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Worldwide Tax News

Approved Changes (2)

Australia

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Australia Passes Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Bill 2015

On 19 June 2015, the Australian Treasury issued a release announcing that the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Bill 2015 has been passed by both houses of parliament. The following summarizes the main aspects of the Bill according to the release.

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Among the changes, the Bill modernises the Offshore Banking Unit (OBU) regime to include certain mobile financial activities such as trading in commodities, leasing, and entering into securities lending and repurchase agreements. The integrity of the OBU regime will also be improved by excluding the trading in shares in a foreign subsidiary of an Australian bank and ensuring internal financial dealings are treated on an arm’s length basis.

Further, the Bill makes several changes to the Investment Manager Regime (IMR), which is a key measure in promoting Australia as a regional financial centre. Adopting the approach of the United Kingdom’s equivalent investment manager exemption significantly shifts the focus on promoting the use of our funds management industry in line with the Johnson Report’s recommendation. The changes will encourage greater levels of foreign investment by attracting increased foreign capital, driving economic growth and creating jobs.

The Bill assists in the development of the Global Infrastructure Hub; a key achievement of Australia’s G20 Presidency in 2014. The amendments will ensure that contributions to the Hub from a number of sources, including other governments, will not be treated as assessable income and subject to income tax. This will help the Hub to operate effectively to leverage global experience in developing infrastructure.

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Click the following link for the Revised Explanatory Memorandum for the Bill.

Singapore

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Singapore Publishes Several Revised Tax Guides on GST

On 23 June 2015, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) published three revised e-Tax Guides for Goods and Services Tax (GST). The guides and main topics covered are as follows.

GST: Approved Refiner and Consolidator Scheme (ARCS) (Fifth edition), which covers:

  • Benefits of the ARCS;
  • Conditions of Eligibility for the ARCS;
  • Application Procedure;
  • Conditions of Approval;
  • Responsibilities and Reporting Requirements under the ARCS;
  • Operational Procedures on Import GST Suspension;
  • Validity Period of ARCS Status; and
  • Implications of De-registration from GST

GST Guide for the Aerospace Industry (Second edition), which covers:

  • Zero-rating the Sale or Rental of Aircraft and Aircraft Parts;
  • Zero-rating the Supply of Repair and Maintenance Services Performed on a Qualifying Aircraft and Aircraft Parts;
  • Approved Import GST Suspension Scheme (‘AISS’);
  • Import Relief for ‘Qualifying Aircraft’; and
  • Supply of Stores, Fuel and Merchandise for Sale by Retail to Aircraft

GST: Approved Contract Manufacturer and Trader (ACMT) Scheme (Eleventh edition), which covers:

  • Key Concepts of the ACMT Scheme;
  • Benefits of the ACMT Scheme;
  • Conditions of Eligibility for the ACMT Scheme;
  • Application Procedure;
  • Conditions of Approval;
  • Requirements as an ACMT CM;
  • Requirements as an ACMT LOG;
  • Operational Procedures on Import GST Suspension;
  • Validity Period of ACMT Scheme Status;
  • Implications of Cessation of ACMT Scheme and De-Registration from GST; and
  • Consequences of Incorrectly Applying the ACMT Scheme

The IRAS also published a revised version of GST: Guide on Imports (Fourth Edition) on 17 June 2015, which covers:

  • Supply of imported goods to local customers;
  • Claiming import GST;
  • Correcting errors made on importation of goods;
  • Importing goods on behalf of an overseas person;
  • Re-importing goods belonging to local persons or GST-registered overseas persons; and
  • GST suspended at the point of importation

Click the following link for all recent e-Tax Guides issued by the IRAS.

Proposed Changes (1)

South Africa

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South Africa Issues Draft Notice on Adding Technical, Managerial or Consultancy Services as Reportable Arrangements

On 19 June 2015, the South African Revenue Service issued a Draft Public Notice on additional reportable arrangements for comment. The notice proposes that the rendering of technical, managerial or consultancy services by a non-resident to a South African resident be considered a reportable arrangement under certain conditions, including:

  • When the non-resident, or its non-resident employees, agents, or representatives were physically present in South Africa or will be for the purpose of rendering such services; and
  • The expenditure in respect of those services exceeds or will exceed ZAR 10 million (~USD 823,000) in aggregate

For such services, the arrangements must be reported to SARS within 45 days of meeting the conditions. Failure to report can result in monthly penalties for both promoters and participants that may be increased based on any anticipated tax benefit.

Click the following link for the Draft Public Notice.

Comments must be submitted by 30 June 2015.

Treaty Changes (4)

Brunei-Norway

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TIEA between Brunei and Norway has Entered into Force

According to a recent announcement published by the Norwegian government, the tax information exchange agreement between Brunei and Norway entered into force on 27 April 2015. The agreement, signed 27 June 2012, is the first of its kind between the two countries. It applies for criminal tax matters from the date of its entry into force and for other tax matters from 1 January 2016.

Isle Of Man-Italy

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TIEA between the Isle of Man and Italy has Entered into Force

According to a recent announcement published by the government of the Isle of Man, the tax information exchange agreement between the Isle of Man and Italy entered into force on 10 June 2015. The agreement, signed 16 September 2013, is the first of its kind between the two jurisdictions. It applies for criminal tax matters from the date of its entry into force and for other tax matters in respect of tax periods beginning on or after that date.

Mauritius-OECD

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Mauritius Signs Mutual Assistance Convention

The OECD has announced that on 23 June 2015, Mauritius signed the OECD-Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters as amended by the 2010 protocol. The convention must now be ratified by Mauritius and the ratification instrument deposited before entering into force in the country.

Netherlands-Ethiopia-Ghana-Kenya-Malawi-Zambia

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The Netherlands Concludes Negotiations to Add Anti-Abuse Provisions to Treaties with Five Countries

On 22 June 2015, the Dutch government announced that it has agreed on the inclusion of anti-abuse provisions in tax treaties with five developing countries, and expects to conclude agreements with several more by the end of the year. The five countries with which agreement has been reached include Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia.

Additional details of the provisions will be published once available.

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