The VAT Law in Bahrain

VAT GCC: The VAT Law in Bahrain


The Value Added Tax (VAT) Law has now been published in the Kingdom of Bahrain, in Arabic. The official translation is still pending, in the meantime unofficial translations have already been performed. The law, as expected, is in line with the Unified GCC Agreement for VAT and the laws already published and implemented in the UAE and the KSA.

There are, however, some differences which will become more apparent once the Executive Regulations are published in Bahrain. It is expected that the Executive Regulations will be published shortly, as the time between now and 1 January 2019 is limited.

Based on the readings so far it appears that the key differences will be in the areas of Zero-Rating and Exemption provisions. The differences arise in the zero-rating of basic food items and local transport services; both of which have alternate treatments in the UAE and the KSA.

In the main, however, the fundamental operation of VAT will be in line with the UAE and the KSA. A key example of similarity would be the sizeable penalties imposed as an incentive to comply with the laws and regulations, with the ultimate penalty of imprisonment in extreme cases.

Businesses in Bahrain must begin their preparations for VAT as soon as possible, as time is already short. The recommended course of action is to bring a professional consultant on board who can lead this effort in a well organised and timely manner.

As you are reading this blog, we urge you to read the previous blogs on this site as they are equally applicable to VAT implementation in Bahrain as they were to UAE and KSA. Please click here to go to our blog index.

We, at VatMan Gulf, have successfully guided our clients in UAE through the implementation process and are well positioned to use this experience to assist SMEs in Bahrain to prepare for VAT. Please visit our website at to learn more about our approach to suit all budgets.


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Written by: Azeem Zafar, founder and CEO of VatMan Gulf Limited.

VatMan Gulf is the first choice for businesses requiring VAT specialist services in UAE and the rest of the GCC. We provide the best client experience and deliver value for money. VMG’s mission is to provide a VAT focused service; thus differentiating itself from the majority of firms in the region that take a very general accounting approach. At VatMan Gulf we stay well versed on VAT law developments, providing a comprehensive service that includes, but is not limited to, imparting VAT knowledge, implementing training procedures and ensuring VAT compliance on a continual basis.


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