By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha
Question: What’s the tax rate in Qatar and what tax adjustments are to be made with regard to establishments that have no permanent place of business or no tax card in Qatar?
Answer: According to Article 11 of the Tax Laws, the tax rate shall be 10% of the taxable income of the taxpayer during the taxable year. Subject to the provisions of Tax Agreements, payments made to non-residents with respect to activities not connected with a permanent establishment in the State shall be subject to a final withholding tax of (i) 5% of the gross amount of royalties and technical fees; and also (ii) 7% of the gross amount of interest, commissions, brokerage fees, director’s fees, attendance fees and any other payments for services carried out wholly or partly in the State.
Company refuses to accept resignation
Q: Since 2015, I am working with a foreign company registered in Qatar under an unlimited employment contract. Last year they have amended the employment contract of employees and reduced the salaries and benefits because of the market conditions. So, after working for one year again on the revised salary, I have decided to resign and I submitted my resignation. The company refused to accept my resignation and they opined that the resignation is not acceptable. My friend suggested that I approach Labour Department for help. My question is regarding the benefits and pending salary. Is it a requirement that the company should accept the resignation? What is the status of my benefits if the company rejects my resignation? Please advise.
A: The employee can approach the Labour Department for assistance. Acceptance by the employer of the employee’s resignation is not required and the employee shall be entitled to all his rights, including salaries and labour entitlements or other benefits. Employer is duty-bound to repatriate the employee on termination of the employment contract. Regarding termination of the unlimited employment contract, any of the parties may terminate the contract by notifying the other as stipulated under Article 49 of the Labour Law. Moreover, any condition contrary to the Labour Law provisions on minimum entitlements shall be null and void, unless they are more beneficial to the employee. Any release, compromise or waiver of the entitlements prescribed for the worker by the Labour Law shall be deemed void.
Punishment for false information
Q: What will be the action taken on any person who had given false information or complaint against any person and which is undoubtedly proved that the complaint made was false and baseless? Which law applies and what is the punishment for such acts? Please guide.
A: According to Article 190 of penal laws, whoever knowingly and falsely presents a written or oral report alleging a criminal offence requiring a judicial penalty, to a public officer empowered to act upon the information shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and/or a fine not exceeding QR10,000.
Landlord has no right to interfere
Q: We have entered into lease contract with landlord and have rented a portion (ground floor) of a villa. A few weeks ago, the landlord asked us to shift room from ground floor to first floor which is vacant. He wanted to lease the ground floor to some other parties. When I refused to move, he has asked us to vacate the premises. I have a proper contract. How are my rights protected under the provisions of law? Can he evict us legally? If he refuses to collect the rent, what shall we do? Please guide.
A: The landlord has no right to interfere with the tenant’s use of premises. According to Article 597 of the Civil Law, the landlord may not interfere with the tenant’s use of the leased property throughout the term of the lease, or make any change in the leased property or its annexes in a way that affects or prevents the tenant from its utilisation. Any interference by any of the representatives of the landlord shall be deemed interference by the landlord himself.
The landlord has no right to evict the tenant from the premises before the contract expires as long as the tenant is paying the due rent amount. If the landlord refuses to accept the rent, the tenant can pay the money to the Rental Committee and inform the landlord of such by registered post.
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