Worldwide Tax News
South Africa Issues Ruling on VAT Invoices, Currency Conversion and Advertised Prices for Electronic Service Supplies
On 26 March 2015, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) published General Binding Ruling (VAT) No. 28, which sets out the information requirements for an invoice, credit or debit note for electronic service supplies to South African recipients, as well as the rules for currency conversion and advertised or quoted pricing.
According to the ruling, invoices for electronic service supplies must contain the following at a minimum:
- The name and VAT registration number of the supplier,
- The name and address of the recipient,
- An individual serialized number,
- The invoice issue date on which the tax invoice is issued,
- A description of the electronic services supplied, and
- The consideration amount including:
- The amount of VAT charged and the rate if the consideration is in South African rand, or
- If any other currency, the amount of tax charged in South African rand, and the exchange rate used
The information required for credit or debit notes is similar to the requirements for invoices, but must also include:
- A brief explanation of the circumstances giving rise to the issuing of the credit or debit note, and
- The increased or decreased consideration together with the increased or decreased amount of tax, as the case may be
When the consideration for the supply of services is in a foreign currency, the supplier must convert the tax charged to South African rand. The exchange rate used must be the rate published by either:
- Bloomberg, or
The exchange rate used can be either the rate on the date of the supply, or the average rate for the month in which the supply is made.
According to the ruling, the advertised or quoted price for electronic services may only be exclusive of VAT if there is a statement on the website indicating that VAT will apply.
Click the following link for the full General Binding Ruling (PDF) on the SARS website.
Japan to Move Forward with Incentives for Headquarter Relocation or Expansion outside Tokyo
Japan's Cabinet has reportedly agreed to move forward with planned incentives for companies that relocate or expand their headquarters out of Tokyo to other areas of Japan. Key aspects of the planned incentives include:
- A tax credit up to 7% for relocation expenses if approved by the government and assets are acquired by 31 March 2017
- A tax credit up to 4% for relocation expenses if approved by the government and assets are acquired by 31 March 2018
- A tax credit of 2% to 4% for expenses for the expansion of headquarters outside Tokyo, subject to a minimum expenditure of JPY 20 million (JPY 10 million for SMEs)
- A deduction of 25% of the cost of assets acquired for relocation in the first year, and 15% for expansion
- A credit of JPY 200,000 to 500,000 for each newly hired employee for the relocated headquarters subject to certain conditions such as an overall increase in payroll and headcount
- A relocation or expansion into Osaka or Nagoya will not be eligible for the incentives
The legislation for the incentives will be submitted to the Japanese Diet shortly, where it is expected to pass.
Lithuania Planning to Introduce Optional Cash Basis VAT Accounting for Lower Revenue Taxpayers
The Lithuanian government has recently approved a proposal to be submitted to parliament that would allow lower revenue taxpayers to account for VAT when the payment for good or services supplied is received, instead of when the invoice is issued. If adopted by parliament, the new special rules may be applied by existing taxpayers with annual revenue not exceeding EUR 60,000, and new taxpayers whose annual revenue is not expected to exceed EUR 60,000. In order to apply the rules, an election must be made by the taxpayer.
Austria Approves Protocol to the Tax Treaty with Belarus
On 25 March 2015, the Austrian National Council approved the protocol to the 2001 income and property tax treaty with Belarus. The protocol, signed 24 November 2014 is the first to amend the treaty. It updates the competent authority for Belarus and replaces Article 26 exchange of Information, bringing it in line with the OECD standard for information exchange.
The protocol will enter into force on the first day of the third month following the exchange of the ratification instruments, and will apply in regard to tax periods beginning on or after 1 January of the year following its entry into force.
Tax Treaty between Comoros and the U.A.E Signed
On 26 March 2015, officials from Comoros and the United Arab Emirates signed an income 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.
Additional details will be published once available.