As part of a delegation of the Bar Council, I just returned from Qatar and was very pleased with the visit. We saw an energetic and enthusiastic country with a great vision. After doing my research and visiting the country, it is clear to me that Qatar has done the homework to become a recognized international player.
Qatar has a wide network of double taxation conventions with 40 jurisdictions, including many OECD and G20 countries as well as important regional partners. These DTCs generally include the old wording of article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention. Qatar’s DTCs with France, UK and Singapore contain the current version of article 26. These agreements apply equally to Qatar generally as well as to the QFC.
Qatar is focusing on further developing businesses and investments that will allow the country to continue being competitive beyond their current dependency on fossil energies. The Qatar Vision 2030 outlines clear steps to that end, which are clearly being executed. The 2022 world cup was not in the agenda some years ago, but will definitively help the country to achieve its goals.
In the tax arena Qatar is moving in the right direction as supported by the Law No. (21) of 2009, creating a corporation tax rate of 10% for all companies. According to the OECD report on Qatar
” Where information is required from a QFC entity, Qatar’s tax authorities can obtain such information through the QFC tax authorities, which have their own broad powers to access information that are unhindered by any bank secrecy or domestic tax interest requirements. Therefore, Qatar can provide effective exchange of information regarding QFC entities through its treaty network.”
We are very pleased with this move towards OECD compliance which will facilitate the development of international business with Qatar. Please see more information in the OECD page and Qatare report on exchange of information and compliance.