Qatari private sector briefed on selective tax procedures

Qatar Chamber yesterday organised an introductory workshop to raise the awareness on the selective tax procedures which came into force on January 1 2019.

The event held in cooperation with the General Tax Authority (GTA) was attended by a number of businessmen and representatives of private sector companies.

Head of Indirect Tax at GTA Hamad Mohamed Al-Attiyah said, in a press statement on the sideline of the seminar, that the tax is to be imposed on carbonated drinks (50 percent rate) and tobacco products and energy drinks (100 percent), among other items that fall under excise goods.

Al-Attiyah noted that this tax is “a form of indirect tax levied on specific goods that are deemed harmful to human health or the environment. The intent of excise tax is to reduce consumption of such goods, while also raising revenues for the government that can be spent on public services.”

He affirmed that the tax was well received by the Qatari community, affirming that it has no impact on the upcoming events which will be hosted by the country, foremost of which the FIFA World Cup 2022.

He also pointed out that the list of goods of selective tax is not final, noting that other goods can be added or existing goods can be removed.

He said that Qatari private sector companies showed a significant cooperation with the GTA on implementing the tax, pointing out that all revenues will be spent in developing all other sectors in the country.

The indirect tax expert at the GTA Samy Nasr explained in his presentation the main characteristics of the selective tax, goods it covers, persons responsible for the tax, how to calculate the selective tax, in addition to exemption and suspension cases, recovery cases and compliance requirements.

Nasr noted that a selective tax will be imposed on health damaging goods in accordance with the law No (25) of the year 2018 regulating the selective tax. It imposes a 100 percent tax on tobacco and beverages and a 50 percent tax on sugary drinks.

The tax expert also said that all companies engaged in the import, production or storage of selective goods will be responsible for the selective tax.

He added that the selective tax shall be calculated as a percentage of the value determined in accordance with the law, indicating that those concerned with the calculation of the tax shall have to submit a registration application within 90 days from the date the law entered into effect or within 30 days of practicing the activity for companies that intend to exercise the activity after the law’s enactment.

Regarding cases that are exempted from the selective tax, he said that they include diplomatic and consular bodies and international organizations, selective goods carried by travelers coming to Qatar provided that they are not of commercial nature and are within the permissible limit and goods sold in duty free and goods that are intended for consumption on international air and maritime transport .

Businessmen and attendees called for organising more awareness seminars and workshops on the selective tax to avoid any mistakes.

Source from: The Peninsula