Embargoed until 11 February

Manama, 11 February 2018

Following the introduction of VAT in Saudi Arabia and the UAE on 1 January, and as Bahrain and the other GCC countries begin preparations for implementation, Keypoint has hosted a VAT practicalities workshop. Featuring a brief review of VAT fundamentals, a panel discussion, an overview of legislative and administrative changes and a workshop on the VAT return preparation and review process, the seminar was attended by over 70 senior executives from across the GCC.

“Knowledge transfer is a critical component of all the work we do,” explained Mubeen Khadir, the head of Keypoint’s tax team. “Seminars like this are just one way that we help key decision makers understand not only the technical ramifications of VAT, but some of the practical challenges that businesses may face in complying with the rules, as well as the long-term, significant changes that VAT has already introduced in Saudi Arabia and the UAE – and will bring to Bahrain and the other GCC countries.”

Khadir and George Campbell, a chartered tax adviser and an associate director in Keypoint’s VAT team, were members of the panel which also included Derek O’Herlihy, the program manager at Arab National Bank in Riyadh, Ahmed Mukhtar, the head of Governance, Risk and Compliance at Ali Zaid Al Qureshi & Brothers in Al-Khobar, and Abdullah Al-Arfaj, the group financial controller at the Arab Paper Manufacturing Company, a listed Saudi paper and corrugated card manufacturer. “Derek, Ahmed and Abdullah have just been through the VAT implementation process and their ‘war stories’ – what they got right and (equally importantly) their most difficult challenges – were a well-received part of the seminar,” explained Campbell.

The seminar also included an overview of legislative and administrative updates over the last six weeks. Chris Park, a New Zealand-qualified VAT lawyer and a manager with Keypoint’s tax team who has worked on VAT implementations in both Malaysia and the GCC with a range of professional services firms, said that businesses in Saudi Arabia and the UAE should expect further developments and clarifications to be issued by the tax authorities. “Staying up to date with new developments will be key to being – and remaining - VAT-compliant. Since VAT was introduced, the tax authorities in both countries have released a number of tools and guidelines, aimed at smoothing the VAT process for both businesses and consumers. Bahrain – and the other GCC countries – will benefit hugely from learning from the successes, as well as the failures, of these updates.”

About Keypoint
Keypoint is one of the GCC’s most comprehensive professional business advisory services providers. Our services – including statutory and corporate advisory, accounting solutions, investment administration services,  tax services, human capital solutions, IT consulting, management consulting, financial regulatory compliance advisory and trustee services – are valued by a wide range of clients, from large corporations and financial services and insurance institutions to family-managed conglomerates and single owner companies.

Our vision is to be the region’s leading professional business services provider by consistently providing a full range of business services that are:

  • Reliable
  • Cost-effective
  • Smart

Our team, all based in Bahrain with immediate access to Saudi Arabia, includes VAT implementation specialists and technology specialists.

About Keypoint's tax services
Keypoint has the largest specialist on-the-ground VAT and IT implementation team serving Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Currently delivering VAT engagements locally in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC, our team has worked on numerous VAT implementation engagements in sectors including financial services and insurance, oil & gas, real estate and construction, family businesses, automotive and healthcare.

For more details, please contact:
Tom Gilbert
Head | Business Development
+973 17206825 | +973 38338643