KPMG in Kuwait conducts annual tax event 'Talking Tax'; aims to update businesses on the local and regional tax landscapes

A group image of all the panelists and dignitaries at the 2023 Talking Tax event in Kuwait

Kuwait: In order to present a holistic view of the shifts in Kuwait’s economic and tax landscape, KPMG Kuwait conducted its annual tax event ‘Talking Tax’ at the Four Seasons Hotel in Kuwait on 13 February 2023. The event provided a macro view of local, regional and global tax updates, followed by insightful panel discussions on pressing matters concerning tax.

The event graced the presence of dignitaries from the Kuwait Tax Authority (KTA), private and public sector companies, and business councils from countries such as China and Spain. 

Dr. Rasheed mentioned that the tax ecosystem in the country is gradually evolving and touched on the growth of the KTA with respect to the use of technology for tax compliance. He called attention to the fact that tax is changing globally and emphasized on the increased focus on technology and transparency worldwide. 

To go with the theme of the event, KPMG organized an economic overview of Kuwait and three panel sessions: ‘Doing Business in Kuwait’, ‘Tax inspection and other updates from the Kuwait Tax Authority’, and ‘Tax updates from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Transfer Pricing’.

Junaid Ansari – Head of Investment Strategy & Research, Kamco Invest, conducted the economic overview and spoke about the inflation trends and equity market performance. He also provided an economic snapshot of Kuwait and the GCC countries, covering various sectors such as oil & gas, real estate and banking.

The first session ‘Doing business in Kuwait’ was moderated by Fahim Bashir, Partner – Tax, KPMG Kuwait and had Hanan Tariq, Director, KPMG Kuwait, Mr. Ming Xu – Partner, International Legal group, and Kevin Delaplace Haro – General Secretary, Spanish Business Council of Kuwait and Regional Business Development Manager for ABDG speak about the challenges and opportunities that companies may face while doing business in Kuwait. They discussed how Kuwait is a land of opportunities and an investment destination for many foreign companies and its rise as an evolving market with a huge scope for growth.

The second panel discussion comprised updates from the Kuwait Tax Authority and had Changfeng Wang and Heba Abd El Rahman, Senior Managers at KPMG Kuwait, along with Kaizar Shakir – Director and CFO, Gulf Consult. The session also highlighted how companies from the various sectors in Kuwait can navigate through the KTA’s policies and procedures to stay compliant with the Kuwait tax laws.

The final session covered recent tax updates from the KSA and was moderated by Stefan El Khouri, Senior Director, KPMG in Saudi Arabia, with the panel consisting of Rahul Dinodia – Tax Senior Manager, Alshaya Group, and Omar Ahmad, Senior Manager, KPMG Kuwait. The session focused on how recent tax changes in the KSA have impacted companies working across the GCC region. They also discussed how businesses from Kuwait will be impacted by changes such as Transfer Pricing and BEPS 2.0.

On the sidelines of the event, KPMG Kuwait also launched two marquee publications on the Kuwait tax landscape: Doing Business in Kuwait and Kuwait Tax Guide 2023 which give a detailed overview of Kuwait’s tax and regulatory policies and intend to act as a guidebook for the foreign and local companies looking to understand the entire ecosystem of Kuwait. 

The intention behind this event was to bring all our existing and potential clients under one roof and give them an opportunity to interact face-to-face with each other, along with a few market leaders and experts. Having an open discussion around tax helps us understand the minds of our customers, things happening in the region, and the future trends, which aids us in building a better tax ecosystem,” said Zubair Patel, as he brought the event to a close.