Weekly Spotlight: Bahraini Electricity and Water Authority Loses VAT Legal Case

This week the spotlight is on tax and finance developments in Bahrain, where VAT came into force on 1 January 2019. Elsewhere, a Bahraini lawyer brought a claim against the Electricity and Water Authority before the High Civil Court requesting the annulment of a VAT decision issued by the Authority.

The lawyer benefits from water and power services for non-commercial purposes who sent a utility bill requesting payment of 5% VAT on these services. He cited Article 9 of Bahrain Decree Law No. 48/2018 on VAT which says the Authority cannot charge VAT if it was offering the service as a sovereign body. They can only charge VAT if it is offering commercial activities like those offered by the private sector.

The court accepted the lawyer’s arguments and said the Authority didn’t have the right to charge nationals VAT for power and water if it is for non-commercial activities. The court requested the Authority cancel the decision and pay legal costs.

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