KPMG in Bahrain recently hosted a Tax and VAT awareness seminar to discuss the key learnings and what to expect going forward as the kingdom approaches the 1,000 days milestone since the introduction of VAT.
The event was attended by more than 120 representatives from the local and international business community to learn from KPMG’s Tax experts about the impact from VAT and other taxes on the marketplace. Partner and Head of Tax and Corporate Services at KPMG in Bahrain, Mubeen Khadir, the keynote speaker, was joined by Omar Hisham, Tax and Corporate Services Senior Manager, and Shashank Chandak, Tax and Corporate Services Manager at KPMG in Bahrain.
During his opening, Mubeen Khadir commented: “We are witnessing several tax reforms that would change and shape the tax landscape in Bahrain over the coming years – from the already introduced Economic Substance Rules (ESR), Country by Country (CbC) reporting requirements to the potential for corporate tax as a result of the historic agreement by 130 countries on a global minimum tax.”
Omar Hisham elaborated on key VAT updates and said: “Since the implementation of VAT in Bahrain, the NBR has issued more than 20 guides and 6 public clarifications. Until last year, certain NBR services or requests, such as VAT group registration applications and assessment review requests, were being processed via email. Today, taxpayers do not have to navigate through such complexities. The NBR has successfully revamped their website, centralising all VAT information and services in one place for the convenience of all businesses. A very useful facility on the NBR portal is the ability to obtain tax rulings on the NBR’s view in relation to specific tax positions. I believe this will help bring about a lot of certainty and clarity to many taxpayers when it comes to complex and large transactions.”
Shashank Chandak reflected on the previous VAT cycles and showcased some of the key challenges faced. “Late tax filing, late payments and incorrect VAT treatment are among the key challenges faced by taxpayers in Bahrain. Depending on the period of default, the NBR has applied late filing and late payment penalties of up to 51% of the tax amount.”
The event was held on July 14, 2021 as a virtual webinar. With the great success of this event the KPMG Bahrain team is planning to run a similar event in Arabic in early August. -- TradeArabia News Service