EY hosted a seminar on the recent tax developments affecting Kuwaiti based enterprises at the JW Mariott. The half-day event was attended by over 120 senior executives representing large businesses in Kuwait. The conference featured discussions on how the current tax developments in Kuwait are directly influencing, both Kuwaiti enterprises and their foreign partners.
In his introductory speech Alok Chugh, Partner and Tax Market Segment Leader, EY Kuwait, said: “The evolving regulatory environment provides vast opportunities for Kuwait enterprises as well as their foreign partners. We believe that now is the time to take steps to tackle associated risk and to take advantage of these opportunities.”
Commenting on the impact of the drop in oil prices, Alok said: “The decline will further drive oil producers like Kuwait, to diversify their investments. The mega-projects, currently underway in Kuwait, are a testament to that diversity.”
Key themes at the conference included:
- Recent developments in Zakat, National Labor Support Tax (NLST) and the five percent retention rules.
- A detailed examination of the executive regulations and the application for the Kuwait Direct Investment Law
- Significant guidance on tax accounting and a synopsis on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)
The conference also hosted two honorary speakers from the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA); Sheikh Abdullah Sabah Al-Sabah – Head of Licensing Department and Amr Wageeh - Senior Legal Counsel. Both speakers provided invaluable insights into the practical applications of the new Executive Regulations to Law No. 116 of 2013 and addressed many questions raised by the audience.
Sheikh Abdullah Sabah Al-Sabah said: “KDIPA is committed to working with Kuwaiti and foreign investors looking forward to take advantage of the new law. Kuwait is fostering a competitive environment and KDIPA is here to make this happen.”
Waleed Al Osaimi, Office Managing Partner, EY Kuwait, said: “Companies in Kuwait have been responding to the pressures of an evolving economic landscape. Understanding the impact of new regulations and changes in the industry operating environment offers organizations a better perspective while developing strategies to expand or grow.”
Speakers at the EY conference also raised other topical subjects, such as the five percent retention rule, BEPS and its imminent impact on domestic and foreign taxpayers in light of the new country-by-country reporting requirements, the risk of ignoring IAS 12 and the opportunities in using the standard.