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VAT in the GCC and your Retail POS (X-Series) account

This guide is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as tax or legal advice. We encourage you to work with tax, legal, and other professional advisers to determine exactly how VAT rules may apply to your organization in your country.

VAT changes

Members of the GCC agreed in 2018 to introduce a VAT regime. VAT (Value Added Tax) is a consumption tax charged on goods and services. A large number of retailers will have to charge their customers VAT at the rate of 5%.

Who is in the GCC?

The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) is formed of the following countries:

  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • The United Arab Emirates

How does this affect me?

Generally, retailers selling more than a certain value of goods or services must register for VAT and add VAT at 5% to the cost of their goods sold.

Please refer to your GCC country-specific requirements.

Invoice requirements

Generally, receipts and invoices provided to customers should be valid tax invoices for VAT purposes. This means that they need to contain certain prescribed information. Please refer to your GCC country-specific requirements.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of tax invoices: a simplified tax invoice and a full tax invoice.

Simplified invoices

Simplified invoices can be used where the transaction is below a certain value (please refer to your GCC country-specific requirements). Where possible, it's easiest to use simplified tax invoices.

Generally, a simplified tax invoice must have the following;

  • The words "tax invoice" are displayed in a prominent place
  • Date of issue
  • Shop name, address, and tax identification number
  • A description of the goods sold
  • The amount total payable
  • The total amount of tax payable (or for Saudi Arabia, a statement that the price includes VAT.)

Please refer to your GCC country-specific requirements.

Full invoices

Full invoices have a number of additional requirements. Please refer to your GCC country-specific requirements for full invoices. Examples of what is required include:

  • Name and address of the customer
  • Sequential invoice number
  • For the UAE, each type of good sold should have a separate line item showing unit price, quantity sold, VAT rate, and the amount payable in AED.

Hyperspace has built an integration to assist Saudi Arabia-based Retail POS retailers in becoming e-Invoicing compliant, generating an e-invoice that is emailed to customers and meets regulatory requirements. For further details on this specific integration, refer to our How can Retail POS (X-Series) retailers comply with the Saudi Arabian e-invoicing requirements? guide.

Retail POS store setup and receipts setup

Depending on how your store is currently set up, you may need to make some changes as a result of the VAT rules. Please see the guidelines below for more details.

Setting up taxes in Retail POS

  • The VAT Tax can be set up as a new Tax rate

Setting up your receipt templates

  • The words "tax invoice" can be added to the receipt template to meet requirements. Retail POS supports this.
  • All other simplified invoice fields can also be accommodated by Retail POS.

Dual language receipts

Most GCC countries have introduced dual-language invoice requirements, where invoices are required to be issued in Arabic and optionally, another language (e.g. English). Please refer to your GCC country-specific requirements.

At the moment, Retail POS allows some Arabic language strings to be added to the invoice using custom print templates.

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