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Oman to hold out and not raise VAT

Gulf state not to follow Saudi Arabia and Bahrain with COVID-19 VAT rises

The Omani Ministry of Finance has restated its commitment to a 5% standard Value Added Tax rate. There will be no rise in 2022. This comes despite Saudi Arabia (15%) and Bahrain (10%) both raising VAT from the original Gulf Coordination Council launch rate of 5%. Of the six members, Kuwait and Qatar have still to implement VAT as part of the agreed VAT and Customs Union.

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Oil price gyrations push six Gulf states towards VAT

Oman, along with the other five GCC states, are looking to VAT to help diversify and stabilise their revenues away from oil duties. Prior to the 2007/08 financial crisis, oil prices exceeded $100 per barrel. But by the height of the 2021 coronavirus lockdown, they had sunk to under $22. It has since risen to around $75.

Arab Gulf GCC VAT implementations

Jan 2023 Kuwait decides between VAT or excise taxes
2022 Qatar provisional plans to implement VAT
Jan 2022 Bahrain doubles VAT to 10%
16 Apr 2021 Oman introduces 5% VAT
1 Jul 2020 Saudi Arabia trebles VAT to 15%
1 Jan 2019 Bahrain launches 5% VAT regime
1 Jan 2018 Saudi Arabia and UAE introduce 5% VAT regime
2016 VAT and Customs Union agreement: Bahrain; Kuwait; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; UAE United Arab Emirates

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