The parliament in Bahrain has today approved the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) which will be effective starting 1 January 2019 at the expected standard rate of 5%, based on a recent report by Gulf Daily News. With the aim to support businesses in Bahrain, Deloitte has been regularly holding series of awareness seminars to make companies ready for VAT. Being prepared is critical because VAT is generally a self-assessed tax, with errors often subject to severe penalties and business disruption. Businesses that have been operating in a largely non-tax environment should have started to prepare and analyze in detail what the implications of the new tax will be.
During October 2018, Deloitte will hold a new series of tax seminars which 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).
Deloitte has recently also launched its new version of the “VAT in the GCC Guide” mobile app in Arabic and English to help businesses in their readiness phase. With the prospect of the four (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar) GCC member states that have yet to implement 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.
“The introduction of VAT will be a big challenge for the local Bahrain market. Business now have less than four months to be prepared for these changes. If organizations have so far have not yet started, they should immediately start assessing the impact of the tax on their operations, commercial and pricing strategy and impact on their IT and financial reporting systems. Our extensive VAT implementation experience in the UAE, KSA and other countries coupled with our active presence in the region, has enabled us to develop a practical and scalable approach to support client requirements throughout the implementation and beyond”, said Michael Camburn, Bahrain Indirect Tax Leader at Deloitte Middle East.