.

The rate increase will also impact cash-flow for businesses due to the timing difference between the payment and recovery of VAT, so cash flow planning will take on renewed significance.

Review the internal systems and processes to reflect the increased VAT rate. What systems and report need update and testing when.

We remind taxpayers that the window for voluntary disclosures without incurring penalties remains open only until tomorrow 30 June 2020, he rate increase heightens the importance for businesses to ensure they are fully compliant from a VAT perspective.

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