In a welcome change to the KSA VAT Implementing Regulations, The Board of Directors of the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) has taken significant steps to enable non-residents to register in the Kingdom. The change took effect from July 18, 2019.

Non-residents are no longer obliged to appoint a tax representative in order to register for VAT in Saudi Arabia. GAZT has eased the path to registration by providing for the appointment of a third party as an alternative to a tax representative, subject to certain requirements.

This is a significant relaxation of the rules. Until the change, a non-resident was compelled to appoint a tax representative who, was jointly liable for all VAT debts. This potential financial risk discouraged service providers from acting in this capacity, thereby, making it extremely difficult for non-residents to register for VAT in the Kingdom. There are many foreign businesses waiting to register in Saudi.