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Bahrain progresses VAT e-invoicing launch update – 2024

National Bureau for Revenue set-up consultations with industry on launch plans for e-invoicing

The Bahrain NBR is organising a serious of consultations and workshops with major businesses around launch plans for electronic invoicing. This will be review potential technical standards, launch planning and to review the benefits for businesses.

July 2022: Bahraini National Bureau for Revenue issues e-invoice launch tendor following public survey – possible January 2024 launch

The Bahrain NBR has been seeking proposals for the introduction of an e-invoicing regime. This follows a public survey earlier this year. Bahrain is likely to follow the Saudi model or first requiring taxpayers to be able to issue and receive e-invoices before going on to a government pre-clearance model.

There is no launch date made public yet; but January 2024 is a likely date given the time required to develop a framework, create IT systems and allow businesses to prepare.

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Feb 2022: Taxpayer invoicing mandatory survey signals plans for e-invoicing

The Kindgdom of Bahrain’s National Bureau for Revenue has launched survey to estimate the volumes and natures of VAT invoicing in the Arab Gulf island.  Thins includes taking a mandatory questionnaire on invoicing pattern volumes and the use of e-invoicing.  This information is likely to be used in the preparations for the introduction of electronic invoicing.

This could include Continuous Transaction Control model (see below) which would oblige VAT registered business to live report their sales invoices to the NBR prior to them becoming valid for forwarding their customers.

CTC e-invoicing and real-time models

Invoice reporting model Examples Features
1. Real time invoice reporting Spain, Hungary, South Korea Invoice listing submitted immediately after invoice issued
No acceptance or regulation of invoice by tax authorities
2. Central platform exchange Italy, Turkey Platform responsible for invoice forwarding to customer
Customer or receiver may review and reject invoice
3. Central clearance Govt platform accepts invoices, validates, and buyer acknowledges invoice
Brazil, Colombia Pre-clearance variation - clearance before invoice exchange
Chile, Costa Rica Post-clearance - clearance short time after exchange
Document types not regulated and therefore inconsistent and may resort to email and similar
4. Decentralised clearance Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, France Certified e-invoice agent (PAC) submitts inoices
Document types not regulated and therefore inconsistent and may resort to email and similar

Arab Gulf e-invoicing gathers pace

The 2023 Oman e-invoice plans are likely to start with a voluntary phase and is in the course of vendor selection process. Saudi Arabia e-invoicing was introduced in December 2021.  UAE electronic invoicing may commence before 2023.

The six Arab Gulf states agreed to implement VAT in 2017. So far, only Kuwait and Qatar have failed to do so. Bahrain introduced VAT in January 2019.

Middle East & Africa e-invoicing

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