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.

May 2016

Featured articles:


  • Canada: There have been HST rate changes in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.
  • United States: South Dakota: Physical presence will no longer be required for sales tax collection.

Asia Pacific

  • India: Following new rules bringing 'all services' rendered by 'Government' to business entities under the 'reverse charge mechanism' from 1 April 2016, certain services have been exempted, and changes have been made with respect to taxability, valuation, point of taxation and CENVAT credit.
  • India: In a recent case, reimbursements made to overseas branch offices by the head office in India were found not to be liable to service tax.
  • Indonesia: Regulations have been issued concerning procedures for Bonded Logistics Centers.
  • Indonesia: The Government has announced that it will be integrating import/export data and information among ASEAN Member States through the ASEAN Single Window.
  • Indonesia: Excise tax may be imposed on plastic bottles and packaging.
  • Indonesia: Port reforms have been announced as part of an economic package to reduce port dwelling times.
  • Singapore: Documentation requirements for the removal of shut-out goods from Free Trade Zones have been updated.
  • Taiwan: The new Government may consider raising gift and inheritance taxes and VAT to finance long-term care for the elderly.
  • Taiwan: The Ministry of Finance has issued guidelines allowing taxpayers to request Advance Rulings on the origin of goods.
  • Vietnam: The export and import duties legislation has been amended.


  • European Union: From 1 May 2016, the Union Customs Code replaced the Community Customs Code, which has led to a number of changes with an immediate impact on daily business practice in the EU. One change with a significant practical impact regards the definition of 'exporter'.
  • European Union: The European Commission has adopted a new Work Program for the implementation of the Union Customs Code in terms of the development and deployment of the required electronic systems. 
  • Denmark: The tax authorities have issued a binding ruling regarding the sales of goods on consignment in Denmark.
  • Denmark: There is news regarding the Customs guarantee scheme. 
  • Denmark: Following the implementation of the UCC, goods may be declared orally in certain situations.
  • Finland: Updated guidance has been published about the tax appeal procedure.
  • Finland: A branch did not have the right to deduct VAT on the costs of preparing employees' tax returns.
  • France: The Conseil d'tat has delivered its judgment in the VAT cases of Air France-KLM/Brit Air.
  • France: There has been an Administrative Court judgment in a case concerning fixed establishment for VAT. 
  • Greece: The standard VAT rate increased from 23% to 24% on 1 June 2016. There were also changes to the VAT rates applying to the Greek islands. 
  • Greece: There are a number of other indirect tax changes.
  • Israel-South Korea: Korea and Israel have entered a full scale operation of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Authorized Economic Operator with effect from 1 April 2016.
  • Italy: A reverse charge for supplies of game consoles, tablet PCs and laptops, and integrated circuit devices is effective as of 2 May 2016.
  • Italy: Italy has launched a public consultation on the European Commission's VAT Action Plan.
  • Italy: Taxpayers providing certain services in the property sector (subject to the reverse charge from 1 January 2015) are now entitled to 'priority' VAT refunds. 
  • Italy: In a recent case, the Supreme Court has ruled that costs related to the hospitality of journalists at fairs are considered to be advertising costs, for which the VAT can be deducted. 
  • Italy: The tax authorities have provided official clarifications of Stability Law 2016, including the application of the reduced 4% VAT rate for supplies of newspapers, etc. and the VAT treatment of marina resorts. 
  • Italy: The Customs and Monopoly Agency has issued clarifications regarding the implementation of the UCC.
  • Italy: There is an update on the application of the excise duty exemption for energy products. 
  • Italy: There is an update on customs penalties.
  • Netherlands: The CJEU has ruled that school transport was outside the scope of VAT.
  • Poland: Further clarifications on the JPK (Polish SAF-T) regulations have been published.
  • Poland: There will be changes to the Tax Ordinance and VAT Act following the implementation of a GAAR.
  • Portugal: Excise duty rates on certain petroleum and energy products have been reduced. 
  • Russia: It is reported that the Government of the Russian Federation has prepared amendments to Draft Law No. 730216-6 to provide that the general procedure for input VAT recovery will also apply to zero-rated supplies.
  • Russia: The State Duma has approved in the first reading an extension of the 0% VAT rate on the railway suburban transport of passengers. 
  • Russia: The Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Federal Customs Service and the Federal Tax Service are exploring the possibility of testing a tax-free system in Russia in 2016, which would involve a refund of VAT on purchases by non-Russian citizens.
  • Russia: Prices indicated in risk profiles of customs authorities are not to be the only reason for adjustment of customs value.
  • South Africa: A seemingly new tire levy was introduced in the 2016 budget speech – the tire levy is not a new concept, but is merely a change to the collection of the tire levy.
  • Spain: From April 2016, taxpayers can include a European bank account in the VAT return form (Spanish form 303) in order to request a refund of local VAT incurred.
  • United Kingdom: The Supreme Court has ruled that an independent business review carried out by PwC was supplied to the lenders, and not to Airtours, even though Airtours was liable to pay for the report.

Eurasian Economic Union

  • Eurasian Economic Union: A 0% import customs duty rate has been introduced on certain types of wood pulp.
  • Eurasian Economic Union: Delayed determination of customs value with regard to exchange goods has been introduced.
  • Eurasian Economic Union: The technical regulation on tobacco goods has come into force.
May 2016

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