25 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 three working days left until the first VAT return is due, businesses in Bahrain are still awaiting the NBR VAT return guide. If you have questions regarding the preparation of your return, contact your tax adviser or assigned NBR relationship manager as soon as possible.
  • On 21 April 2019, the National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) announced workshops for business required to register for VAT from 1 July 2019.  Businesses can register for the workshops using a registration page on the NBR's website.  
  • On 21 April 2019, Customs President Shaikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa announced that customs revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was estimated to be BD52.1m, up by 6.3% on the first quarter of 2018.
  • Local reports in Bahrain suggest that a store which charged customers VAT without registering for VAT had been fined BD1,000/-.
Saudi Arabia
  • The head of the trade body for Dubai’s jewellery industry has called for more support for an industry impacted by the imposition of VAT and customs duty in the last two years. Tawhid Abdulla, chairman of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group and CEO of the Damas jewellery business, asked for government support for local industry and called on the World Gold Council to help establish a global body to promote gold.
  • The UAE saw a 2.39 percent drop in its annual consumer price index in January – mainly as a result of UAE real estate oversupply – which suggests that the impact of VAT has – in general - dissipated.
  • According to the latest UAE travel snapshot released by Visa, visitors to the UAE spent US$6.2b with their cards while visiting the UAE in 2018, a four percent year-on-year increase.
  • Zainab Mearaj and Mohamed Isa delivered a workshop for over 60 key decision makers in Kuwait on 18 April. With a mixture of attendees from the public and private sector, the workshop (and the connected VAT conference) was an indication that Kuwait is still pressing ahead with VAT implementation, although there have been few clear indications as to when this might happen.
  • No updates for this period
  • No updates for this period
Technical tips
Preparing and reviewing VAT returns
Continuing on from our suggested quick wins in last week's TaxFlash, we have set out some additional points to consider when preparing and reviewing VAT returns:
  • Check date of supply rules to ensure you are reporting transactions in the correct tax period.
  • Where making supplies to walk-in customers, check the simplified tax invoice rules.
  • If zero-rating for new construction, consider whether you need a certificate confirming the construction is for a new building.
  • If issuing credit notes, ensure all documentation is correct.
What documents do I need to be able to deduct input VAT?

For a registered business to deduct input VAT, retain:

  1. Valid tax invoices (as set out in the VAT law) for all goods and services acquired

  2. Customs documents for imports which indicate that the business is the importer of the goods in accordance with GCC customs law - ensure the bayan contains the correct name and TIN 

When can I recover paid input VAT?

Generally, you have five years to claim Bahrain input VAT - so if you are struggling to meet filing deadlines, consider delaying the input VAT recovery to a later tax period.
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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