VAT likely from September 2019

Muscat: The Ministry of Finance is targeting September 1, 2019 for the implementation of the Value Added Tax (Oman) in Oman, but date is under review and not finalized, a senior government official said.
Speaking to the Observer, Sulaiman bin Salim al Adi, Survey and Tax Agreements at the Secretariat General of Taxation of the Ministry of Finance, said, “There was an announcement to implement VAT from September 1, 2019, but that date is under review as the proposal has to the go through various levels, including the Majlis A’Shura and State Council, among others.”
With regards to the awareness campaign, he said, “We have our own plans to prepare the nation and the people for this project, which will be implemented only once the date is finalized. There will be enough time, to be precise, not less than a less than year before the date of implementation.”
Earlier, the seminar organized by Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), which was also attended by Adi, Dr Salih bin Said Masan, Chairman of Majlis Ash’shura Economic and Financial Committee and Ahmed bin Ali al Makhini, researcher, adviser on general policies, several issues were raised about the ideal timing for the launch of this particular tax, especially when the economy is facing some challenges.
A member of the audience suggested that its implementation should be delayed until by three years 2022, while another participant called it ‘unfair’ as it will uniformly target both the low and high income sections.
Adi said the VAT will be not imposed in the health, education, part of the housing and logistics sectors and 94 food items. “Taxes are complicated and we accept all types of opinions. We will have regulations that will be studied in fine detail,” he said.
 Al Makhini said the people should be educated on the application of taxes because it is necessary evil.
Masan felt new taxes should be imposed not during recession, but at the time of economic expansion because companies generally had large profit margins during member.