Weekly Spotlight: General Tax Authority to be Estabilished in Qatar

This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in Qatar, where the country’s Finance Ministry has announced it will establish a General Tax Authority. The Ministry also announced they will not introduce Income Tax on individuals or VAT in 2019. The Authority will be established as a stand-alone entity but will be supervised by the Finance Ministry. It will be responsible for implementing all tax laws. The Authority will be able to set up all related bylaws, procedures and instructions to implement tax legislation. It will also review and assess tax return forms submitted by establishments and collect taxes from relevant entities. In addition, it will represent the country in the relevant international and regional organisations as well as at international conferences and events. Finally, it will have the power to sign agreements with other countries to prevent double taxation. The Ministry added they will issue additional exemptions for key economic sectors and will not impose tax on investments in shares and profits. However, they will introduce an excise tax on goods which negatively affect health from the start of next year. It will include a 100% tax on tobacco and its products and energy drinks and a 50% tax on sugary drinks.

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