The Tax Card, which became effective from July 1, 2020, is a mandatory filing requirement for all taxpayers in the Sultanate, according to a key Muscat-based tax expert.
Gaurav Kapoor, Tax Director – PwC Oman, warned that failure to obtain a valid tax card could potentially warrant a fine from the Tax Authority ranging from RO 200 to RO 5,000.
“The concept of the Tax Card was first introduced by amendments to the Income Tax Law (promulgated by Royal Decree 9/2017),” said Kapoor. “Amendments to Executive Regulations of the Income Tax Law (issue via Ministerial Decision 12/2019) provided further details on the Tax Card but were not yet effective. Ministerial Decision 27/2020 was issued to make the provisions related to Tax Card effective from 1st July 2020 onwards,” the tax expert stated during a webinar hosted by PwC, a leading provider of assurance, tax, and consulting services, earlier this week.
The tax card number, said Kapoor, is required to be mentioned on all correspondences, invoices, and contracts entered into by the taxpayer. “The Tax Card certificate contains information such as taxpayer’s name, Tax Card number, TIN and CR number, date of expiry (valid for two years from issuance). The fee for issuance is RO 10.
In his presentation, the PwC executive also traced measures introduced by the Tax Authority to ease the impact of COVID-19 on taxpayers. In addition to an extension in the deadline for the filing of tax returns for the year ended December 31, 2019 and the payment of tax, the Authority also waived additional taxes and fines liable to be paid by taxpayers for delays in the timely filing of tax returns and payment of tax. It also made it possible for taxpayers to settle outstanding tax payments in instalments.
Commenting on the reorganization of the Tax Authority, as set out by Royal Decree 42/2020, Kapoor noted that the revamped Authority’s mandate encompasses the development of the tax system in line with approved tax policies, improvement of its efficiency levels, and enhancement of tax compliance.
“The Chairman of the Tax Authority shall assume powers prescribed to the Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs under the Income Tax Law (ITL), excise tax and tax exemption decisions,” he said.
“Under the new structure, the General Directorate of Assessment and Investigation Departments are combined and included two new General Directorates (GDs) named First and Second GDs which were given powers to oversee both direct and indirect tax matters.”