Income tax rate up in Oman, exemptions cancelled

Energy Wednesday 22/February/2017 22:39 PM
By: Times News Service
Income tax rate up in Oman, exemptions cancelled

Muscat: Income tax has been raised from 12 to 15 per cent and previously exempt small firms and industries must now pay tax too, the Ministry of Finance has announced.
A flat rate of three per cent has been introduced by the ministry on all companies under the current tax exemption threshold of OMR30,000 per annum. Those companies will now pay three per cent tax as of the start of the 2017 tax year.
Mining, private schools, hotels, universities and nurseries will no longer be exempt from tax, the latest Royal Decree has ordered.
The announcement, published via the government’s news agency, states that the amendments introduced to the Income Tax Law issued by the Royal Decree No.9/2017 on February 19 aim at addressing the hindrances and challenges that faced the application of the existing tax system.
It also aimed at addressing the developments that have taken place in the past years in the business sector in the Sultanate and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the tax system to be in line with global tax practices.
The statement added that the amendments introduced to the Income Tax Law and the administrative & regulatory procedures that will be introduced later will hopefully simplify the procedures and make it easy for tax payers to carry out their obligations.
They will also maintain the facilities (the benefits), which will facilitate the issue for tax payers, such as their right to request delay of the disputed tax assessments, get exemption of the additional tax in case the legal requirements are met, forwarding the losses incurred at any tax year to the next year and deduct it from the taxable income as per the provisions of the Income Tax Law.
The statements also said that some key amendments to the Law are related to the tax policies, such as cancelling the exemption limit by the law, which was set at OMR30,000.
The amendment aims at limiting the tax avoidance incidents by tax payers who used to divide the value of their transactions to benefit from the exemption and avoid tax payment.
The statement also noted that ‘ taking into consideration the conditions of the small enterprises, some tax provisions were introduced specifically for small enterprises. Simple procedures for the tax declaration, audit, tax assessment and record keeping were also
introduced. The amendment also included imposing a reduced tax rate (3 per cent) on the establishments that meet the requirements stipulated by the Law.
It should be noted that the 15 per cent corporate income tax is still below the average international rate which is 25 per cent, which maintain the investors’ revenues and the Sultanate’s competitiveness.