Saudi Arabia steps into a new era with VAT

The inspection tours will be directly supervised by the joint operation room for protection of consumers. (SPA)
Updated 01 January 2018
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Saudi Arabia steps into a new era with VAT

RIYADH: It is hoped that the levying of a value-added tax (VAT) from Monday will power the Kingdom’s march toward progress and prosperity.
The tax is imposed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE within the framework of a unified agreement endorsed by the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
“The imposition of VAT will help to raise tax revenues of the Saudi government to be utilized for infrastructure and developmental works,” said Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, a member of the Shoura Council, here on Sunday, while calling VAT “a major move that will contribute to address challenges and sustain growth.” While referring to the compliance of Saudi businesses with VAT regulations, he pointed out that VAT or sales taxes are key revenue sources for more than 166 countries across the world today.
Al-Khunaizi also called for “punitive measures” to be adopted strictly for those who have not registered so far, or who violate the laws. The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has announced that in cooperation with the General Authority for Zakat and Tax (GAZT), it will intensify inspection tours in markets and commercial firms across the Kingdom to track down irregularities before
and during application of the VAT.
“The inspection tours will be directly supervised by the joint operation room for protection of consumers, which was approved by the Council of Ministers and composed of 18 government agencies,” said a ministry statement.
Asked about the preparedness of the retail sector in general, Shehim Mohammed, director of operations of a leading chain of supermarkets in Saudi Arabia, said that the retail outlets have “geared themselves well to comply with VAT regulations…”
Asked about the plan to educate customers at stores about VAT, he pointed out that bills will display VAT charges at their stores. Moreover, VAT will be a great revenue stream for the government, and it will streamline product flow in a positive manner, he observed. “It will tweak customer buying habits pragmatically, though it will force the market movement in the right direction.”
On the introduction of the VAT, Vikas Panchal, a business executive, said: “VAT is a significant milestone in the history of the GCC and is all set to be a major boost for the economy... We understand that the change will be challenging to begin with, more specifically for businesses.”


KSRelief continues to provide aid to Syrian refugees

Updated 22 October 2018
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KSRelief continues to provide aid to Syrian refugees

  • Saudi Arabia's aid agency has begun renovating and rehabilitating 495 houses, two shelters and 16 recreation centers in the Syrian governorate
The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) is making all-out efforts to provide relief to the displaced people in northern Syria, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
The center’s relief activities are among projects to support Syrian refugees and displaced people inside and outside Syria.
KSRelief distributes more than 87,000 bread loaves daily among Syrians displaced by war in the country.
The center has also launched a project to rehabilitate public utilities in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
KSRelief has begun renovating and rehabilitating 495 houses, two shelters and 16 recreation centers in the Syrian governorate.
The project aims to improve living conditions by providing decent housing.