With less than three weeks to the Value Added Tax (VAT) go live date in Saudi Arabia, the annual Deloitte Saudi Arabia Tax Conference gathered Deloitte senior tax partners and experts with 300 attendees from major international, regional and national companies from 11 to 13 December 2017 in Al Khobar, Riyadh and Jeddah.

For the past decade, Deloitte has organized annual tax conferences in the Middle East to update practitioners and clients on local, regional and global tax updates and tools. In March Deloitte held the Middle East Tax conference in Dubai.

With the imminent VAT January 1 2018 go live date in KSA, the conference had an important and very pertinent focus on the introduction of the indirect tax in the country. Some of the main issues covered during the VAT sessions were aimed at companies struggling to complete preparations for January 1. Focus areas included recommendations for establishing the final preparations, determining the main focus for those who have not achieved full readiness yet, preparing the first VAT returns, communicating with the supply chain and other stakeholders and developing a checklist of ‘outstanding’ issues and solutions.

Subject matter experts also shared their insights on Transfer Pricing in the post Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) world, the future of global mobility and the overall changing tax landscape and the influence it has on local and regional businesses.

“Change is the one constant. More often than not, change is challenging, and the way in which we address it as well as how prepared we are to take it on are key defining factors that impact the end outcome of what comes our way. In today’s global tax environment, it is important to be able to lead through uncertainty. To do this, companies need clarity, connection and confidence, exactly what our regional annual conferences and regular tax academies are aimed to provide businesses,“ said Nauman Ahmed, the Deloitte Middle East Tax leader.

During the conference and with the aim to provide additional support for businesses in the Kingdom, Deloitte Middle East launched its “Doing Business Guide KSA”. The report highlights key areas of consideration for businesses looking to invest in KSA for the first time, as well as those looking to undertake a review of their tax exposures, which may include remedial or long-term solutions.

Doing Business Guide KSA is available for download on this link or through the Deloitte “VAT in the GCC guide” mobile app.

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