Saudi GAZT and ZTCA to combine
The Gulf state of Saudi Arabia has merged its General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) with its General Authority of Customs. The new combined tax and customs agency will be known as Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZTCA).
Zakat is a Muslim religious donation obligation on the wealthy to aid the needy. It is calculated as a base minimum amount, nisab, plus 2% of wealth – which includes savings. It has been voluntary in the past, and is only mandated in: Saudi Arabia, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen.
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ZTCA came into existence on 14 May 2021 although operational integration is yet to commence. ZTCA is part of the Ministry of Finance. The integration of the two bodies is aimed at improving taxpayer communications, and help reduce possible tax leakage.
Saudi Arabia is one of the six Arab Gulf States to sign-up to a 5% VAT and customs union in 2017, along with Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE and Oman. However, Qatar and Kuwait have yet to implement the consumption tax.
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Arab Gulf GCC VAT implementations
|2023||Kuwait decides between VAT or excise taxes|
|2023||Qatar delays VAT on inflation worries|
|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|