Bahrain and other Gulf countries are likely to miss a January 2018 deadline to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) according to experts. “There is still no clarity on how VAT will be introduced in the Gulf countries, which makes it highly unlikely the new taxation system will be implemented by next year,” said PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partner Ken Healy.
VAT is a tax that customers pay when they buy goods. VAT implementation will be applied on transactions such as car sales, restaurants or hotels, hiring services of accountants or lawyers. Healy added “Businesses will have to file tax returns, which is a challenge, either monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly”.
Alexis Antoniades, International Economic Faculty Director at Georgetown University Qatar said that “VAT at a rate of 5% in Gulf States will not result in big revenues in the first year, and over the years, that rate will change”. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year proposed VAT of 10% in the Gulf and recommended other taxes, such as income tax, property tax, and a 15% tax on business profits.