Kuwait delays VAT till 2021
Kuwait’s parliamentary committee has said today that the introduction of a 5% VAT regime has been delayed until 2021. The postponement is likely down to strong opposition, and the recovery of the crude oil price from $40 to almost $80 in the past year.
The Gulf state will proceed with introducing 200 million dinars in non-oil excise taxes – targeting energy drinks and tobacco.
The finance minister had contradicted the potential VAT delay, saying that the bill to implement it could be approved in October. However, the Kuwaiti parliament is very powerful, so its view will likely hold sway.
Kuwait signed a VAT union agreement with the five other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to introduce the indirect tax. So far, only Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have done so – both implemented VAT at the start of 2018. Oman, Qatar and Bahrain are expected to introduce VAT in 2019, although no specific date has been given yet.