Muscat: Shop owners in Oman have been told by the Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) to clearly label or mark those items that are in the zero percent value added tax list so as to not confuse customers or try to trick them into paying more for such goods.
“We direct all the commercial centres and shops across the various governorates of the Sultanate of Oman to affix labels mentioning all goods exempt from value-added tax,” said the CPA in a notice. Most items considered staples for day-to-day life are exempt from VAT.
Food grains such as wheat, rice, barley and corn, as well as flours made from them; milk products in their various forms, i.e. plain milk, milk powder, cheese and yoghurt; various varieties of breads; water; salt and sugar; fruits and vegetables; meat, fish, and poultry; and coffee and tea are exempt from VAT.
Other items including some medicines and baby products are also on the list.
Financial services, healthcare and education and all related services, sale of undeveloped lands, resale and rent/ lease services provided towards residential properties and local passenger transport services are also among those exempt from VAT.
Similarly, all items used by diplomatic missions, international organisations, the armed forces and emergency services do not have VAT levied on them.
The belongings of passengers arriving to Oman for the first time are also free of value added tax, as are gifts received by them. Purchases considered vital for people with special needs are also VAT-free.
Earlier, the CPA had told shops in individual governorates to prepare lists of items under zero VAT. The CPA conducts both regular and surprise visits to shops to make sure they operate in accordance with regulations.