Zatca E-invoicing regulations

A comprehensive analysis of ZATCA’s e-invoicing regulations in Saudi Arabia, highlighting the potential variations or consistencies across different business sectors.

Ajith Kumar M
August 17, 2023
4 min

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has embarked on a notable journey towards modernizing its tax system. One of the pillars of this transformation is the e-invoicing initiative led by the Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority (ZATCA). But a pressing question many businesses are asking is: Are these e-invoicing regulations universal, or do they differ across industries? Let’s dive in and explore.

The Universal Standard

Initially, ZATCA’s e-invoicing system was designed to create a uniform and streamlined approach to invoicing for all VAT-registered businesses in Saudi Arabia. The rules, which require electronic invoices to have certain mandatory fields, apply broadly to companies across all sectors.

The Scope for Sector-Specific Guidelines

While the overall framework is standardized, it's possible that particular rules or exemptions could be introduced for specific sectors. For instance, non-profit organizations or healthcare providers might face different scenarios compared to retail businesses, potentially necessitating unique guidelines.

Phase 2 Implementation in Waves

The rollout of e-invoicing in Saudi Arabia is organized in a phased manner, categorized into several waves, ensuring a smoother transition for businesses, each targeting businesses based on their annual turnover.

Special Tax Treatment in Healthcare and Education Sectors

For private healthcare and education services provided to Saudi citizens, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides a special tax treatment, where these services are treated as “Zero Rated.” Under this scheme, the Kingdom bears the Value Added Tax (VAT) for such services.

  • Buyer Details Requirement: For the supply of private education and private healthcare services to Saudi citizens, treated as “Zero Rated,” the inclusion of buyer details becomes a necessary component on the Simplified Tax Invoices. This enables the tax authorities to verify the eligibility for the zero-rated treatment.
  • Documentation and Reporting: To qualify for this zero-rated treatment, healthcare and education providers are likely to be required to maintain specific documentation that substantiates the provision of services to Saudi citizens and the corresponding tax treatment.
  • Government Reimbursement: Given that the Kingdom bears the VAT for these zero-rated services, providers may need to follow particular procedures to report this to the authorities and, if necessary, claim reimbursement.

Navigating the Potential Challenges

Different rules for different industries could complicate compliance for businesses operating in multiple sectors. It places an onus on companies to stay abreast of regulations that are not just changing but are also variable depending on the nature of the business.

The Current Scenario and Staying Informed

With the waves in full effect, it is paramount for businesses to remain informed through official channels, such as ZATCA’s official communications, and to consult with a tax professional for the most up-to-date and nuanced advice.


In the ever-evolving world of tax regulations, staying informed and compliant is key. While ZATCA's e-invoicing guidelines are designed to be universal across industries, specific rules and exceptions are built into the system to address unique scenarios, such as the special tax treatment for private healthcare and education services supplied to Saudi citizens. As always, the best practice for businesses is to engage with a tax professional and to keep a close eye on official announcements from ZATCA for the most accurate and current information.