Establishing the General Tax Authority: An investment towards a strong and sustainable economy

Doha – January 6, 2019

As part of Qatar’s plans to reduce the countries dependence on hydrocarbon resources, the Government of the State of Qatar has established the General Tax Authority (GTA).

The GTA has been established as a separate entity, under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance, and will be in charge of implementing all tax laws and improving tax compliance.

The law establishing the GTA, mandates the authority to:

  • implement all tax laws and setup all related bylaws, procedures and instructions and be responsible for their implementation
  • review and assess tax return forms
  • collect taxes from subject entities
  • represent the State of Qatar in relevant international and regional organizations and at international conferences and events;
  • sign tax agreements with other countries to encourage economic cooperation and joint investments.

The GTA will support the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030 to ensure the sustained welfare of citizens and residents, and provide a mechanism for Qatar to reduce its dependence on a hydrocarbon-based economy.

Part of the GTA’s mandate will be to implement the Income Tax law number 24 of 2018 relating to corporate income tax and the Excise Tax law number 25 of 2018.

The Income Tax law number 24 of 2018 amends the previous law on corporate income tax and stipulates that the salaries and wages of citizens and residents shall not be subject to any tax and grants exemptions for equity shares listed on a recognised stock exchange, profits of banking deposits and companies working in the agricultural sector and fisheries. Marine and aerial transportation are also exempted from tax on condition of reciprocity.

The corporate income tax on foreign companies working in Qatar or on the stake of foreign partners in joint ventures remains at the same level, which is 10% of the taxable income.

The Excise Tax law number 25 of 2018 came into force on January 01, 2019 and imposes a tax on certain health-damaging goods. It includes a list of the targeted goods, with a 100% tax on tobacco products, alcohol and energy drinks and a 50% tax on carbonated drinks, and a 100% tax on special purpose goods.

The Excise Tax represents a real investment in human capital and is designed to help build a healthier society by discouraging the consumption of harmful goods.