VAT in the Middle East

The introduction of Value Added Tax will be a significant change for businesses. VAT has a broad scope and businesses will need to consider the impact of VAT on all their transactions and the potential impact on prices and margins.

Our key VAT experts

What VAT means for your business

  • Business impacts
  • Reflecting the VAT law
  • Compliance
  • Technology & systems
  • VAT implementation
Business impacts

Business impacts

You should be aware of:

  • The potential effects on margins and pricing
  • The tax impact from VAT leakage
  • The impact on cash flow: funding of timing differences between paying VAT and being paid by suppliers and receiving any refunds
  • The VAT issues when undertaking deals
  • VAT treatment of sales and exports
  • Effect on demand from price increases
  • Determine a pricing strategy and impact on payment terms
  • Design and roll out of customer communications
  • Assess the impact on current contracts and commercial arrangements
  • Ensure the VAT treatment of purchases and imports is considered
  • Procurement strategy in terms of input VAT capture
  • Establish vendor communication plans
  • Assess the contracts and arrangements

Reflecting the VAT law

You need to ensure:

  • You apply the correct VAT treatment to your sale and purchase transactions
  • You are aware of the specific issues related to your industry
  • You track VAT on inter-company transactions
  • You track and manage your intra-GCC and cross border activities
  • You recognise which supplies are zero rated and exempt
  • You apply VAT on your acquisition of services from abroad (reverse charge)

Compliance - throughout the value chain

From the start you should:

  • Map your business transactions throughout your value chain encompassing procurement, production, logistics, sales and marketing activities
  • Have a clear VAT management framework covering governance, control, roles and responsibilities
  • Build capabilities and VAT expertise
Technology and systems

Technology & systems

Your systems should allow you:

  • To be VAT compliant
  • To have the correct VAT coding of accounts payable and receivable transactions
  • To have appropriate internal controls and processes
Technology and systems

The VAT implementation project

You need to consider:

  • Sponsorship and governance
  • Scoping and sequencing to be ready for the go live date and manage costs
  • Sourcing of resources
  • Involving all relevant stakeholders

What businesses can do now

Project Management

  • Identify VAT implementation strategy: in house, outsourced, combined
  • Identify and engage key stakeholders
  • Appoint VAT implementation project manager

VAT Technical

  • Understand VAT treatment of business economic activities
  • Perform Financial Modelling to estimate liabilities and costs

Business Processes

  • Understand how VAT impacts business functions and processes


  • High level understanding of existing systems (i.e. ERP) to identify capability to cater for VAT

Learning & Development

  • Start VAT awareness
  • Assess resourcing and training needs


An introduction to VAT in the GCC

This publication has been prepared to provide a general overview of how VAT works and the related operational considerations in order to assist businesses to successfully implement the tax and manage VAT post implementation.


Egypt VAT law published in the official Gazette and takes immediate effect

The Egyptian Parliament has discussed and approved the new Value Added Tax (VAT) law on 31 August 2016, and the law has been published in the Official Gazette taking effect on 8 September 2016.

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Global VAT Online

Global VAT Online provides access to current details on VAT/ GST rates, rules and obligations for over 70 countries, across six continents: Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa.

These details are accompanied by extensive supporting documentation such as copies of return forms, links to useful tax authority and other websites and more.


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Contact us

Jochem  Rossel

Jochem Rossel

Tax & Legal Services Leader, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 50 225 6909

Chadi Abou Chakra

Chadi Abou Chakra

Middle East Indirect Tax Network Leader, PwC Middle East

Tel: +966 11 211 0400 Ext: 1858

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