In the wake of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries agreeing to introduce value added tax (VAT) in January 2018, the local IT channel has said the delay in publishing VAT legislation and guidelines is hampering their businesses software preparedness.
It is expected that the UAE and few other GCC countries will implement VAT with effect from 1 January 2018 and the rest within 1 January 2019. Though VAT has been implemented in more than 150 countries across the world, it is different in its impact and operationalisation in every country.
Aaron White, regional director, Sage Middle East said one of the important milestones in the transition process of VAT is the publishing of the legislation by the government. White said along with this, the government is also expected to release various guidelines and other documentation which is extremely helpful in starting the preparation of the software preparedness.
"VAT is a new concept in the GCC with virtually no awareness levels. Therefore, the business and the government needs sufficient staff to be trained and this takes time along with changes required to be made in the processes and IT infrastructure," he said.
White said it takes between 9 to 12 months to make this transition after the legislation is released. "For countries in the GCC intending to implement VAT with effect from 1 January 2018, we would like to see the legislation released as soon as possible. We would also expect that the detailed guidelines are released along with the legislation in order to ensure that the transition process is smooth and without any glitches," he said. "Our strategy is to expand and empower the channel."
He said Sage has planned to expand the channel by recruiting new partners in the entire GCC. "The recruitment process has started for various product segments across the GCC," he said. "Existing enterprise resellers, accounting and audit firms, account processing companies are our targets. We plan to double the channel partners in the ensuing year."