Tax-free year!

Muna Al Fuzai

We are on the threshold of a new year, and while the Western world is preparing for celebrations, there is not much to do in Kuwait. Often, friends and families gather for a special gala dinner on New Year’s Eve. The dinner feast sees conversations about New Year wishes, most importantly about a tax-free year and more money!

I was recently invited to a Christmas dinner by a friend family. The most important wish of the attendees was to get a lot of money to make all their dreams come true. Because all hopes today are usually associated one way or another with money, the wish of a tax-free year comes first. I believe money has turned into a goal to achieve the simplest needs, so we can’t blame people who make money their top wish.

I don’t think it is easy for us in Kuwait to accept the idea of ??taxes without knowing what’s in it for us in return, because I find that the imposition of taxes must be accompanied with a full understanding and acceptance of the rights of taxpayers, whether citizens or expatriates. In the West, taxpayers are partners and not just statistics. I wonder if we have the same concept of taxpayers as in the West, where people have the right to reject any corrupt deal or spending by the government. At the same time, the government cannot imprison a taxpayer for using this right.

I wonder if the government has a plan on how to handle this issue

Raising taxes may also create social problems. The first is of those under the poverty line. I wonder if the government has a plan on how to handle this issue. My wish is that the government considers all the mechanisms of the 5 percent value-added tax before implementing it. The finance ministry has done well by postponing the actual application for further study and until all its bodies are ready, to prevent the failure of the project. But other government departments are required to be involved too.

Some opposition voices within the National Assembly have appeared against the VAT law, and this is normal. The tax is expected to be introduced in the second half of next year, or early 2019, after completion of the necessary procedures. Several regulatory aspects must be considered before its implementation, and this may take some time. The application of taxes is dependent on the finalization of regulatory frameworks.

I do not know the basis of the introduction of the tax in Kuwait. This means that the taxpayers will become partners. The government must take into account demographic changes and the protection of people and their rights.

By Muna Al-Fuzai
muna@kuwaittimes.net

This article was published on 28/12/2017