15% VAT hike comes into effect in Saudi

Saudi Arabias decision to raise the value-added tax (VAT) rate to 15 per cent came into effect on Wednesday on all goods and services subject to it in markets across the Kingdom, after a royal decree was issued on May 11, state-media reported.

The Saudi General Authority of Zakat and Income called on all taxpayers who are registered in the VAT to verify the readiness of their facilities, and learn about all transitional provisions related to raising the tax rate, by reviewing the guidelines, Gulf News quoted the state-media report as saying.

The authority also urged citizens and residents to ascertain the items of the tax invoice, including store name, date of purchase, tax number, and VAT, calling for cooperation with and reporting any violation business if these elements are not available, through its website and app.

The adjusted tax applies to all supplies of taxable goods or services imported into the Kingdom.

In early May, Saudi Arabia announced it would triple its VAT from 5 per cent to 15 per cent as part of measures to shore up its economy hit by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices.

The government also said it will suspend the cost of living allowance as part of the austerity steps.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most affected Middle Eastern countries with 190,823 COVID-19 and 1,649 deaths.