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On 3 June 2016, Council Directive (EU) 2016/881 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Directive amends the administrative cooperation Directive (Directive 2011/16/EU) so that EU Member States are required to exchange Country-by-Country (CbC) reports for fiscal years beginning on or after 1 January 2016, without the need for any additional tax information exchange agreement or competent authority agreement between the exchanging Member States. The Directive was adopted on 25 May 2016 (previous coverage), and EU Member States have until 4 June 2017 to adopt and publish the domestic laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with both the automatic exchange and minimum CbC reporting requirements set out in the Directive.
On 2 June 2016, Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría signed the Accession Agreement for Latvia to join the OECD. Latvia will become the 35th Member of the OECD once it has taken the appropriate steps at the national level to accede to the OECD Convention and deposits its instrument of accession with the French government, depository of the OECD Convention.
On 26 May 2016, both houses of the Council of Oman reportedly approved the extension of the 55% corporate rate for income from oil sales (exploration and production) to income from liquid natural gas sales, and the introduction of an increased rate of 35% for companies engaged in related oil and gas activities and mining activities. The new rates are expected to apply from 1 January 2016, but will not enter into force until enacted by royal decree.
Oman's standard corporate tax rate is 12%, although an approved increase to 15% is pending enactment (previous coverage).
U.S. IRS Publishes Practice Units on Determination of Source of Income for FDAP Purposes and Related Withholding
On 2 June 2016, the U.S. IRS published two international practice units on fixed, determinable, annual, or periodical income from sources within the U.S. that are not effectively connected with a trade or business in the U.S. (FDAP). The practice units include:
International practice units are developed by the Large Business and International Division of the IRS to provide staff with explanations of general international tax concepts as well as information about specific transaction types. They are not an official pronouncement of law, and cannot be used, cited or relied upon as such.
Click the following link for the International Practice Units page on the IRS website.
Czech Chamber of Deputies Approves Change Making Buyer Responsible for Payment of Real Estate Transfer Tax
On 1 June 2016, the Czech Chamber of Deputies (lower house of parliament) approved legislation that clarifies certain aspects of the country's real estate transfer tax, and includes a change that requires the buyer of immovable property to pay the tax due. Under current rules, the seller is required to pay the tax while the buyer is only required to act as a guarantor in most cases. The legislation must now be approved by the Senate (upper house) and signed into law by the president. The changes will apply from the first day of the third month after the legislation is published in the Official Gazette.
The Danish Minister of Taxation has announced that the Danish tax authority (SKAT) will be reducing the time limit to claim a refund of dividends withholding tax from the current practice of allowing five years, to allowing just three years. However, if a tax treaty Denmark has entered into provides for a longer period of time, the treaty period will be followed. SKAT is expected to publish a change of pracrice notice in the near future that will provide further details on the effective date of the change and whether any transition period will be provided for.
Poland's Ministry of Finance has released revised legislation for the introduction of a retail sale tax (previous coverage). Under the revised legislation, retail businesses will be subject to the new tax levied progressively as follows:
- 0% on monthly revenue up to PLN 17 million;
- 0.8% on monthly revenue over PLN 17 million up to 170 million; and
- 1.4% on monthly revenue exceeding PLN 170 million.
The tax base will be exclusive of value added tax, and the tax paid will be a deductible cost. In addition, certain sales will be exempt, including sales of medicines, natural gas, water, coal, and other fuels for heating. It has also been reported that online sales will be exempt.
When due, the tax will be payable by the 25th of the following month.
The proposed legislation is pending approval from the parliament and will need to signed into law by the president before entering into force. It is expected that the process will be completed before the end of summer 2016.
According to a recent update from the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, The tax information exchange agreement with Botswana entered into force on 10 January 2016. The agreement, signed 20 February 2013, is the first of its kind between the two countries, and is in line with the OECD standard for information exchange. It applies for criminal tax matters on the date of its entry into force, and for other tax matters for tax periods beginning on or after 1 January 2017.
The arrangement amending the 1952 income tax arrangement between Jersey and the United Kingdom entered into force on 1 June 2016. The amending arrangement and associated exchange of notes were signed on 22 September 2015 by the United Kingdom and on 1 October 2015 by Jersey. The arrangement amends the definition of the term United Kingdom and the term Jersey. It applies from 1 January 2017.