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.

August 2015

Featured articles:

World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization: Latest developments concerning the Information Technology Agreement.


  • Argentina: Argentina ratifies the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (revised).
  • United States: Proposed ITAR/ EAR definition changes and impact on technology transfers and cloud computing.
  • United States: Cuba removed from State Sponsor of Terrorism list.
  • United States: Generalized System of Preferences renewed by Customs and Border Protection after multi-year lapse.
  • Canada-Ukraine: Ukraine and Canada have finalized negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement.
  • Mexico-Argentina: The Agreement between Mexico and Argentina regarding Cooperation, Mutual Administrative Assistance and the Exchange of Information on Customs Issues has been published.
  • Mexico-Panama: The Mexican authorities published General Rules regarding the application of the customs provisions of the Mexico-Panama Free Trade Agreement.

Asia Pacific

  • Australia: ‘Authorised economic operator’ program introduced.
  • China: Status of China VAT Reform.
  • China: Judgments on Tariff Classifications of 2015.
  • India: VAT on the right to use of intangibles.
  • India: Amendment to the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations (Local Body Tax) Rules.
  • India: Exemption from Central Sales Tax denied on the sale of packing materials preceding the export of goods.
  • Indonesia: Increased import duties on consumer goods.
  • New Zealand: The government has released a discussion document on the collection of GST for online purchases in New Zealand.
  • Philippines: Stricter controls expected on dual-use, controlled goods and technologies.
  • Singapore: Customs update the allowable activities at the Offshore Marine Centre.
  • Singapore: Upcoming updates to Singapore’s Strategic Goods Control List.
  • EU-Vietnam: The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement was concluded on 4 August 2015, with Vietnam being the second in the ASEAN region after Singapore to reach a comprehensive FTA deal with the EU.


  • Finland: VAT on cost of legal due diligence services related to properties.
  • Germany: CJEU decides that holding companies can reclaim input VAT.
  • Greece: New rules have been introduced regarding VAT adjustments in respect of investment assets and changes to the pro-rata percentage.
  • Gulf Cooperation Council: Deloitte Middle East has published a report: VAT in the GCC – Old news or new chapter?
  • Italy: Supreme Court decision on joint liabilities of a customer in case of omitted or incorrect invoicing by a supplier.
  • Italy: Supreme Court decision regarding the VAT warehouse regime.
  • Italy: Assonime circular letter provides clarification regarding five draft decrees, in particular in relation to penalties.
  • Italy: Controls on electrical energy meters.
  • Italy: New excise data to be communicated to Customs.
  • Kazakhstan: Special customs procedures rules approved.
  • Kazakhstan: Temporary ban on petroleum product exports introduced.
  • Kazakhstan: List approved of vehicles for which exclusive rights are provided for import into Kazakhstan from EEU countries.
  • Kazakhstan: Export customs duties.
  • Kazakhstan: Excise and control stamps on alcohol products.
  • Malta: VAT Act amended to enable taxpayers to enter into negotiations with the tax authorities for an alternative method of partial attribution calculation.
  • Malta: Guidance on the VAT treatment of road assistance services.
  • Netherlands: Dutch tax authorities cease SMS alerts for VAT returns.
  • Poland: The Constitutional Tribunal has decided to ask the CJEU about the legality of the Principal VAT Directive, in particular, regarding the differentiation of VAT rates on similar goods (paper and electronic books).
  • Poland: There are ongoing doubts as regards the application of the reverse charge mechanism on game consoles.
  • Portugal: The tax authorities have clarified the documents required to support the VAT exemption on exports.
  • Russia: Amendment to the list of medical goods which are subject to VAT at the rate of 10% upon importation.
  • Russia: Accounting for revenues gained from participation in the share capital of subsidiaries and affiliated companies for the purposes of VAT separate accounting.
  • Russia: VAT on the transfer of inseparable property improvements to lessors.
  • Russia: VAT on the sale of assets of an organization recognized bankrupt.
  • Russia: VAT exemption on the conclusion of swap contracts whose underlying assets are goods subject to VAT.
  • Russia: Recovery of VAT paid to the customs authorities.
  • Russia: Establishing a new area of priority development – the Vladivostok free port.
  • Sweden: CJEU Advocate General opinion that trading in Bitcoins is exempt from VAT.
  • United Kingdom: Court of Appeal rules that overhead VAT was not linked just to the finance element of HP deals.
  • United Kingdom: An Upper Tribunal decision on the VAT default surcharge.
  • United Kingdom: An Upper Tribunal decision confirming that the sale of a business to a VAT group was a TOGC.
  • United Kingdom: VAT treatment of direct marketing services using printed matter.
  • United Kingdom: Aggregates Levy refund claims.
  • EU-Vietnam: The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement was concluded on 4 August 2015.
  • Canada-Ukraine: Ukraine and Canada have finalized negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement.

Eurasian Economic Union

  • Eurasian Economic Union: There have been amendments to the Eurasian Economic Union Common Customs Tariff, including a reduction of the import customs duty rate in relation to components for gas turbines.
  • Eurasian Economic Union: There have been resolutions adopted to classify goods according to the EEU Common FEA CN.
August 2015
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