With Bahrain's VAT commencing 1 January 2019, the country is making a significant leap in their economic front. The introduction is a result of the GCC nation's VAT implementation agreement, under which, the states should have VAT in place by the start of 2019.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have already implemented VAT at the agreed upon rate of 5%, though they are still making additions and will continue to do so. Examples of this include the UAE's VAT refund scheme.
Bahrain is already looking to apply incentives and resident friendly caveats to the VAT, such as exempting personal imports (of particular value) from VAT.
What is the Exception?
Personal imports and gifts that are brought into Bahrain from foreign nations will be free of VAT so long as the value of the goods is below Bahraini Dinar 300. This news was announced by the Customs Affairs; this entity coordinates with the principal tax authority in Bahrain, the National Bureau for Taxation.
The exception is excellent news to residents of the country as they will be aware that VAT will not be applied to every small item they bring into the country.
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