Press release

1 Feb 2023 Doha, QA

Businesses in Qatar gear up for global, regional and local tax developments

Doha – 01 February 2023: EY kicked off the new year by organizing a tax seminar aimed at preparing the companies in Qatar for the recent global, regional and local tax developments.

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EY MENA Brand, Marketing and Communications Leader

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Related topics Tax

EY kicked off the new year by organizing a tax seminar aimed at preparing the companies in Qatar for the recent global, regional and local tax developments. The event provided all relevant updates on the country’s tax landscape, tax policies, base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS 2.0) Pillar 2. The seminar also covered recent tax trends across the MENA region with a focus on the GCC, as well as customs and global trade.

Ahmed Eldessouky, EY Kuwait, Qatar and Oman Tax Leader, says:

“In Qatar, the tax authorities have put in place a robust plan to modernize their technology and build the relevant capacities for both Qatari businesses and international businesses working in the country. With the support of the General Tax Authority (GTA), taxpayers will need to ensure that they remain on top of their compliance, keep it rigorous and timely and make certain they take advantage of the measures and exceptions that the government puts in place.”

The seminar saw participation of over 150 C-suite executives and finance professionals from local and multinational companies across several industries. The event explored various challenges faced by Qatar’s taxpayers, including communication instructions with the General Tax Authority (GTA), technical solutions for the new Dhareeba tax portal and understanding the need for transparency and readiness. The facilitators also reviewed recent assessments issued by GTA, examined taxpayers’ obligations and discussed potential tax violations and corresponding penalties.

Roger Akl, Partner, Tax, EY Consulting LLC, Qatar, says:

“Once the GTA announces the VAT introduction, companies shall have a grace period of six months to prepare their business and systems. However, they would need ample time to ensure that they are ready for this crucial step, especially if they lack the IT capabilities to implement VAT swiftly. As the protocols around VAT compliance become clearer, companies will need to prioritize the development of a sophisticated approach to manage their VAT and the tax function, allowing for better data, governance, strategy and more. This will also help businesses avoid leaving money on the table when it comes to refunds.”

Tax Administration 3.0

Tax Administration 3.0 is well underway and will have a direct impact on businesses across the MENA region. Therefore, companies must prepare for an increasingly digitized tax environment, requiring accurate, often transaction-level data and advanced digital capabilities. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a new digital tax administration platform EmaraTax. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Egypt are in the process of implementing e-invoicing systems, while other countries, such as the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Jordan are at different stages of evaluating or initiating similar projects.

Regional tax landscape

With the UAE gearing up to introduce Corporate Tax (CIT) in June 2023 and Oman poised to implement personal income tax in 2024, companies in the region should closely monitor the tax policy landscape for a potential shift from fee-based revenue structures to tax-based ones. This will help them anticipate and understand legislative developments, assess their implications and identify business opportunities. The next steps should involve bolstering tax functions, streamlining systems and accounting practices, assessing the implications of new taxation models on competitiveness, and modifying operating models and trade routes accordingly.

The ongoing tax reforms are driven mainly by economic recovery efforts, revenue diversification away from hydrocarbons and alignment with regional as well as international commitments. These include the BEPS project by the OECD, which intends to ensure that multinational enterprises pay a fair share of tax wherever they operate. KSA, UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain have joined the Inclusive Framework (IF) on BEPS.

ESG on the rise

Moreover, MENA governments are showing increasing interest in ESG as part of their strategy frameworks. If they have not already done so, companies in the region should start looking into integrating ESG in management practices, reducing their carbon footprints and assessing opportunities and the potential impacts on the cost of doing business.


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This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, legal or other professional advice. Please refer to your advisors for specific advice.

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients.