VAT News

All the latest stories from the world of international and cross-border VAT.

Romania | VAT refund procedures to change for high-risk taxpayers from 01 May 2017

Romania recently made a change in the procedure for approving Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds from VAT returns which has been published in Romania’s official journal.

In brief, the change will mean that taxpayers identified as high-risk will qualify to receive a refund only after an audit. These high-risk taxpayers will be registered in a special database, which will be managed by a specialised department.

When any of the following conditions is met, a tax payer will be regarded as high-risk:

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Nigeria | Proposal to increase VAT on Yacht, Champagne and other luxury items

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun recently announced that the cabinet had approved the amended national tax policy.

Nigeria has one of the lowest VAT rates at just 5%, which was introduced in 1994 and currently, those taxes represent only 6% of the country gross domestic product (GDP), making it one of the lowest tax to GDP ratio in the world. Also, the country has strong challenges with collecting taxes because a lot of small businesses are not VAT registered.

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EU-Norway | VAT information reciprocity arrangement

The European Commission has announced that negotiations between the European Union and Norway on cooperation in the field of VAT have been successfully completed.

The negotiations started in June 2015 and have focused on establishing a common framework for tackling issues related to VAT recovery assistance and combating VAT fraud.

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Serbia | Amendments to VAT Law

The Serbian Parliament has recently adopted amendments to the VAT law in order to harmonise its legislation further with the over-riding EU regulations.

The main changes to take place concerned the obligation to register for foreign companies and the place of supply of services.  These new rules came into force respectively in January and April 2017 and details are provided below:

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UK | Use and Enjoyment provision for telecommunication services to be removed

As outlined during the UK’s recent budget, HMRC are currently holding a consultation for comments on their plan to remove the use and enjoyment provisions that currently apply to telecommunication services for private consumers.

At the moment, if a UK consumer uses or enjoys a telecommunication service outside of the EU then that supply is not subject to UK VAT.  This is because the “use and enjoyment” rules deem the supply to be outside the scope of UK VAT.  Under the UK’s proposed new legislation though from 1 August 2017, that supply will become subject to UK VAT.

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EU | Reduced VAT rates for e-books a step closer

The EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has voted by a majority of 48 to 1 (with 2 abstentions) to back an EU Commission proposal for e-books to be subject to the reduced rate of VAT.

As mentioned in our previous news article, supplies of physical books may be subject to the reduced rate of VAT (including a zero rate in some countries, like the UK) but the standard rate applies to e-books.  The EU’s rapporteur Tom Vandenkendelaere stated after the vote that:

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Greece | Clarifications on credit notes issued for VAT charged incorrectly

Following the introduction in 2015 of credit notes as a means of correcting certain types of transactions, the Greek Government has issued several clarifications on the matter in a circular letter published recently.

The circular letter issued by the government states that credit notes can be issued in relation to transactions prior to 2015 but only if they do not exceed the statute of limitation time limit (5 years).

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