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Taxflash 28 May 2020

This week’s TaxFlash includes a technical tip on recovering input VAT, details of an upcoming webinar on the increased VAT rate in Saudi Arabia and an unofficial translation of GAZT’s updated FAQs. For more details, please contact our market-leading tax team.

Anti-money laundering (AML) & combating financing of terrorism (CFT) KPIs

With an increased focus on AML risks in financial institutions, regulators are striving to strengthen AML regimes and correct failures. When implementing an AML framework, each staff member bears a certain responsibility which is why all employees are provided with annual awareness training. A recent development for financial institutions in the Kingdom of Bahrain is the CBB mandating AML key performance indicators for employees, units and departments and linking the KPIs with annual performance evaluations and remuneration. For more details about AML & CFT KPIs.

Keypoint’s financial regulatory compliance team includes seasoned professionals with extensive experience in the financial crime, compliance, AML and risk management fields. For more details on our FRC services or contact Dr Mukund Ballal, Najbeeb Razzaque and Ghada Awdi.

Tax alert – GAZT FAQs

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT) has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) section in Arabic, clarifying how the new standard VAT rate of 15% will apply to various transactions straddling 1 July 2020. Keypoint’s tax team have developed an unofficial translation . Please contact a member of the team to discuss how these transitional rules will impact your business.

Taxflash 21 May 2020

The General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT) has published a transitional VAT guide in Arabic, clarifying how VAT will apply to contracts straddling the 1 July 2020 effective date of the increased VAT rate. The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) released the VAT Oil & Gas Guide. This week’s TaxFlash summarises the important points in the guide.

Solution spotlight – Liquidity management

Effective budget forecasts help companies monitor, manage and utilise funds over both the shorter and medium term, helping to sustain business operations and avoid liquidity shortages. Working together, our management consulting and accounting solutions functions can help companies – both large and small – across economic sectors develop budget forecasts and models that identify funding gaps and suggest options that support financial and operational strategies. For more details, please download our solution spotlight or contact our management consulting or accounting solutions functions.

Solution spotlight – Asset valuations

Asset valuations are crucial to any business. While valuations are often done as part of the acquisition or disposal of assets or for financial reporting requirements, they can – when done properly and at the appropriate time – be a key way of assessing balance sheet health – and bolstering equity. For more information on how valuing your assets now could support your business, please download our solution spotlight or contact our management consulting team .

Tax alert – GAZT issues transitional provisions

The General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT) announced an increase to the standard VAT rate on 11 May 2020, increasing the rate from 5% to 15%, effective 1 July 2020. GAZT has now published a transitional VAT guide, clarifying how VAT will apply to contracts straddling the effective date of the increased VAT rate. Key tax and finance decision makers should carefully consider how these rules apply to current contracts and any contracts signed before 30 June 2020. For more details on the transition provisions, please download our tax alert or contact a member of our market-leading tax team.

Solution spotlight – EOSB – ringfencing

One of the benefits provided to employees across the GCC is the terminal benefit prescribed by each country’s labour law – commonly called the leaving indemnity. For long-serving employees, this can be a very significant saving. Built up from contributions from the employer, leaving indemnities are often co-mingled with the business’s cash as part of its working capital (with a corresponding liability) and retained within the business. Keypoint Trust B.S.C. (closed) is licensed by the CBB as a provider and administrator of trust services and can set up trusts to hold end-of-service benefits and protect employees’ interests.

Taxflash 14 May 2020

Earlier this week, the Saudi Arabian government announced that the standard VAT rate would increase from 5% to 15% as of 1 July 2020. The General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT) has confirmed that it will take the necessary measures to ensure the 15% rate is implemented effectively. Our Tax team is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, 20 May, outlining practical steps you should take before 30 June 2020. More information on this week’s TaxFlash.

Sector spotlight – KSA VAT insurance

On 11 May 2020, the Saudi Arabian government announced that the standard VAT rate would increase from 5% to 15% as of 1 July 2020. A significant increase in the VAT rate will impact many aspects of the insurance industry, not least its effects on unearned premium reserves (UPRs). Our tax team – widely acknowledged as the leading tax advisors to the region’s insurance and reinsurance businesses – has developed a useful guide to the impact of the change on insurance companies doing business in Saudi Arabia. For further details, please download our solution spotlight or contact our tax team .