The VAT in the Arab Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council

The six countries forming the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have decided to introduce VAT from 2018 onwards. This is an enormous challenge for governments, businesses, and advisors as these countries have little experience with taxation in general and with VAT in particular. Each country has to introduce domestic VAT legislation based on the VAT Framework Agreement, which outlines the underlying main principles and rules for the VAT system to be adopted by all six countries. In this article, the authors provide the background and progression of the economic and political integration of the GCC region, explain the rationale for a common VAT system, and provide an overview of the structure and a thorough analysis of the main features of the VAT Framework Agreement.