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.

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October 2017


  • OECD: The OECD has released new guidance to support the consistent implementation of internationally agreed standards for the VAT/GST treatment of cross-border trade, in light of the rapid and ongoing digitalization of the economy.


  • Colombia: According to the tax and customs authority, when a service is provided from abroad and the beneficiary is a Colombian tax resident, a sales tax will be imposed and, therefore, there will be a tax withholding of 100% of the tax.
  • Colombia: The tax and customs authority has clarified certain aspects regarding cloud computing services related to the VAT exclusion.
  • Colombia: The Energy Mining Planning Unit announced the regulation of the procedure to access the VAT exclusion for projects that generate energy efficiency.
  • Colombia: The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Commerce has defined the requirements to be met by micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises that aspire to commercialize goods abroad.

Asia Pacific

  • Indonesia: In the context of bilateral cooperation, Indonesia and Australia will impose the rate of import duty of 0% for three flagship commodities of each country.
  • Malaysia: A number of Royal Malaysian Customs Department GST guides have been amended.
  • Malaysia: With effect from 1 September 2017, certain healthcare services will be treated as an exempt supply for GST purposes.
  • Malaysia: The National Essential Medicines List (Suffix N and Suffix X) and the Control Drug List have been expanded and accordingly the list of eligible zero-rated items for GST purposes has equally expanded.
  • Malaysia: There is an update from the recent GST Technical Committee meeting.
  • Malaysia: There is an update from the recent Customs-Private Sector Consultative Panel meeting.
  • Singapore: The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has updated and revised its GST-related e-Tax guides and website contents.


  • European Union: The European Commission has published proposals for reforming the EU VAT system (specifically cross-border supplies of goods).
  • European Union: The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued three judgments concerning the cost sharing exemption.
  • European Union: The Court of Justice of the European Union issued a judgment relating to customs duty adjustments on defective goods, creating an opportunity for affected companies to reclaim overpaid customs duties.
  • Estonia: There is a new threshold for mandatory registration as a VAT taxable person.
  • Finland: The Central Tax Board has issued an advance ruling on the implications of the Skandia case in Finland.
  • Finland: The Tax Administration has provided new guidance on the VAT treatment of providing physical exercise services.
  • France: Questions have been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union in two cases regarding the right to deduct VAT.
  • France: The decree implementing the 'tax on the physical and on-line video broadcasting of audio-visual' contents was released on 21 September 2017.
  • France: There have been changes in the compliance for the Corporate Vehicle Tax.
  • Ireland: Budget 2018, delivered on 10 October 2017, included a number of indirect tax measures.
  • Ireland: The Revenue have published changes to the existing VAT return filing process on the Revenue Online System (ROS).
  • Ireland: The Revenue have introduced the Customs Decision System (CDS) system.
  • Italy: A recent decree provides for an extension to the split payment regime and future VAT increases.
  • Italy: There are simplifications to Intrastat reporting from FY2018.
  • Italy: The Customs Agency has issued guidelines and operating instructions allowing operators to use the EU Customs Decision System.
  • Italy: The Customs Agency provided a list of sellers of alcoholic beverages that are not required to communicate the commencement of their activity for excise duty purposes.
  • Latvia: The Ministry of Finance has published draft amendments to the VAT law to introduce a reduced rate of 5%.
  • Netherlands: The 2018 Tax Plan has been presented to Parliament and includes important changes in the field of indirect tax.
  • Netherlands: There is a proposal to increase the reduced VAT rate from 6% to 9%.
  • Netherlands: According to the Supreme Court. recharging costs as an economic activity is not necessarily subject to VAT.
  • Netherlands: The Supreme Court has referred questions for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the VAT treatment of webcasts.
  • Poland: The Ministry of Finance has issued a warming regarding bundled supplies for VAT purposes.
  • Poland: There are planned changes to the VAT law regarding cash registers and the register of active VAT payers.
  • Poland: The issue of the fixed establishment for VAT purposes in Poland is still on the radar of the tax authorities.
  • Portugal: The 2018 Budget law proposal has been announced and submitted by the Government to Parliament. There are a number of indirect tax proposals.
  • Russia: Ministry of Finance has clarified that payment of dividends by own products is treated as a supply for VAT and profit tax purposes.
  • Russia: The Ministry of Finance has clarified the VAT recovery procedure for imported goods in the absence of a hardcopy of the declaration for goods filed in electronic form.
  • Russia: The Federal Tax Service has clarified the application of VAT recovery by a principal purchasing goods (work, services) through a chain of agents.
  • Russia: The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has clarified that the purchase of goods at an overestimated price is not reason for rejection of VAT recovery related to imported goods.
  • Russia: A zero export customs duty rate has been introduced for tungsten ore and its concentrates.
  • Russia: An export ban has been introduced on leather semi-finished goods.
  • South Africa: Anti-dumping duty on solar glass from Indonesia has been terminated.
  • South Africa: An investigation into safeguarding duties against imports of cold-rolled steel products has been concluded.
  • Spain: A new draft regulation would introduce certain modifications to the invoicing regulation in connection with the issuance of amending invoices as a consequence of discounts.
  • Spain: The first binding tax ruling regarding the application of the new Immediate Information Supply (SII) has been published.
  • Spain: The instructions regarding the fulfilment of the single administrative document (SAD) for Customs purposes has been amended.
  • Switzerland: VAT rate reductions are effective from 1 January 2018.
  • United Kingdom: There has been a CJEU judgment on the VAT treatment of a finance agreement.
  • United Kingdom: The tax authorities have changed the policy on the VAT treatment of pension fund management by insurers.
  • United Kingdom: There is a consultation and draft legislation on Making Tax Digital.
  • United Kingdom: The Government has published a Customs Bill White Paper.
  • United Kingdom: New offences have come into force on the failure to prevent tax evasion.
  • Eurasian Economic Union: There has been an import customs duty rate decrease for certain types of fibers from anides, polyvinyl chloride and acrylic polymers.
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