This week the spotlight is on tax and finance developments in the GCC where Bahrain’s Finance Minister, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Khalifa has announced the Kingdom will introduce VAT by December 2018. This comes despite intense opposition which has seen the current plans shelved. Al-Khalifa was speaking on the sidelines of an investment conference in the country’s capital, Manama.
Elsewhere, Oman’s National Tobacco Control Committee has announced the excise tax which has already come into effect in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will be introduced in the Sultanate in June. Tobacco products, alcoholic beverages and energy drinks will be taxed at 100%, while fizzy drinks will be taxed at 50%. The authorities are also considering increasing taxes on fast food.