Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance (BIBF), in collaboration with MMJS Tax Consultancy recently held an awareness seminar at its premises, to ensure companies and business owners are ready for the implementation of the first phase of VAT on January 1, 2019, implemented on companies with sales exceeding BHD 5 million annually.
The seminar served as an awareness platform for the executives attending from various sectors to discuss and understand the type of changes businesses need to make to comply with the new tax environment in Bahrain.
More than 50 senior executives from the Kingdom’s business community attended the seminar to discuss the recently published VAT Law, its implications to Bahrain, and implementation challenges across the main economic sectors.
The main aim of this training session was to discuss all related implementation guidelines issued along with learnings from the regional VAT implementation experience, specifically form KSA and UAE. The training focuses on various business sectors including the Financial & Insurance sectors, Real Estate, Retail & Logistics, and future sessions are expected to provide more tax awareness for the upcoming year.
The seminar was led by MMJS Tax Consultancy and a team of experts in VAT implementation. The BIBF’s head of Banking, Accounting and Finance, Mr. Burhanu Deen Jayah, highlighted the importance of understanding the tax laws in its implications on business processes. The training session provided practical steps companies must take in the next few days to be VAT ready in time. Lessons to be learnt were shared from the UAE and Saudi Arabian experience as well as specific actions required in the context of the Bahrain environment and system.
“VAT will not only change the way we do business, but it will fundamentally change all aspects of doing business”, said Mr. Jayah. He also added, “All companies have to change their IT/ ERP systems, and train staff involved to handle the regulatory requirements in implementing VAT. Both supplies and purchases are to be streamlined and financial management becomes a key component in managing cash flows. VAT application and compliance will become a key risk management component for organisations in the future.”
The BIBF’s Director Dr. Ahmed Al Shaikh, stated, “The BIBF believes in quality of training and education and provides support to the financial services sector to manage their development needs in an effective manner. The BIBF has identified a critical knowledge gap among employees of many business organisations, especially after the announcement of Value Added Tax (VAT) and Excise Tax in the region by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).”
The BIBF is committed to educational and trainings needs in this emerging field of taxation and uses its resources to help manage the impact. In keeping with taxation training requirements, the BIBF recently launched its Tax Academy to provide knowledge, skills and Tax Management competencies by offering a flexible and comprehensive portfolio of training courses.