Bahrain has now issued its VAT Draft Law in Arabic and approved the introduction of VAT effective from 1 January 2019 at the expected standard rate of 5% The Gulf region (including the Kingdom of Bahrain), has long been considered an attractive and low-tax environment. However, to keep up with the changing economic landscape and as part of wider development reforms, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states signed a framework agreement to introduce Value-Added Tax (VAT) on the supply of goods and services at a standard rate of 5%, in 2018. Implementing VAT will have implications for businesses and new taxpayers, both in Bahrain and abroad, directly and/or indirectly.
However, a broad-based VAT at a low rate is unlikely to deter investment into Bahrain, or the surrounding region, whose appeal stretches much further than its low-tax status.“The current absence of published domestic VAT legislation in Bahrain should not stop companies from getting ready as the underlying principles for VAT treatment are clear and known, whereby global indirect taxes best practice gives valuable insights. In addition to on-going compliance, early preparation can enhance continuous cash-flow, minimize VAT impact on the company’s finances, avoid exposure in ongoing supply contracts and streamline operations to manage VAT effciently” SURVEY – KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN
Given the speedy progress Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are making in rolling out their local Value-added Tax (VAT) legislation, VAT will soon be a reality and compliance formalities will start affecting businesses even before VAT goes live in Bahrain. The introduction of VAT will introduce new revenue streams for government, encourage foreign investment and aid the diversification of the economy.
Yet its introduction should be seen as an organization-wide challenge: it should not be left to finance and IT functions to manage overnight. Companies should also not wait until the laws and regulations are finalized to start the process; much of the preparation should be done already.
We hope this conference goes some way to informing businesses across the GCC about what they need to do to be VAT compliant, given we have only few days to go before the implementation date.
The lack of preparation is a concern; companies should be using the pre-implementation period wisely to understand compliance, legal obligations and the financial risk associated with VAT. While the overwhelming majority realize it will affect their business, only a minority have a clear plan of how to effectively manage such a significant fiscal reform.
Tax advisors and professional accountants connected to the region have been working hard to understand the changes and help businesses navigate the transition successfully. This process needs to start now, otherwise companies could risk fines and avoidable regulatory burden. Businesses in the GCC should urgently seek out the guidance of tax advisors and create a roadmap to make themselves VAT ready for 2018.
Analysis of the GCC VAT
Definitions and General Principles
Each research group specializes in at least one target area of research, while management are free to participate in several groups and work in a range of focus areas. CEO’s, Decision Makers, Subject Matter Experts are responsible for building mutual connections between the focus research areas of VAT.
This program is developed for senior-level professionals involved in Taxation Policies at a strategic and decision-making level, such as:
Bahrain has always aimed to enhance awareness of topical issues that confront today's business enterprises. Issues such as the effects of the current tax regimes on levels of foreign investment, the problems involved in integrating domestic tax reforms with existing international tax treaties and arrangements, international tax avoidance and efforts to prevent it; the existence and impact of tax havens and other low-tax jurisdictions are all of utmost important. Kingdom of Bahrain, as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, need to take into account how various International taxation issues will affect us.
Therefore, to present a wider perspective of contemporary national taxation typical issues and procedures and offer insight into issues that impinge the growth of international trade and commerce, NexRise is organizing its 1st VAT: National Aspects Conference as per the following schedule.
The VAT: National Aspects’19 will be held at Gulf Hotel, Kingdom of Bahrain. This event brings together over 250 attendees from a variety of Industries. VAT’19 dedicates to support the mission of the business communities by expanding and improving experience on VAT that prepare the management professionals to thrive in a diverse environment. We are committed to promoting diversity by increasing awareness of and valuing the differences among the prospective and current situations.
VAT’19 showcases the best Speakers, CEO’s, CFO’s, Subject Matter Experts speaking on the hottest topics which gives our attendees a valued learning experience on the latest and upcoming taxation policies. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to reach industry professionals, CFO’s, and strategic decision makers representing many companies from all industries at this conference, one of the important of its kind. Sponsorships and Exhibitor entitlements are limited and space will be reserved on first-come, first-serve basis. Sponsorship and Exhibit contracts are due by October 31, 2018. We will keep a wait list if any additional space becomes available.
To exhibit, sponsor, partnering or if you have any queries about the conference, please contact us