The banks have been sending text messages to their customers advising them about various services that will come under the purview of the value-added tax.

All six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states had decided to impose VAT on certain products and services under a unified framework from Jan. 1, 2018, but only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are proceeding with its implementation on schedule.

From Jan. 1, all customers will have to pay SR3.15 in tax for inquiring balances in a bank account maintained in any of the Gulf countries. For balance inquiry through ATMs, the tax is SR3.67 and sending money to a local bank account through express transfer will be taxed SR5.25. Same-day express transfer entails a tax of SR7.35.