“Do not believe the rumors; Kuwait is not yet ready for taxes,” said sources that are acquainted with the taxation issue, which raises controversies about the government’s confirmations of the nearness of imposing a 10 percent tax on company profits and a five percent value added tax. So, is Kuwait technically and logistically ready for taxes?
The sources added that the government is capable of imposing the law at once, but remarked that this requires setting a system to be used by the finance ministry’s taxation sector. “This would at least need to double the number of tax assessors from 200 to 400 to do the extra tasks,” explained the sources, adding that once the draft law is passed by the parliament, the government would not be able to put it into practice because the database of companies to be subjected to the new system would dramatically increase to include Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti ones in addition to those with limited liabilities and individual-owed ones.
In addition, the sources said that the total number of tax experts operating in local market is below 100 and that this number would not be enough. “The government will need at least 18-24 months to put the new system into practice,” added the sources, noting that the government would have to go through six phases during this period in order to contact various companies, get them acquainted with how their taxes would be calculated, have them seek experts’ services and communicate with limited-liability companies. Moreover, the sources ironically remarked that once the taxation law is in effect, even grocery stores would need to seek help from tax experts and auditors.