Saudi Arabia is getting a jump on its fellow GCC states in introducing a ‘selective’ tax on several goods with effect from 10 June and will introduce value added tax (VAT) from 1 January 2018, the General Authority of Zakat and Tax announced on 27 May.

The selective tax will be levied by all GCC states according to a decision of the General Secretariat of the GCC, but Saudi Arabia is the first to set a firm date. It will target various items deemed to be harmful to health,...