Oman to launch VAT 2017

Thu 21st Jan 2016

Oman looks set to become the first of the six Arab Gulf states to introduce VAT with plans for a mid-2017 launch.

The long-planned introduction of Value Added Tax has been accelerated by the collapse in the global oil price. Prices have now dipped to below $30 per barrel compared to over $100 18 months ago. Oman, and other oil-dependent states, are being forced into looking to diversify their tax revenues away from oil duties into broader tax streams.

The news came from a member of the state’s Economic Committee this week, and mentioned that the implementation may come even earlier. Members of all six of the Gulf Co-Operation Committee have speeded-up agreement on a regional VAT regime that would encourage cross-border trade. Many states have recently declared a will to launch their VAT regimes in 2018 or 2020.

The expected VAT rate will be 3% to 5%, with exemptions for basic foodstuffs and potentially financial services.