VAT AND GCC REGULATORY TAX REFORM AT DELOITTE’S 10TH ANNUAL MIDDLE EAST TAX CONFERENCE

For the past ten years, Deloitte has organized a yearly tax conference in the Middle East to update practitioners and clients on global and regional tax updates and tools.  The 2017 edition was held in Dubai on the 22nd and 23rd of March. The tax conference’s aim was to help attendees in regaining a sense of control and keeping pace with an ever-evolving tax landscape and in assisting them in mapping change in real time, offering senior business and tax executives the opportunity to interact with leading practitioners and industry peers from across the Middle East and the world.

From left to right -Nauman Ahmed -Tax leader Deloitte ME- Omar Fahoum CEO Deloitte ME-Dan Lange Global Managing Director of Tax DTTL and Alex Law -Partner Intl Tax Services- Deloitte ME
From left to right -Nauman Ahmed -Tax leader Deloitte ME- Omar Fahoum CEO Deloitte ME-Dan Lange Global Managing Director of Tax DTTL and Alex Law -Partner Intl Tax Services- Deloitte ME

A number of Deloitte senior partners and tax experts including Dan Lange, Global Managing Director of Tax at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, were present to provide their insight to the attending two hundred Deloitte clients and partners.

Topics of discussion at the Deloitte conference included the domestic and international landscape and their impacts on businesses in the region during 2017 and beyond.  VAT reform in the GCC, the recent amendments made to the Oman income tax law, the announcement of the new Zakat regulations in Saudi Arabia, the emerging markets in the Middle East, BEPS, transfer pricing and international trade and disruptive technology in the commercial arena were also addressed. For the first time this year, the Deloitte tax conference hosted a series of bespoke Global Employer Services sessions focusing on the most discussed topics impacting global mobility, reward and tax.

“No one knows exactly what the future will be.  But, one certainty is that tomorrow will be very different than today.  New business models challenge traditional tax concepts. Regulatory change shifts the ground on which risk management was based.  Robotics and analytics increasingly complement and spur human insight, while automation frees up valuable time,” explains Nauman Ahmed, Partner and Middle East Tax leader at Deloitte. “It can be challenging for tax leaders to rationalize all of this occurring at the same time especially that no single aspect of a tax function stands still today.”

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“We are in the midst of a Global Tax Reset, a time when everything defining the global tax landscape of the past is shifting and yielding a fundamentally different future. Increased transparency, technology advancements, and internal organizational scrutiny and efficiency expectations – everything about the way tax departments operate is in flux.  This intensifies the spotlight on tax leaders and professionals,” explained Alex Law, Partner, International Tax Services at Deloitte Middle East.  “As companies in the Middle East adjust to a higher profile and increased demands, it is important to know that they have the support of a partner like Deloitte. By focusing on process, technology, resources and governance, Deloitte helps them build a strong foundation for, and lead, an effective tax operating model,” concluded Law.

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