KPMG holds seminar on tax law amendments

March 07, 2017

Ashok Hariharan

KPMG on Monday hosted a breakfast seminar on the recent amendments in Oman’s income tax law. 

The event provided an opportunity to over 100 senior C-suite professionals to understand the implications and intricacies involved in the sweeping changes which were introduced last week to Oman’s income tax law.

Ashok Hariharan, partner and head of tax for KPMG Lower Gulf, anchored the seminar presenting detailed insights into the key amendments, including the much debated and far reaching change pertaining to withholding tax on fees for services, interest payments and dividends on shares.

He also provided details on applicability of withholding tax in several domestic and international tax scenarios and real life situations like cost sharing arrangements, secondments of staff, revenue and risk sharing arrangements, and reinsurance contracts, according to a press release.

Hariharan explained how the latest amendments may result in increasing the costs for businesses operating in Oman, given that many foreign taxpayers will expect the taxes imposed on their incomes to be borne by local businesses. He also covered his analysis of many procedural amendments that have been introduced in the tax law and how the government is gearing up to shift the prevalent tax compliance regime in Oman from a tax audit approach towards a self-assessment approach, involving stricter penalty and punishment provisions.

Some of the other changes in tax law that Hariharan talked about during his presentation included the three per cent tax regime for micro establishments, requirement of tax card by all tax payers, removal of tax exemptions and tax treatment of Islamic finance transactions, on which KPMG had acted as an advisor to the Omani government.

The seminar presented the detailed analysis carried out by KPMG’s tax management group.

KPMG has been providing tax services in Oman for over 40 years. Their tax practice is led by Hariharan who has experience of dealing with taxes in Oman and in the region for over 30 years.

KPMG’s tax practice comprises around 30 tax professionals including two directors and six senior managers and managers.