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Qatar To Introduce GCC Sin Tax

Friday, February 17, 2017

Qatar is planning to introduce a sin tax on luxury items and products that are "harmful to human health and the environment," in line with the unified agreement among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

The country's cabinet has newly approved draft legislation on the tax prepared by the ministry of finance, Qatar's state-run news agency, QNA, said. The tax's scope and rates is the same for all GCC states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.

At a meeting on June 16, 2016, the GCC ministers of finance approved a common framework for the development of national regimes for customs duties and value-added tax. The agreement paved the way for the introduction of harmonized excise duties from January 1, 2017, which have now been delayed, and a pan-GCC value-added tax (VAT) framework from January 1, 2018.

According to QNA, the draft law includes provisions concerning the tax's operative date; the taxable base; assessment, including rules on when a taxable event occurs; registration; reporting and record-keeping requirements; tax suspension rules; and penalties.