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Togo Proposed Budget Measures for 2017

The Finance Bill for 2017 is reportedly before Togo's National Assembly (parliament). The bill includes tax rate changes, as well as certain BEPS and transfer pricing-related changes. The main measures are summarized as follows:

Tax Rate Changes

  • Reducing the corporate income tax rate from 29% to 28%;
  • Increasing the withholding tax rate on royalties and services from 15% to 20%; and
  • Introducing a reduced value added tax (VAT) rate of 10% on basic commodities and certain services.

BEPS and Transfer Pricing Related Changes

  • Disallowing the deduction of interest, royalty, and service payments made to non-residents if the non-resident's jurisdiction is deemed to be a non-cooperative jurisdiction or have a preferential tax regime, unless the taxpayer provides details of the nature of the transactions and proves the price to be reasonable (at arm's length) (would also apply when paid to resident companies subject to a preferential tax regime);
  • Empowering the tax authority to make transfer pricing adjustments based on available information/comparables in the event a taxpayer fails to comply with a transfer pricing information request;
  • Expanding the scope of transfer pricing rules to cover transactions with entities whether or not related, if resident in a jurisdiction deemed to be non-cooperative or have a preferential tax regime; and
  • Adding relevant definitions, including:
    • Defining a preferential tax regime to include a regime where the effective rate is 50% or lower than the standard effective rate in Togo;
    • Defining a non-cooperative jurisdiction as a jurisdiction that does not comply with the international standards for transparency and exchange of information; and
    • Defining a dependent (related party) relationship between entities to include when one entity holds a majority of the share capital of the other or exercises decision-making power in the other; or when two entities are under the control of a third entity that holds a majority of the share capital of both entities or exercises decision-making power in both entities.

Subject to approval, the measures will generally apply from 1 January 2017.

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