Introduction of VAT at Abdul Latif Jameel

Abdul Latif Jameel is comprised of diversified businesses with deep roots in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey (MENAT region). Strong networks and long-established relationships make us a powerful partner, opening doors for those who want to do business in the region.

Our businesses represent some of the world’s leading brands, earning us their trust and building long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. Our commitment to anticipate and support our partners’ needs has driven our success. From our modest beginnings 70 years ago as a small trading business and then a Toyota distributorship in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, we have established an extensive operations infrastructure, and built the largest vehicle distribution network in Saudi Arabia. Applying our vast experience in the automotive sector, we’ve used our expertise and operations infrastructure to diversify into new sectors that contribute to the ‘infrastructure of life’ in the MENAT region

The introduction of VAT in the 6 countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) marks a major change in the taxation policy, and ultimately the mechanics of the economies, of these countries. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are leading the VAT implementation and look to the business community such as Abdul Latif Jameel to play a proactive role in preparing their businesses for this transition.

Saudi Arabia

The VAT Law of Saudi Arabia was officially approved and published on H1438/11/4, and the Saudi Arabia VAT Implementing Regulations were officially approved on H1438/12/4. The VAT Implementing Regulations, which build on the GCC Unified VAT Agreement signed in early 2017, and Saudi VAT Law, govern all aspects of the implementation of VAT in Saudi Arabia.

You can read more on the implementation of VAT in Saudi Arabia at the website of the General Authority for Zakat and Tax (GAZT).

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Government has approved the VAT Law and published the statute on August 27, 2017. The VAT Executive Regulations were officially approved on November 26, 2017.

You can read more on the implementation of VAT in the UAE Ministry of Finance website here.

Abdul Latif Jameel and VAT

Abdul Latif Jameel has recognized the significance of VAT to the Vision 2030 of Saudi Arabia and the critical role of businesses to the achievement of the Vision 2030.

The scope and scale of the business interests of Abdul Latif Jameel means that VAT impacts are relatively widespread. To make the necessary changes to achieve high level of compliance requires understanding of these impacts and identifying new business requirements, whether these changes relate to people, processes or technology.

Abdul Latif Jameel started the preparation for the VAT implementation as early as mid-2016, with a VAT Project Plan based on existing VAT law and regulations in the European Union and United Kingdom pending the release of equivalent VAT law and regulations in the GCC.

The Abdul Latif Jameel VAT Project Plan consists of 5 phases:

  1. Preparation (July to August 2016) – briefing senior leadership, finance, sales, procurement and IT teams about VAT and the roles they will play on the VAT implementation.
  2. Impact assessments (September to December 2016) – mapping the transactions, processes, controls, procedures, IT system configurations & infrastructure, and reviewing major contracts (vendor and customers) to identify all VAT risks, issues and challenges.
  3. Planning (January 2017 to May 2017) – identifying risks, issues and challenges arising from the impact assessments and preparing a strategic plan to address and resolve these risks and issues.
  4. Implementation and execution (June 2017 to December 2017) – implementation and execution of the strategic plan, taking into consideration the approved VAT laws and regulations in the Saudi Arabia and UAE.
  5. Post-implementation (January 2018 to March 2018) – This phase includes preparation of  VAT returns, target audit of certain VAT touch-points, and assessing the technical competencies of the VAT teams of the different business units and finding areas of improvement.

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