Increasing challenges for e-commerce providers in the GCC – Where are we going?

Goods sold via online marketplaces

In most instances, where e-commerce transactions involve the supply of a physical good, tax authorities are able to adequately track and enforce VAT compliance as the goods have to be physically imported into the final destination and delivered to the end consumer. The close relationship between Customs and VAT means that physical goods will seldom result in a VAT revenue loss for tax authorities. Import VAT will be paid at the Customs entry point and sufficient documentary evidence will exist to support the respective VAT treatment and payment, whether it is made at the Customs entry point or deferred to be paid as part of the VAT return. These additional checks and balances equally apply where there is exportation of goods.

Source Baker & McKenzie


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