Secondly, the threshold for VAT registration has been set at a fairly high level across all the GCC countries.
In Saudi Arabia, for example, the new system means that the VAT threshold will be set at SAR 375,000 (,900) of annual turnover.
VAT across the remaining four members of the GCC is expected to be implemented later in the year.
These two regimes are likely to be used as test cases by Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait to eliminate initial issues identified in the new tax systems before they finalise their VAT laws.
The reasons for the delay vary from country to country.
Observers have claimed that Kuwait may take longer to implement the VAT system because of its slow-moving civil service, whereas the government of Bahrain has struggled to get austerity measures through Parliament.
Overall, these measures may reduce the compliance burden for small-to-medium companies, while the low VAT rate may not hit big business, which are best prepared for the regime, so hard.
Reporting can be carried out on a cash basis for businesses with less than SAR 5 million in annual turnover.A wide range of industries will be affected by the new system, as well as those making zero-rated or exempt supplies.However, some business, like those in free trade zones, are only now coming to grips with the reality that the government is serious and VAT will in introduced.But with the UAE only having signed the Executive Regulations for Federal Decree Law No.(8) of 2017 on Value Added Tax into law on November 27, and Saudi Arabia having done the same only a couple of months earlier, there is growing concern that no one is ready for the January 1 start date.