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.

April 2017


  • OECD: At the Fourth Meeting of the OECD Global Forum on VAT, the VAT/GST Recommendation was released, incorporating the International VAT/GST Guidelines.


  • Canada: On 23 March 2017, the rate of Provincial Sales Tax in Saskatchewan increased from 5% to 6%.
  • Colombia: The Tax and Customs Administration has clarified that the withholding tax for VAT generated on digital services provided abroad came into force on 1 January 2017.
  • Colombia: The Government has published a draft decree to regulate the VAT exclusion for digital services.
  • Colombia: The Government has published a draft decree to regulate the VAT exclusion for personal computers and smart mobile devices.
  • United States: The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services Commissioner has announced that economic nexus standard will be enforced against some remote sellers.
  • United States: The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has issued a directive adopting a 'bright line' economic nexus rule for some remote sellers.

Asia Pacific

  • Australia: The tariff concession system rules have been changed, making it easier for Australian manufacturers to oppose duty free treatment for imports.
  • China: The customs declaration reporting requirements have been revised.
  • Indonesia: There are regulations on import duty rates in the context of the:
    • ASEAN Trade In Goods Agreement;
    • ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area;
    • ASEAN-China Free Trade Area;
    • ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area;
    • Agreement between the Republic of Indonesia and Japan on an Economic Partnership;
    • Preferential Trade Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  • Indonesia: Guidelines have been released regarding the criteria to obtain the facility of Import Duty Borne by the Government.
  • Indonesia: There has been an adjustment to the classification of goods subject to provisions on the export and import prohibition and limitation based on the goods classification system.
  • Indonesia: Plastic excise is to be applied this year.
  • Malaysia: The GST General, Supply, Import, Free Zone, and Accounting Software Guides have been updated.
  • Malaysia: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has indicated that they intend to issue a number of GST public rulings this year.
  • Malaysia: There is a report on some of the key messages from the recent National GST Conference 2017.
  • Malaysia: A new tourism tax is to be introduced.
  • South Korea: The Korea Customs Service has introduced an Annual Import Tax Settlement Report Program for AEO.
  • South Korea: The Korea Customs Service will allow transfer price adjustments to be reflected in customs values.
  • Taiwan: VAT rules governing nonresident suppliers of e-services have been announced.


  • Southern African Customs Union: The Annex to the SACU Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance entered into force on 8 March 2017.
  • Cyprus: Following the introduction of recent legislation, the electronic (online) submission of VAT returns will become mandatory as of 2 May 2017.
  • Cyprus: On 27 January 2017, the House of Representatives approved a new law regulating the settlement of overdue taxes providing for a scheme that allows eligible taxable persons to apply for the payment of their overdue VAT liabilities through a regulated instalment scheme which also grants some relief on interest and/or penalties.
  • France: Questions have been referred to the CJEU in the Morgan Stanley case on input tax recovery by a branch.
  • France: Non-EU companies must appoint a VAT representative when registering for VAT in France except if they are located in a country that has signed a treaty with France including assistance for the recovery of tax debts. This list of countries has been updated.
  • France: The VAT return has been modified.
  • Gulf Cooperation Council: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has published new VAT information on its website in the form of FAQs, aimed to provide basic information for businesses on the introduction of VAT in the KSA.
  • Gulf Cooperation Council: Also in the KSA, draft excise legislation has been approved by the Shurah Council and a version of the draft excise legislation has been published. Impacted taxpayers are now able to register for excise duty.
  • Gulf Cooperation Council: The Ministry of Finance in the United Arab Emirates has recently launched a series of VAT and excise awareness sessions to present to advisors and businesses on the progress of VAT and excise implementation.
  • Italy: On 24 April 2017, the Manovrina or 'Integrative Budget Law' was enacted on urgent financial measures, including significant VAT changes relating to:
    • The split payment rules;
    • VAT deductions; and
    • VAT credit offsetting.
  • Italy: A new form has been introduced for the withdrawal of goods from a VAT warehouse.
  • Italy: Updated instructions have been issued for the TR form.
  • Italy: Clarifications have been issued in relation to art. 139 of the Union Customs Code.
  • Poland: The approach of the tax authorities and courts on the meaning of fixed establishment for VAT purposes is changing.
  • Poland: Stringent criminal code amendments have come into effect in relation to VAT fraud.
  • Poland: A significant number of VAT taxpayers have been deregistered.
  • Portugal: The Arbitration Court has issued a decision regarding VAT invoicing requirements.
  • Russia: The Ministry of Finance has clarified that foreign companies supplying software to Russian individuals through the internet are required to be registered with the tax authorities notwithstanding the fact that VAT exemption applies.
  • Russia: The Ministry of Finance has clarified the VAT and corporate income tax implications of the supply of gift certificates in the context of marketing events.
  • Russia: The Ministry of Finance has clarified the VAT implications where there is an assignment of a claim to compensate losses under a supply agreement.
  • Russia: The amended draft law on the introduction of a tax-free system has been published.
  • Russia: The President has supported an initiative to develop internal air transportation through a decrease in the VAT rate applicable.
  • Russia: The importation of certain Turkish goods will now be allowed.
  • Switzerland: Revised VAT law, which is to apply from 1 January 2018, will have a major impact, particularly for foreign domiciled entities generating turnover in Switzerland.
  • Tunisia: There have been some changes to the VAT rates.
  • Tunisia: The suspensive regime has been amended.
  • Tunisia: There have been changes to the rules regarding Authorized Economic Operators.
  • United Kingdom: A number of indirect tax consultations have been published by the tax authorities.
  • United Kingdom: The tax authorities have responded to a judgment regarding the VAT treatment of historical bad debt relief claims.
  • United Kingdom: A court has ruled on the VAT treatment of employment businesses.
  • United Kingdom: A court has considered the VAT treatment of third party repair costs.
  • United Kingdom: Questions have been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union in a case concerning VAT partial exemption.
  • United Kingdom: The Prime Minister has notified the European Council of the UK's intention to withdraw from the European Union, and a White Paper has been published.
  • Eurasian Economic Union: A technical regulation has been established on requirements for the safety of fish and fish products.
  • Eurasian Economic Union: There has been a change to the date on which changes to requirements on the marking of explosives come into effect.
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