No VAT on loans, ATM services, says Saudi tax authority

Updated 07 December 2017
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No VAT on loans, ATM services, says Saudi tax authority

JEDDAH: The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) on Wednesday confirmed that interest or lending fees charged with an implicit margin for finance will be exempt from value-added tax.
The authority clarified that interest or lending fees charged on loans, credit cards, mortgages, finance leasing, hire purchase products and transformations are all exempted from the VAT.
Officials of GAZT shared this information during a workshop held at its offices in Jeddah. A number of media professionals and officials of the authority attended the event.
Quashing rumors about ATM withdrawals, the GAZT officials told the workshop that customers will not be charged for withdrawing or transferring money from their accounts using ATMs. 
However, the 5-percent tax will be imposed on banks’ administrative charges such as the issuance of checkbooks, statements of accounts and safety deposit boxes and the customer will have to bear this expense.
Moreover, rental prices of residential properties, life insurance contract and issue or transfer of a debt security, equity security, or any other transferable document recognizing an obligation to pay a monetary amount to the bearer are also exempt from the VAT. 
According to VAT Project Manager Hmood Al-Harbi, zero-rated taxable supplies include medical products and equipment, exports outside GCC region, international transport, the supply of gold, silver and platinum investments, and services provided to non-residents like tourists and pilgrims.
“The value-added taxes that tourists or pilgrims pay will be refunded, laws for that are there in the executive regulations of the VAT, and they will be soon applied. We hope that the necessary regulatory structure will soon be ready, but we cannot give specific timing yet,” said Al-Harbi. 
Moreover, government services like issuance of passports and driving licenses are also exempted from the VAT. 


Turkey and US strongly deny sharing 'any audio recording'

Updated 50 min 43 sec ago
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Turkey and US strongly deny sharing 'any audio recording'

  • Secretary of State says report he had listened to a recording of Jamal Khashoggi’s death was false
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also denied sharing any audio recordings with US officials

LONDON: Turkey and the United States denied on Friday that Ankara had shared with Washington an audio recording related to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said an ABC News report, citing an unnamed source, that he had listened to a recording of Khashoggi’s death while in Istanbul on Wednesday was false. 

Pompeo, who also visited Saudi Arabia this week, said he had neither seen nor heard such a recording.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also denied sharing any audio recordings with US officials.

“It is out of the question for Turkey to give Pompeo or any other US official any audio recording,” Cavusoglu said during a visit to Tirana, Albania. “It is out of the question for us to share with any country this or that information.”

“Of course, as a result of the investigation so far, Turkey does have some information and evidence," he said. "We will share them with the world when they become fully clear because the whole world, understandably, wants to know what happened to Khashoggi and how it happened.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce. 

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are carrying out a joint investigation into the disappearance.

On Thursday, Turkey called on the public to ignore any information claiming to be leaked from the case.

Since Khashoggi’s disappearance there has been a flurry of stories claiming to be based on leaks from the probe.

Pompeo said on Thursday they had given Saudi Arabia more time to complete the investigation to make sure they have a complete understanding of the facts.