Lessons Learned from VAT Audits and Inspections in the GCC

Basic VAT compliance: Submitting VAT returns and paying any tax due is the most important VAT obligation for a VAT registered business. If it is done correctly, VAT can be an easy tax to live with, and the taxpayer will have a good relationship with the tax authority. But if it’s not handled correctly, the result is likely to be high financial cost in the form of penalties and a drain on the taxpayer’s resources to put things right.

The objective underpinning VAT compliance should be to pay the right amount of tax at the right time. In this article, we will share some tips to help you achieve that objective and look at the key steps in building a sound compliance process. We will also share our experience of the VAT audit and VAT inspection programs, which are the ultimate test of a taxpayers’ performance.

At present, VAT has been implemented in four GCC countries: Bahrain, Oman (where VAT implementation is still in progress), Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The VAT rules vary a little from country to country. However, the principles behind good VAT compliance are consistent for each of the countries, and it is these principles we will focus on, starting with the question of identifying where the business is required to register for VAT.

Source BDO


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