On 15 February 2019 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a “G20 member”, issued the final version of the TP bylaws, which is broadly in line with the OECD Guidelines. Also, respective FAQs (in both English and Arabic) were published as additional guidance. Given that the year ending 31 December 2018 is the first to be covered by the TP bylaws, taxpayers have started their preparatory phase for complying with TP documentation requirements as set forth in the introduced articles of the official TP bylaws.
The General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT) assigned a corresponding account manager to each group of taxpayers to which he/she started sending notices via email from the taxpayer’s manager at GAZT. Taxpayers and MNE’s operation in the region should therefore constantly check the email registered in the GAZT ERAD system in order to be able to respond to these requests for further documentation that should be submitted to the tax authorities in 30 days’ time (but not before 30 days).
Moreover, GAZT updated the taxpayers’ services catalogue in order to highlight the procedure for providing TP documentation, which includes uploading the required documents through the GAZT portal after logging in using the taxpayer’s credentials and granting 30 business days to provide the TP documentation that has been requested.
It is unclear at present whether or not the GAZT will grant any additional extension to the taxpayers to provide such TP documentation. This should become more accurate during the next TP documentation review.
From our perspective, we believe that key audit “triggers” for GAZT within a specific disclosure form that may result in a request from the GAZT for submission of a local file seem to be as follows:
Therefore, it is better for taxpayers who still do not apply any TP policy in compliance with the bylaws and do not maintain inter-company agreements to govern their controlled transactions, to start preparing such documents, in addition to keeping MF and LFs as proper TP documentation, which would reduce the risk of a TP assessment.
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