Tax measures offer respite to Omani firms hit by pandemic

Relief measures unveiled recently by Oman’s Tax Authority offer a measure of welcome respite to businesses hit hard by the pandemic, as well as the accompanying economic downturn.

They are the latest in a series of gestures announced by the Supreme Committee designed to offer much-needed succor to private sector firms, as well as various sections of the general population, weighed down by the punishing effects of the ongoing pandemic.

“The measures (…) come as a welcome move by the Tax Authority to provide relief to taxpayers who have not already filed their returns, and who are adversely impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said KPMG, professional services provider, in an advisory to clients.

As a result of the measures, Omani businesses have until September 30, 2020, to file their tax returns, both provisional and final, along with their annual audited accounts for the year ended December 31, 2019, without incurring any of the penalties prescribed under the Income Tax Law for non-compliance.

Also waived until September 30, 2020, is the application of additional taxes (amounting to one percent per month) that defaulters are liable to cough up for non-payment of income tax due for the year ended December 31, 2019.

In a further sop to taxpayers, the Tax Authority has also suspended the additional taxes (applied at the rate of one per cent per month) applicable to the period from January 1, 2020 to September 20, 2020 due to non-payment of income tax due for the years ended prior to December 31, 2019.

In effect, the measures imply that the due date for filing tax returns for the year ended December 31, 2019, has been extended to September 30, 2020, says KPMG.

According to Deloitte, the measures allow for pending tax payments to be paid in installments. Further, the measures “potentially waive any additional taxes imposed on installment payments, subject to the Oman Tax Authority’s approval, based on the condition/cases presented by the taxpayer”.

 “Taxpayers can submit a request to postpone the payment of disputed tax at the objection stage until it is decided.  Taxpayers can request for an extension of the deadline in submitting the required documents and clarifications during the assessment and objection stage,” Deloitte noted in an explainer to its clients.