Around 100 senior business leaders representing a range of sectors in the marketplace in the Kingdom of Bahrain attended the largest Tax seminar hosted by KPMG in Bahrain post-pandemic. The seminar highlighted the evolving Tax landscape in the GCC region, and the potential implications the transformation could have on businesses in the Kingdom and their respective regional operations.  

Mubeen Khadir, Partner and Head of Tax and Corporate Services, KPMG in Bahrain, explained the imperative for Tax and Finance leaders to keep track of the trends and changes and highlighted the importance of planning appropriately to ensure that tax does not become a cost to the business, during his keynote speech. “There is a misconception that the Gulf region is totally tax free. However, in actual fact, Kuwait, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have been applying Corporate Tax for many years on foreign companies. Similarly, Qatar and Oman, have also been applying Corporate Tax on both foreign and GCC owned businesses that operate within their jurisdictions. The United Arab Emirates recently announced their intent to introduce Corporate Tax for the Financial Years commencing on 1st June 2023. Therefore, the introduction of a Corporate Tax in Bahrain is more a question of ‘WHEN’ rather than ‘IF’ it will happen.” Khadir commented during the event.

Sameep Uchil, Director of International Tax at KPMG Lower Gulf, elaborated on the introduction of Corporate Tax in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and said “Next year, in-scope companies operating in the UAE with an annual revenue threshold of AED 375,000 (Approximately BHD 38,000) and above will need to pay an annual Corporate Tax at the rate of 9%. This will include UAE subsidiaries and branches of Bahrain entities and any Bahrain entities that may have their effective management and control in the UAE. This is an opportunity for businesses in Bahrain to learn from the UAE experience and take practical steps to ensure their readiness for when Corporate Tax will be introduced in Bahrain.”

During the event, KPMG’s Tax experts, Shashank Chandak and Ekansh Agrawal, also shared their insights on the key triggers for VAT audits by the National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) as well as best practices on dealing with VAT related disputes. The half-day event also provided the participants with the opportunity to network and share best practices in terms of their own operations. The seminar took place on Tuesday 21 June 2022 at the Downtown Rotana Hotel under the theme “The evolving tax landscape in the GCC