Bahrain to implement VAT effective 1 January 2019

Based on a recent report by Gulf Daily News, the parliament in Bahrain has today approved that the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) will be effective starting 1 January 2019 at the expected standard rate of 5%.

The announcement of this is a further reason for businesses to accelerate their VAT readiness preparations as there is now a definitive date for the tax to become effective.  The introduction of VAT will be a big challenge for the local Bahrain market. Businesses from a largely non-tax environment will be required to meet significant obligations critical to the operation of the new VAT system.

Deloitte is running a series of initiatives to help businesses in Bahrain to best prepare:

VAT awareness seminar:

Deloitte is holding an additional series of awareness seminars in Bahrain. The first event in Bahrain will be held in November and will be covering VAT fundamentals, the best approach for getting up to speed on key-aspects and reaching day one readiness in addition to the lessons learnt from the recent VAT introduction in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).  The full invite will follow. In the meantime if you want to register please get in touch.

Deloitte’s approach and methodology for VAT introduction:

Deloitte has developed an approach and methodology to support businesses during this crucial time. This document, available in English and Arabic, provides helpful tips on how to best prepare for VAT, as well as actions that should already be under way.

Deloitte’s VAT in the GCC mobile app:

To further assist businesses, Deloitte has recently launched its new updated version of the “VAT in the GCC Guide” mobile app in Arabic and English to help businesses in their readiness phase. It will obviously track the position as Bahrain progresses to implementation of VAT. 

Further with the prospect of the three GCC member states that have yet to announce the date for implementing VAT likely to begin releasing information relating to their implementation processes shortly, keeping track of the laws and regulations will be increasingly important.  The app allows all the updated information to be stored in one place shortly after being released by the authorities.

From our VAT implementation experience in the UAE, KSA and other countries, businesses need to start preparing early, to ensure readiness and day one compliance. With a limited time between this announcement and implementation date, it would be advisable for businesses to secure assistance for the implementation of VAT as a matter of priority.

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