Monday, 27 March 2017

QATAR: Gulf States To Introduce Sin tax On Alcohol, Tobacco And Fizzy Drinks

Gulf states Plan to introduce a selective tax this year affecting items including alcohol, tobacco and fizzy drinks.

Qatar’s only alcohol shop is reportedly encouraging customers to stock up ahead of the implementation of a planned sin tax for goods deemed harmful to human health.

The country, along with other Gulf Cooperation Council states, plans to introduce a selective tax this year affecting items including alcohol, tobacco, fizzy drinks and some luxury goods.

Employees at the Qatar Distribution Co in Abu Hamour have been warning customers of the impending price rises.

Only residents with alcohol licenses are allowed to make purchases at the shop, with each given a monthly allowance calculated based on their wages.

The exact tax rates remain unclear and it is unknown whether allowances will be raised inline with prices.

The shop said this week residents could purchase three times their normal quota from April 1 – a measure not usually introduced just before the holy month of Ramadan when it closes, according to the publication

Last week, the UAE said the tax could generate $544.5m in its first year from tobacco alone but revenue from other products was difficult to estimate.

Each Gulf government will decide the exact tax rates and the items affected. The cap for excise duty agreed is 100 per cent.

The date of implementation of the tax is expected to vary in each country, with Saudi Arabia reported to be considering its introduction as early as April.