The very low rate of tax in Qatar is one of the major attractions of moving there, but there are still some tax charges and issues for expatriates to be aware of.
Life in Qatar is largely tax-free. Foreigners living and working in Qatar have to pay very little tax to the country's government, if at all. Only if a foreigner operates a business in Qatar do they need to pay any form of income tax.
The biggest tax issue most people face is being aware of the regulations of their home countries with regard to paying income tax on overseas earnings. These should be checked with the income tax office of the individual's home country.
There is no road tax, car tax, television licence fee, council tax, income tax or VAT in Qatar, although there has been speculation in recent years that VAT at five to seven percent may be introduced at some point in the future. At present there is no official policy stating that VAT is due to be introduced.
The country is not totally without taxes though, as some statutory fees apply to certain transactions and services, as outlined in this section.
An import tax is levied on all products brought into the country that are intended for commercial resale; this equates to approximately four to five percent of the value of the goods. This is not usually applicable to personal possessions brought into the country as part of an individual's relocation, provided they are used and not newly purchased, and the person is planning to be a resident for more than 12 months.
Buying a new car from overseas is likely to be subject to the four to five percent import tax - but importing a previously purchased car may not.
This is the main form of tax that most expatriates encounter. There is a seven percent government tax on food and drink purchased in hotels. Previously hotels would typically add a ten percent service charge to bills as well, but there have been moves from the government during 2011 to stop hotels adding this fee to restaurant tariffs.
A flat-rate Corporate Tax of ten percent is applicable to all profits made by businesses owned, or partly owned, by foreigners in Qatar. The flat rate was introduced to replace a previous graduated variable rate of ten to 35 percent. More information on the Corporate Tax can be found in the Tax section of the Hukoomi website.
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