Muscat: Oman’s State’s Council approved an Income Tax Law, Insurance Companies Law and Foreign Capital Investment Law on Tuesday.

The Economic Committee at the State’s Council has decided to levy a 15 per cent tax on all the corporates annual income without any exception or discrimination. Previously, Oman’s corporate tax rate stood at 12 per cent but only applied to businesses earning over 30,000 Omani Rial.

The proposal of levying taxes will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers, the cabinet that is led by Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed for review and approval.

Last December, some 76 per cent of Oman’s elected consultative council members voted to levy taxes on mines, quarries and minerals at 35 per cent of the total corporate profit.

Shura members also agreed that the tax on producers of liquid natural gas (LNG) would be raised to 55 per cent from 12 per cent to bring it in line with the levy on oil companies, while other firms related to the oil and gas industry would pay 35 per cent instead of 12 per cent.

The move comes to support the state’s coffers amid the plunge of the oil prices that has pushed the country’s budget deficit to 4.5 billion riyals in 2015.

Reports revealed that some companies working in the minerals and mining sector make substantial profits with very low taxes that do not contribute much to the state’s coffers.

The Omani government makes only 12 million riyals on taxes annually, and critics have said that figure is a pittance and not reflective of the large profits made by companies.