Global Indirect Tax News


Global Indirect Tax News

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

August 2018


  • Global: The US has issued a second round of section 301 tariffs on China-origin goods and extended the public comment period for a third round. China has responded with additional tariffs.
  • Global: The US has implemented India’s membership of the Wassenaar arrangement.
  • Global: The US has reimposed sanctions on Iran.
  • Global: The US doubles tariffs on steel of Turkish origin and reexamines Turkey’s eligibility under the Generalized System of Preferences. Turkey has responded with additional tariffs.


  • United States: The recent Wayfair case on sales tax has implications for non-US companies with US customers.

Asia Pacific

  • India: The GST Council has made recommendations for changes in the GST law.
  • India: There is an update on foreign trade policy.
  • India: A recent Customs decision held that exemption notifications must be strictly interpreted and the benefit of ambiguity interpreted in favor of the Revenue.
  • Malaysia: The GST ended on 31 August 2018, and the Sales Tax and Service Tax apply from 1 September 2018.


  • European Union: There is a new definition of exporter of record for Customs purposes.
  • Belgium: A draft bill is to be submitted to Parliament on optional VAT on immovable letting.
  • Denmark: A draft for a binding instruction has been issued by the tax authorities regarding VAT exempt services provided to sea going vessels.
  • Denmark: A draft for a binding instruction has been issued by the tax authorities regarding the VAT exemption for transport services related to the export of goods to outside the EU.
  • Denmark: A binding ruling has been issued by the tax authorities regarding a transaction fee for payment in an app.
  • Finland: The tax authorities have published new guidance regarding the VAT treatment of service purchases made by a VAT group.
  • Finland: The Finnish Tax Administration have published guidance on the determination of the taxable basis for import VAT.
  • France: The tax authorities have updated their guidelines regarding the place of supply of services for VAT purposes with respect to immovable property.
  • Ghana: The VAT regime has been restructured with respect to the claiming of input VAT.
  • Hungary: The real-time invoice data provision obligation entered into force in Hungary as of 1 July 2018, and the ‘grace period’ has now ended.
  • Hungary: Rules have been introduced regarding the VAT treatment of vouchers.
  • Hungary: The reverse charge mechanism will continue to apply to supplies of grain and steel products until 30 June 2022.
  • Italy: Guidelines have been issued regarding the non-preferential origin rules set out in the Union Customs Code legal package.
  • Portugal: From 1 January 2019, there will be mandatory e-invoicing for B2G transactions.
  • Portugal: There is an update on the increase in vehicle tax following implementation of the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure.
  • Russia: The standard VAT rate will increase from 18% to 20% from 1 January 2019.
  • Russia: There have been a number of other VAT amendments.
  • Russia: The Federal Tax Service has published an overview of the court position with respect to VAT recovery issues.
  • Russia: Russian counter-sanctions measures have been extended.
  • South Africa: The annual quota for bone-in cuts of frozen chicken from the US has been increased.
  • United Kingdom: The CJEU has ruled that direct debit administration is not exempt from VAT.
  • United Kingdom: A court has ruled that VAT is payable on the salaries of temporary staff.
  • United Kingdom: The tax authorities have provided guidance on the application of the VAT cost sharing exemption and the ‘directly necessary’ test.
  • United Kingdom: Draft legislation has been announced to counteract VAT ‘offshore looping’ in financial services.
  • United Kingdom: Under the tax authorities’ Making Tax Digital for VAT initiative, taxpayers will be required to manage their VAT record-keeping and compliance reporting digitally. One key part of this initiative will be around digital submission of VAT returns.

Eurasian Economic Union

  • Eurasian Economic Union: The zero import customs duty rate has expired for certain types of goods.
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