The Impact of Economic Developments on the Legislative Policy in the Field of Taxation in the GCC Countries: An Applied Study on the Draft of the unified VAT Legislation

Prof. Tariq Abdel Salam
Professor of Economics and Public Finance & Dean of the School of Law at the American University – UAE


In an effort to diversify revenues and overcome a growing budget deficit as a result of lower oil prices, the GCC countries are recently moving toward coordinate for the issuance of a unified VAT legislation. The discussion of this project took several years, at the end of which a common draft was agreed upon, and its implementation is scheduled to begin at an imminent time.
This paper introduces the definition of VAT, its characteristics, scope, and application, as well as its application in several countries that have been proactive in this area. The paper then deals with the rules and regulations stipulated in the unified GCC draft law. It will finally address the most important success factors including the soundness of tax policy design, the need to simplify laws and procedures, the appropriateness of the organizational structure of the administration and the adequacy of the resources available to it.

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