Prior to the arrival of VAT in the Middle East in 2018, Oman Insurance Company (OIC) identified the need for an automated tax solution capable of accurately determining and calculating its tax liabilities in various countries across the region to ensure compliance with the new legislation.
OIC selected Innovate Tax as its tax partner and our solution delivered:
- Accurate determination and management of input and output VAT.
- A reliable Tax Management Report.
- A tax API offering an extension of the Oracle tax engine to determine and check tax liabilities for all products.
How did it all start?
Our relationship with OIC dates back to 2017, when we started working together following a successful VAT Forum in Dubai. At that stage, VAT had yet to be introduced in the Middle East; indeed, there was much speculation about whether it would ever happen at all.
We sought to convey the sheer scale and complexity of the challenge that businesses in the region would face once VAT systems in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other nations went live.
As a forward-thinking business, OIC was quick to act to ensure it had a comprehensive and scalable solution in place.
The challenges facing OIC
As the largest insurance company in the Middle East, OIC’s reputation was of paramount importance. It was essential that it complied with the new VAT laws in the region; both to avoid any potential penalties and to ensure its prestigious standing in the insurance industry was retained.
Complying with stringent new tax legislation was a considerable challenge, but OIC was committed to achieving optimum performance and efficiency to protect its reputation for excellence. In addition, the nature of its business as a financial service added further layers of complexity and legal requirements.
Why were we selected by OIC?
In our early discussions with OIC, we spoke of our ability to offer a single place of truth for tax determination; a robust and reliable solution packed with local tax logic for any country in the world.
Our solution has been recognised as world-class in its field, particularly with the Oracle ERP products on the market. We developed an API for tax which allows our clients to utilise the rules-based tax determination engine for third-party systems to determine input VAT on all transactions – once their setup has been correctly configured by our experts for VAT transactions in a chosen country.
What did the project entail?
Our API was a key component to helping OIC. Not only were we going to apply a new standard to a complicated new business process, but we were having to make best use of the currently available (and dormant) technology.
We have a unique approach to tax technology. Regardless of the resources available, we seek to help tax and IT teams find a future-proofed way forward – firstly, by maximising the potential of the client’s current landscape; secondly, by designing bespoke functionality to fill gaps where the existing technology is lacking.
Immediately prior to 1st January 2018, we undertook a full audit of OIC’s requirements – including its immediate needs and anticipated future needs. This methodology means that we are able to continue to support its growth through new territories without further demands being placed on its team.
Our experts worked closely with the business and IT personnel to identify key objectives and build trust to enable further support as the VAT landscape continues to move and adapt in the Middle East.
What have we achieved?
Since bringing the project to completion by implementing a bespoke version of our solution, OIC has enjoyed:
- 100% accurate determination and management of Input and Output VAT.
- A reliable Tax Management Report.
- A tax API that is an extension of the Oracle tax engine and allows OIC to determine and check tax for all transactions.
We will also continue to support OIC’s tax technology needs, as well as providing maintenance of the installed regimes. This means if a single rate, rule or regulation changes in one of the countries our solution is implemented to manage, we update it immediately to ensure that OIC preserves its compliance processes.
What does the future hold?
With Oman set to implement a VAT system from April 2021, we are currently working with OIC to integrate the country’s new tax logic within our solution to ensure it is fully compliant with the rules and regulations from ‘day 1’.
We are maintaining a close working relationship with OIC and will guide it through the arrival of VAT in Oman, as well as future changes to tax regimes in other Middle Eastern countries and the anticipated implementations of VAT in nations such as Kuwait and Qatar in the years ahead.
About Oman Insurance Company
OIC is the UAE’s largest health, travel and car insurance provider. Established in 1975, OIC is one of the leading insurance providers in the Middle East with over 45 years of experience and a passion for digital innovation.
Its vision is to provide outstanding insurance solutions that help create and protect wealth and wellbeing. Operations take place across not only the UAE, but also Oman, Qatar and Turkey.
- Guaranteed compliance with new VAT laws in the Middle East
- Tax API to ensure tax can be determined and calculated for every good and service
- Solution to be developed further to integrate with Oman's upcoming VAT system from April 2021