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Following the announcement on 29 November 2018 by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) that they will host meetings for companies and traders about VAT, the first briefing session for advisors and other stakeholders was held on Monday 3 December 2018. During the meeting, the MoF confirmed VAT registration will be done in phases:

  • Revenue threshold greater than BD5m – registration deadline of 20 December 2018 with an effective date of 1 January 2019
  • Revenue threshold above BD500K  and BD5m or less – registration deadline of 20 June 2019 with an effective date of 1 July 2019
  • Revenue threshold above BD37.5k and BD500K or less  – registration deadline of 20 December 2019 with an effective date of 1 January 2020
  • No threshold for non residents who meet the requirement to register – registration deadline of 20 December with an effective date of 1 January 2019

The MoF will open a portal for voluntary registration (for all businesses with turnover of BD18,750 or more) within the next week. The implementing regulations will be issued soon – although no precise date was provided. We will be issuing a VAT alert shortly on other matters covered including VAT on imports, zero rated and exempt supplies, deadline for filing of returns, tax agents, VAT grouping and a diagnostic VAT readiness survey.

With less than 20 working days left until VAT is implemented in Bahrain, there is limited time  for businesses with turnover of BD5m or more to ensure people, systems and the organisation itself are prepared for one of the most significant economic changes in Bahrain in living memory.

For more details on this or other VAT issues, contact Mubeen Khadir (mubeen.khadir@keypoint.com), George Campbell (george.campbell@keypoint.com) or another member of Bahrain’s leading VAT specialist team.

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