MUSCAT, OMAN: In collaboration with Abdulredha Al Lawati Lawyers & Counsels (ALC) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Oman American Business Center (OABC) hosted “Oman’s Tax and Legal Landscape” on February 7, at the Sheraton Oman Hotel.
The session included a brief time of business networking over breakfast, followed by legal and tax presentations covering a variety of key topics, and ended with plenty of time for Q & A.
Speaker Abdulredha Al Lawati, Founder of ALC, discussed the current laws related to court processes and commercial practice. His presentation was followed by PwC’s Ghalia Al Sharji, Tax Senior Manager, who covered Oman’s 2022 State Budget. Finally, Darcy White, Tax & Legal Services Partner discussed e-invoicing, personal income tax, regional trends, and the future of Oman’s tax legislation.
Events like this one are part of OABC’s overall mission to facilitate trade and investment between Oman and the USA, and to support ease of doing business in Oman”, says Ali Daud, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of OABC. “Oman is moving towards its Vision 2040 and more changes affecting the private sector will certainly come. We are proud to partner with firms like ALC and PWC and host sessions that keep our members informed about key developments across all sectors.”
“The past few years have seen a big shift in the global tax landscape in terms of how countries are expected to tax, record and report on resident entities and individuals,” says Darcy White, Tax Partner at PwC Middle East Oman. “Global influence on local tax policy is greater than ever before, fueled particularly by the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on BEPS, which Oman is a member of. The BEPS Project brings with it significant compliance requirements to meet multilateral cooperation objections. This coupled with the increased focus on taxation in Oman’s Vision 2020 and the 2022 Budget means that taxable entities will need to ensure they are “tax ready” for the future. This doesn’t just mean ensuring they are aware of compliance matters, as with the introduction of new taxes and compliance requirements, for example, e-invoicing. Being tax ready also means ensuring entities have the right policies and systems in place to meet the Government’s reporting obligations.”
“The last couple of years have shown the government’s efforts to confirm its clear intention to develop the country forward under Vision 2040, ” says Abdulredha Al Lawati, Founder of ALC Lawyers & Counsels. “Over 100 Royal Decrees were promulgated in the last two years and most of those decrees were issued to facilitate the investment environment in Oman and promote opportunities within the country. The issued Royal Decrees were not covering the businesses only, but it also restructured the systems in other wide areas. Due to the increase of the cases post-COVID, the government has deeply considered the Courts’ procedures. The Law Simplifying the Process in Some Cases (RD 125/2020) has created wide differences in the practice. Minimizing the duration before the courts was a fundamental change. Further, the promulgation of the Commercial Companies Law and Foreign Investment Law was a great area which the government aims to develop. Removal of minimum capital and providing expats the chance to set up their business independently was the main aim of these laws.”
“They say the only constant in life changes, and this is certainly true in business as well,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “It’s essential for all companies to stay updated with key information about recent changes and expert predictions about where things are headed, especially in key areas with huge implications on their business, like legislation and tax. We’re thankful to our sponsor and partner ALC for co-hosting this important event and shining a light on many different aspects of Omani law, and to the team at PwC for their partnership and expert presentations.”
Members of the OABC who attended the event were invited to receive a complimentary short consultation with ALC and/or PwC if desired, as a further benefit of OABC membership.
As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), the OABC promotes understanding, partnerships & other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States.
Formed in 2003, the OABC is the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman. OABC’s mission is to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States. With more than 30 events annually and over 175 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business council and networking group.