Qatar will wait for right time to apply VAT: Minister of Finance


Qatar will wait for the right to apply value-added tax, Minister of Finance HE Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Wednesday at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha.
Qatar is one of only two Arab economies in the Gulf region without VAT.
“We will look to the right time to apply such taxes. Tax reforms are part of our plans,” the minister said.
Last year, Kuwari said Qatar has not yet chosen when to go ahead and was wary of adding an extra burden on consumers in the midst of the pandemic.
The minister said Qatar isn’t isolated from global tailwinds including price pressures, warning that results may not be too favourable “when you apply taxes in such inflationary cycles.”
Saudi Arabia already tripled its VAT rate to 15% in 2020 to bolster state revenue when oil prices slumped. Kuwait has also not introduced VAT.
Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said the economy of Qatar achieved a fiscal surplus in the first quarter of this year amounting to QR13 billion (equivalent to $3.5 billion).
He ruled out any stagnation of Qatar’s economy after the end of the 2022 World Cup, and explained that Doha is adopting a long-term economic plan based on investment in various economic sectors.
In a statement to Al Jazeera on the sidelines of the Qatar Economic Forum, he said the current fiscal year will witness an increase in revenues, due to the rise in energy prices and government measures to rationalize spending.
At the Qatar Economic Forum, the minister has also reiterated Qatar’s commitment to green financing.
“We are committed to green financing as part of out commitment to ESG and out national strategy for climate change and environment. We are committed to [making] a statment that we are supporting green finance.”