NBR conducted 375 inspection visits last May and June

The National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) has conducted 375 inspection visits within the local markets of the governorates of Bahrain during May and June 2023.

The campaigns resulted in reporting violations that required the imposition of administrative fines in accordance with the VAT & Excise Law, in addition to monitoring several suspicions of VAT and excise evasion that may require the precautionary closing of several businesses.

The NBR will take legal action against the violating businesses, and refer those who are proven to have committed one of the evasion crimes to the competent authorities to initiate a criminal case against them, which may be punishable by imprisonment for five years and a fine equivalent to three times the amount of VAT due according to the VAT law, or by imprisonment for one year and a fine equivalent to double the evaded excise according to the Excise law.

These campaigns were organised as a part of NBR’s ongoing oversight efforts to protect consumer rights and enhance the level of business compliance, to ensure the effective implementation of VAT and excise, which includes the implementation of the Digital Stamps Scheme on cigarette and waterpipe tobacco “molasses” products to guarantee that businesses are aware of the Scheme and the mandatory presence of digital stamps on all cigarette and waterpipe tobacco “molasses” products available in the local markets, in addition to spreading the necessary awareness of the procedures to be pursued.

These efforts come as part of the regular inspection and control procedures that are carried out using cutting-edge tools adopted by the NBR during inspections, that contribute to addressing tax evasion, and preventing the possession, trade, sale, or supply of products that have not fulfilled their VAT or excise obligations, which includes the Digital Stamps Scheme on cigarette products entered into force on October 16, 2022 in the local markets and extended to include the waterpipe tobacco “molasses” products which entered into force on June 18, 2023.

The NBR also confirmed the continuation of inspection campaigns aiming to urge all businesses registered with the NBR to adhere to the application of legislation such as the commitment to issue VAT invoices for all supplies while ensuring that they meet the conditions and provisions.

Furthermore, to ensuring that the showed price of the goods and services is inclusive of VATand ensuring to place the VAT registration certificate in a visible place in the establishment, amongst other commitments to prevent violations and to ensure the success of the various stages of implementation.

NBR has confirmed that all the companies, establishments and individuals whom their annual supplies exceeds the mandatory registration threshold, which is 37,500 BD need to complete the process of the registration for VAT purposes to avoid taking legal actions against them, as it is considered as one of the VAT evasion cases which will be punished by imprisonment for a period of five years, and by a fine three times of the amount of the VAT due in accordance with the VAT law.

For inquiries related to VAT and excise or to report any violations, the NBR call center can be reached at 80008001 or through the National Suggestions & Complaints System (Tawasul), vat@nbr.gov.bh for VAT related queries and ds@nbr.gov.bh for Digital Stamps Scheme queries.

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