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Saudi Arabia - Clock Ticking for Companies to VAT register by December Deadline

Businesses in Saudi Arabia with annual revenue of over SR 1million have just days to register for VAT prior to the kingdom’s adoption of the tax on 1st January.  Failure to do so will risk high monetary fines and suspension of work permits and visas.

GAZT, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Zakat and Income Tax has set a deadline of December 20th for VAT registrations and has urged businesses, which fall within this category, to ensure they understand the new procedures and requirements.

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EU – List of non-cooperative Tax Jurisdictions Published

On 5th December, the EU Finance Ministers gathered in Brussels for the latest ECOFIN meeting, agreed that 17 countries did not meet the tax good governance standards.

The list, which is the first ever produced by the EU,  includes the following countries:

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UAE - Key VAT Legislation Outlined

The United Arab Emirates released Regulations setting out key elements of the rules surrounding value-added tax, which will be implemented from January 1, 2018.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the Regulations set out administrative rules, such as the requirement to register and voluntary registration; related parties; conditions to be met to register a tax group and appointing a representative member; deregistration; exceptions from the requirement to register; transitional registration rules; and the rules surrounding reregistration.

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MT - Yachting organisations in disagreement with Brussels

Four maritime and yachting organisations have insisted that Malta’s VAT rules on yacht leasing are in line with EU directives and based on similar models adopted by France and Italy.

They were reacting after Brussels threatened to launch infringement procedures against Malta that could even translate into heavy financial sanctions.

According to Brussels, the practice of slashing the VAT rate on bigger ships on grounds they are used mostly in international waters is suspicious as it could give rise to tax avoidance.

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RO - New VAT provisions from 2018

The Romanian government’s current tax plans could add significantly to the cost of doing business.  The scope of Split VAT is one topic being hotly debated at the moment.

The Split-VAT rule (which effectively means using separate accounts for all VAT transactions) was introduced in September and was planned to be in force from 2018. 

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EU - New E-commerce VAT Reform

Economic and Finance Ministers of the EU member states have now reached an agreement on new VAT rules that aim to facilitate cross-border e-commerce as part of their ‘digital single market strategy’.

The primary aim of the new system is to boost e-commerce in Europe by creating a One Stop Shop for sales of online goods thereby making the VAT process easier for both consumers and business alike.  It will also look to address the VAT gap that exists as a result of online selling, which is currently estimated at €5 billion annually.

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Italy - First EU country to introduce a Web-tax

Italy has recently announced that starting from January 2019 will introduce a tax on online sales, becoming in this way the very first EU state to implement the so called “web-tax”.

The provision, that amends the 2018 budget, was approved by the budget committee of the Italian senate a few days ago and introduces a 6% levy on all digital sales.

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Germany - New Ruling on VAT Treatment of “Call-off Stocks”

It has been announced that the German Federal ministry of Finance have now published a decree which will amend the VAT treatment of call-off stock held in Germany.

Call-off stock is the term used to describe goods, owned by a non-resident supplier, that have been sent to the customer’s country and held in stock at a ware-house or storage facility; the customer can withdraw goods as and when needed and at this point the ownership is transferred from the supplier to the client.  

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UK - Budget 2017 Key points

On Wednesday, 22nd November the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his second Autumn Statement. Here are some of the key points of his speech relating to tax:

Stamp duty & Council Tax

  • Immediate abolishment of Stamp Duty for all first time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. Also, for properties worth up to £500K the Stamp Duty will not apply to the first £300K. This reduction will take effect in England, Wales and Northern Ireland whereas it will not apply in Scotland unless decided otherwise by the Scottish Government.

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BG - New Intrastat Thresholds in 2018

Bulgaria has recently announced an increase of the Intrastat thresholds in 2018, reverting the previous decision which resulted in a decrease of those thresholds last year.

The change will affect both Arrivals and Dispatches reporting whose thresholds will change as follows:

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