New system for collecting tobacco tax starts in 2019

The new system for the collection of excise taxes of tobacco and related products will go into effect in the beginning of 2019, according to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) on Saturday.

In collaboration with the relevant authorities, the tax system has been designed “to ensure a single integrated set of procedures is rolled out, guaranteeing the protection of rights and responsibilities of Taxable Persons, as well as ensuring transparency with regards to the procedures that regulate their relationship with FTA.”

The FTA said tobacco suppliers must abide by the new scheme to avoid administrative penalties, which could include a ban on non-compliant businesses, preventing them from exercising any commercial activity until they comply fully with the system.

The FTA reaffirmed that Cabinet Decision No. (42) of 2018 on Marking Tobacco and Tobacco Products establishes an accurate and effective control system, allowing the body to efficiently collect taxes, ensure transparency and combat tax evasion. The FTA said another decision is expected to be issued by the Cabinet, detailing the administrative penalties imposed on violations of procedures, including fines imposed on a person who possesses excise goods that do not carry digital stamps, or who permits the use of his/her facilities to sell such products.

The FTA said penalties will also be imposed on persons who tamper with the stamps placed on these goods, or those who print on top of them. Penalties will also be imposed on persons who fail to declare the transfer of excise goods, those who fail to comply with the safe-storage requirements for the stamps; those undertaking unauthorised trading, exchange, sale or supply of stamps; and persons who re-use previously used stamps.