Qatar’s new tax laws are set to enhance transparency and encourage foreign inward investment into the country, while the unification of domestic withholding tax at a standard 5% will ease the reporting burden on taxpayers and reduce disputes with tax assessors, according to Ernst and Young (EY), a global consultant.
In line with Qatar’s vision to diversify its sources of revenue and to adopt global taxation standards, the government recently introduced a new taxation law that reinforces the sovereign’s tax policy objective of offering a modern and transparent tax rules to encourage foreign inward investment into the country.
“The new tax laws as drafted provide many opportunities for companies to effectively plan their operations in Qatar to minimise any tax leakages and meet the enhanced domestic and global tax reporting obligations. The full executive regulations are expected to be released in the near future,” according to Ahmed Eldessouky, Partner, Tax, EY.
EY tax experts said the unification of the domestic withholding tax rate at a standard 5% should ease the reporting burden on taxpayers and reduce disputes with tax assessors on the earlier applicability of a 5% or 7% rate to charges by non-resident service providers, with short-term activities in Qatar, that are billed to Qatari companies.
Focusing on international tax developments, the experts emphasised the impact of the new economic substance and transparency rules on Qatari companies, in addition to the latest transfer pricing developments and the country-by-country reporting adopted by Qatar in 2018.
“The increased level of interest by the tax authorities in transfer pricing adjustments mandates companies to revisit their inter-company transactions and transfer pricing documentation. In the global market, many nations require businesses to have a substantial purpose and economic activity which has led to businesses and companies operating in Qatar to readdress their existing legal entity structures,” said Marcel Kerkvliet, EY Mena International Tax Leader.
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