18 April 2019
This TaxFlash has been designed to keep our valued clients up-to-date with relevant VAT developments. Please contact the Keypoint VAT team if you have any questions about this TaxFlash. Click here if you'd like to be added to our mailing list.
  • With eight working days left until the first VAT return is due, we understand a number of businesses in Bahrain are still awaiting the NBR VAT return guide. Businesses that have not yet received a return guide should contact their assigned NBR relationship manager as soon as possible.
  • On 17 April 2019, senior members from the Keypoint tax team presented to a packed room of finance managers from companies located within the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP). The session was focused on preparation of VAT returns and how to review a VAT return, as well as recent regulatory updates.
  • On 16 April 2019, a draft law to impose a 5% tax on expatriates' remittances sent to their home country was approved by the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee and submitted to the National Assembly for further consideration.
  • On 18 April 2019, Zainab Mearaj and Mohamed Isa from the Keypoint tax team led a full-day workshop on VAT. The workshop covered the fundamentals of VAT, VAT accounting and the practicals of VAT compliance and reporting requirements. 
  • On 15 April 2019, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) published a users' guide on VAT refunds for business visitors. The guide clarifies:
    • Who can claim a refund 
    • When a refund can be claimed 
    • Information needed to complete a refund form
    • When to submit an application to the FTA 
    • How to complete a refund form
    • How and when to submit the refund form
    • How - and why - to resubmit a refund form
Saudi Arabia
  • On 14 April 2019, the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) stated that directors do not need to separately register for VAT purposes in respect of their board remuneration. Board members have been assessed as not completely independent of the company they represent and so do not count as persons subject to tax. However, directors still need to assess whether they may have a registration requirement due to their other business activities.
  • No updates for this period
  • No updates for this period
Technical tips
Preparing and reviewing VAT returns

In the lead up to this month's first lodgement for Bahrain's largest businesses, we have reviewed many VAT returns and suggest some quick wins:
  • Double check the details of tax invoices against the NBR VAT payer lookup tool before recovering input tax.
  • Consider VAT return labels and ensure transactions are assigned correctly.
  • The Customs bayan must specify your organisation as the importer of record if you want to recover input tax.
  • If using Excel, ensure formulas are linked correctly.
  • Don't leave your review - or submission - until the last minute.
What if I am unable to make my VAT payments to the NBR? 

If you think you will be unable to make a VAT payment, you can apply to the NBR to pay in instalments for a particular VAT period. Applicants must show that they are unable to fully pay the amount of VAT within the period specified in Bahrain's VAT legislation. Once a request has been submitted, the NBR will accept or reject within thirty days. If an application is approved, instalments must be paid within the periods set in the application acceptance or all remaining instalments become due immediately.

Our services
Our post-implementation services include VAT health-checks, advisory retainer support and VAT return reviews, giving you comfort that your VAT return preparation process is robust. Click on the image for more details on how we can assist you with managing your VAT compliance and other obligations - or speak to your regular Keypoint contact for more details:

Mubeen Khadir | Head of Tax | +973 1720 6879

Mark Gamble | Senior Manager  | +973 1720 6872

Raman Ohri | Senior Manager | +973 1720 6814

Sheikh Omar Hisham | Manager | +973 1720 6877

Willem Bam | Manager | +973 1720 6875

Tariq Haq | Manager | +973 1710 3480

Tushar Kashikar | Manager | +973 1710 3470


TaxFlash is intended to provide general updates in relation to tax in the GCC. It is not a substitute for professional advice. You should seek appropriate professional advice from a tax advisor before making any decision relating to your particular circumstances.
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