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What is VAT?!
Value Added Tax; is a tax on the amount by which the value of an article has been increased at each stage of its production or distribution.
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Bahrain passes consumer-friendly Value Added Tax (VAT) Law
The Value Added Tax (VAT) Law in Bahrain has been published and confirms that VAT will be introduced in Bahrain on 1 January 2019.
The Bahrain VAT Law differs from the VAT rules of the United Arab (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in particular around the zero-rating and VAT exemption provisions.
The Bahrain VAT Law has now been published and sets out the general principles for the application of VAT in Bahrain. In line with the Unified GCC Agreement for Value Added Tax (VAT), VAT will be implemented in Bahrain on 1 January 2019.
It is expected that the VAT Executive Regulations will be published in the relatively near future and will provide more detail on specific areas of the Law. However, the Law sets out a number of differences from the VAT Laws that have been already been implemented in the KSA and the UAE.
Some of these key differences relate to the zero-rating and VAT exemption provisions in the Law. In particular, it is expected that Bahrain will apply the zero-rate on basic food items, the construction of new buildings, education and healthcare services, local transport services, as well as oil and gas and derivatives. The sale and lease of real estate as well as certain financial services (i.e. those with an implicit fee) and life insurance/reinsurance will be exempt from VAT. Financial services provided for an explicit fee including account management, certain trade finance services and fund management will be subject to standard rate VAT. Standard rate VAT will also apply to non-life insurance/reinsurance.
A separate decree establishing a new tax authority in Bahrain has also been published.
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With the VAT implementation date now confirmed to be 1 January 2019, businesses with activities in Bahrain will need to consider the implications of the law on their business and ensure that they are ready to comply with the Bahrain VAT requirements by the go live date.
For a link to the VAT Law, please visit the following website:
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