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Global Indirect Tax News


Global Indirect Tax News

Monthly newsletter covering VAT, goods and services tax, sales tax issues, and customs and trade issues around the globe.

January 2016

Featured articles:


  • Costa Rica: New technical regulation on pharmaceutical products and human medicinal products (imported and domestically produced).
  • United States: As part of the Chicago 2016 Budget Proposal, Mayor Emanuel recently signed the 2016 Revenue Ordinance (SO2015-7403), which amends various sections of the Chicago Revenue Ordinance, including the 'Lease Tax'.
  • United States-Iran: On 16 January 2016, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was fully implemented between the U.S. and Iran after the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran has implemented its key nuclear-related measures. Therefore, the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Controls has lifted certain sanctions on Iran.

Asia Pacific

  • India: The Supreme Court ruled that expenditure for pre-delivery inspection and after sale service was not included in the value for paying excise duty.
  • Kazakhstan: Export customs duty rates on crude oil have been reduced.
  • Malaysia: There have been amendments to GST regulations and orders, which took effect from 1 January 2016.
  • Malaysia: Malaysia is to introduce a new Customs online system for declaration, payment and clearance.
  • Singapore: There are revised security requirements for liquor and tobacco products.
  • China-Australia: The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement entered into force on 20 December 2015.
  • Kazakhstan: There is a further update on Kazakhstan’s accession to the World Trade Organization.
  • Korea: South Korea's three bilateral Free Trade Agreements with China, Vietnam and New Zealand entered into force on 20 December 2015.
  • Vietnam: Vietnam is to reduce import tariffs on auto parts by 2016.
  • Vietnam: The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement has been signed and concluded.


  • European Union: The Delegated Act and the Implementing Act of the Union Customs Code were officially published on 29 December 2015.
  • European Union: The European Commission has published the Combined Nomenclature applicable as of 1 January 2016.
  • Belgium: The Belgian VAT code has been aligned with the CJEU Skandia case.
  • Belgium: The reduced VAT rate of 6% now applies to the construction and renovation of certain school buildings.
  • Belgium: From 1 January 2016, only private dwellings that are in use for at least 10 years (previously 5) can benefit from the 6% VAT rate for renovation.
  • Croatia: There have been amendments to the Croatian VAT Regulations with effect from 8 December 2015; the most important of which relate to the treatment of food donations and the taxation of exchange rate differences in financial leasing arrangements.
  • Finland: There was an increase in the VAT registration threshold with effect from 1 January 2016.
  • Finland: There has been a court ruling on the right to deduct input VAT on purchases related to services both in scope and out of the scope of VAT.
  • Finland: A case concerning the deductibility of overhead costs has been resolved by the principle of protection of legitimate expectations.
  • Finland: There has been a case regarding the VAT liability of a non-profit organization.
  • France: The CJEU has ruled that airlines must pay VAT on sums paid for tickets that passengers did not use.
  • Gulf Cooperation Council: There have been recent reports and announcements in relation to the implementation of VAT in Gulf Cooperation Council member states.
  • Hungary: There has been a CJEU judgment on whether a cross-border licensing structure is ‘abusive’.
  • Italy: Stability Law 2016 has been published in the Official Gazette, including changes to the credit note rules, the statute of limitations and the VAT rates.
  • Italy: Italy is taking part in the Cross Border Rulings pilot project, set up by the EU VAT Forum.
  • Italy: Guidelines have been issued for drafting the Single Administrative Document.
  • Italy: Customs has set up a database of end-use authorizations.
  • Italy: Customs has issued a circular regarding payment via bank or postal transfer.
  • Italy: There has been clarification of some news on rulings and tax litigation, and of liability for administrative penalties.
  • Netherlands: There has been a CJEU judgment on the VAT treatment of the management of real estate investment funds.
  • Netherlands: Parliament has asked a third party to research whether the difference between the VAT treatment of Defined Contribution and Defined Benefits pension funds is justified based on CJEU case law.
  • Poland: A general ruling has been issued regarding the VAT rate for spare parts for medical devices.
  • Poland: The Single Audit File (SAF-T) is to be implemented in Poland from as early as July 2016.
  • Poland: There has been an Advocate General’s opinion in a CJEU case regarding the application of the VAT exemption for insurance services.
  • Portugal: Local government authorities and other entities under public law shall not be regarded as a taxable person in respect of the activity of solid waste management if they engage in the provision of these services as public authorities where the daily production of solid waste does not exceed 1,100 liters/ person.
  • Portugal: There has been clarification that fees charged for real estate valuation under the management of credit guarantees are VAT exempt.
  • Ukraine: The temporary import surcharge has been abolished.
  • United Kingdom: New regulations deal with partial exemption and overseas branches, following the CJEU decision in the French case of Société le Crédit Lyonnais.
  • United Kingdom: Local authorities lose the 'car parking VAT' case in the Court of Appeal.
  • United Kingdom: HMRC have released further guidance on VAT groups and the Skandia America judgment.
  • EU-Iran: From 16 January 2016, some of the EU sanctions against Iran have been lifted following the ‘Implementation Day’ of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
  • EU-Vietnam: The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement has been signed and concluded.
  • Ukraine: There have been changes to the trade regime with the Russian Federation.
  • Ukraine: The DCFTA between Ukraine and EU became operative from 1 January 2016.

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