Worldwide Tax News
The Cyprus Tax Department has published an announcement regarding the Decree for the automatic exchange of Country-by-Country Reports (Regulation P.I. 401/2016). The announcement notes that:
- The Decree is expected to be reissued by the Minister of Finance. The amended degree will be available on the departments’ website.
- The due date for submitting the notifications required by the liable entities is the last day of the accounting year for submitting a country by country report. For the accounting years commencing from 1 January 2016 to 20 October 2016, the first notification will be due by 20 October 2017.
- The due date for submitting the CbC report required by the liable entities is 12 months after the last day of the accounting year for submitting a CbC report. The first year for which a CbC report is reportable is the accounting year commencing on or after 1 January 2016.
- For the purpose of submitting the notifications and CbC reports, entities will need to register with the Government Gateway Portal (Ariadni) www.ariadne.gov.cy, by following the instructions of the aforementioned website.
Click the following link for the Cyprus Tax Department's CbC reporting page, which includes the announcement and other CbC reporting information.
The Malaysia parliament passed the Tourism Tax Bill 2017 on 6 April that provides for a tax to be levied on tourists staying at any accommodation made available by an operator. The tax is to be collected by the operator and submitted on a quarterly basis or the same period for GST if registered. Accommodations not used for commercial purposes will be exempt, such as accommodation provided by educational or religious institutions. The Tourism and Culture Minister will set the effective date and the rate of the tax, which will reportedly apply at rates of MYR 2.5 to 20 depending on the rating of the accommodation.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has updated its Country-by-Country (CbC) reporting guidance page with additional information on report submission and voluntary (parent surrogate) filing for fiscal year 2016. Singapore CbC reporting requirements apply for fiscal years beginning on or after 1 January 2017 for Singapore-headquartered MNEs meeting a consolidated revenue threshold of SGD 1.125 billion in the previous year. Since requirements in other jurisdictions may result in local filing requirements for Singapore groups, voluntary filing is made available.
Regarding CbC report submission, the update includes that CbC reports must be submitted using the prescribed XML schema as provided by the OECD. A CbC report submitted in any other format will not be accepted by the IRAS. For this purpose, IRAS will develop an IT system to collect and exchange the CbC report information. The OECD user guide for the XML schema as well as supplementary instructions from the IRAS are included on the guidance page.
Regarding voluntary filing, the update includes that voluntarily submitted CbC reports for 2016 must also be submitted using the XML schema mentioned above. The mode of submission for 2016 will be released by the end of September 2017.
Taiwan's Ministry of Finance has announced that on 11 April 2017, the Legislative Yuan (parliament) approved legislation amending the Securities and Trade Tax Ordinance to reduce the Securities Transaction Tax from 0.3% to 0.15% for day trading on the Taiwan securities market. The reduction will apply for one year and is meant to support the market by promoting liquidity and trade volume.
The UN has published the second edition of its Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries. The update incorporates additional guidance resulting from the OECD BEPS Project, as well as other developments in the area of transfer pricing analysis and administration since the first edition (2013). The changes in the second edition of the Manual include:
- A revised format and a rearrangement of some parts of the Manual for clarity and ease of understanding, including a reorganization into four parts as follows:
- Part A relates to transfer pricing in a global environment;
- Part C addresses practical implementation of a transfer pricing regime in developing countries; and
- Part D contains country practices, similarly to Chapter 10 of the previous edition of the Manual. A new statement of Mexican country practices is included and other statements are updated;
- A new chapter on intra-group services;
- A new chapter on cost contribution arrangements;
- A new chapter on the treatment of intangibles;
- Significant updating of other chapters; and
- An index to make the contents more easily accessible.
Also included in the second edition Manual is updated guidance on documentation that covers the three-tiered documentation requirements developed as part of BEPS Action 13, including Master file, Local file, and Country-by-Country (CbC) report. The Manual notes that developing countries should adopt CbC reporting and Master file requirements since it can be assumed that MNEs of a certain size will be preparing that documentation anyway, and that requiring these documents to be delivered to the local tax administration should impose no marginal compliance burden on the MNE. With regard to Local file though, the Manual recommends that greater consideration be given to minimize compliance costs for both tax administrations and taxpayers. This includes consideration of reasonable materiality threshold based on local conditions, as well as the use of disclosure forms as an alternative to the list of required Local file documentation recommended by the OECD.
On 11 April 2017, officials from the Czech Republic and Ghana signed an income and capital tax treaty. The treaty is the first of its kind between the two countries and will enter into force after the ratification instruments are exchanged. Details of the treaty will be published once available.
According to an update from the South African Revenue Service, the tax information exchange agreement with Grenada entered into force on 10 March 2017. The agreement, signed 10 December 2014, is the first of its kind between the two countries and applies on the date of its entry into force for criminal tax matters and for other matters for taxable periods beginning on or after that date.
Russia Clarifies Gains from the Sales of Shares Deriving Value from Russian Property are Taxable under Treaty with Cyprus from 2017
The Russian Ministry of Finance recently published Letter No. 03-08-05/1593, which clarifies the taxation of capital gains from the alienation by a Cyprus organization of shares in a Russian organization deriving more than 50% of their value from immovable property situated in Russia. According to the letter, under the 1998 Cyprus-Russia income tax treaty as amended by the 2010 protocol, the alienation of such shares deriving value from immovable property in Russia are taxable in Russia from 1 January 2017.
It is uncertain what Cyprus' position is on the taxation of capital gains deriving value from immovable property since at the end of 2016 the Cyprus Ministry of Finance announced that it had agreed with Russia to postpone the implementation of the capital gains taxation provisions introduced by the 2010 protocol (previous coverage).