Worldwide Tax News
India Issues Additional Guidance on GST
On 25 August 2017, India's Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) issued a release on additional GST guidance.
To guide taxpayers in relation to GST matters, CBEC has issued a range of frequently asked questions related to GST law, procedures, tax rates, specific industry or sector. The information is available on CBEC GST portal http://cbec-gst.gov.in under Services section. Taxpayers can search for information using key words or a topic like Textiles, Restaurants, Composition levy scheme, Registration procedure, Return filing, Job work, input tax credit etc. For any further information, taxpayers may reach out to CBEC twitter handle, or help at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800-1200-232. Taxpayers may also look for latest information on GST at CBEC portals cbec.gov.in and cbec-gst.gov.in.
Portugal Publishes Law Transposing EU Directives on Tax Ruling and CbC Report Exchange
On 24 August 2017, Portugal published Law No. 98/2017 in the Official Gazette, which transposes into domestic law the amendments made to the EU administrative cooperation Directive (2011/16/EU) concerning the exchange of information on cross border tax rulings and advance pricing agreements (APAs) as per Council Directive (EU) 2016/2376 and of Country-by-Country (CbC) reports as per Council Directive (EU) 2016/881.
With regard to tax rulings and APAs, information will be exchanged for rulings and APAs issued from 1 January 2017, as well as:
- Rulings and APAs issued, amended, or renewed between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2013, if still valid on 1 January 2014; and
- Rulings and APAs issued, amended, or renewed between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2016.
Information on rulings and APAs issued, amended, or renewed between 1 Jan 2012 and 31 December 2016 are to be exchanged by 1 January 2018. For those issued, amended, or renewed from 1 January 2017, the exchange is to take place within three months follow each half-year period of the calendar year.
Although Portugal's CbC reporting requirements were already generally in line with the EU requirements, certain change are made that clarify and expand on the rules. Key changes include:
- Revised/clarified secondary local filing requirements, including that a non-parent constituent entity resident in Portugal will be required to submit a CbC report if:
- The non-resident ultimate parent is not required to submit a report;
- The ultimate parent's jurisdiction of residence does not have an agreement for the exchange of CbC reports with Portugal; or
- There is a systemic failure for exchange and the non-parent constituent entity has been notified;
- Clarification that where there are multiple constituent entities that would be required to file, one may be designated to submit, and that where a surrogate parent entity has been designated to file in another jurisdiction, the local filing requirement will not apply, provided that standard condition are met, including that the report will be exchanged with Portugal and notifications have been made to the tax authorities;
- The addition of the requirement that if a non-parent constituent entity is required to file locally, such entity must request that all required information for the CbC report be provided by the foreign ultimate parent, and if the ultimate parent has not provided all required information, a CbC report must still be filed using available information and notification of the parent entity's refusal to provide the information must be made to the tax authority;
- The revision of the penalty for failing to submit transfer pricing documentation, including CbC reports, so that the penalty is EUR 500 to 10,000 plus 5% for each day of delay;
- The introduction of transitional provisions, including that:
- The secondary local filing requirement for non-parent constituent entities in Portugal will apply for fiscal years beginning on or after 1 January 2017 (for ultimate and surrogate parents resident in Portugal, the requirements apply from 1 January 2016 as originally required);
- The CbC notification, which is normally due the end of the reporting fiscal year, may be submitted up to 31 October 2017 for the first year (was already announced, but is confirmed in the Law).
In addition to the tax ruling and CbC report exchange provisions, the Law also includes provisions for the collection and exchange of financial account information.
U.A.E. Decree-Law Issued for VAT Regime
On 28 August 2017, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Finance announced the issuance of Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 for the introduction of the value added tax regime, as agreed to by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States. The VAT regime will be effective 1 January 2018. Key points include:
- All supplies of goods and services are subject to VAT at a standard rate of 5% with the exception of specific supplies that are zero-rated or exempt;
- Zero-rated supplies include:
- Exports of goods and services to outside the GCC;
- International transportation, and related supplies;
- Certain sea, air, and land means of transportation of goods and passengers (such as aircraft and ships);
- Certain investment grade precious metals;
- Newly constructed residential properties that are supplied for the first time within 3 years of their construction;
- Crude oil and natural gas;
- Certain education services, and related goods and services; and
- Preventive and basic healthcare services, and related goods and services;
- Exempt supplies include:
- Certain financial services (to be specified in executive regulation);
- Residential (non-zero-rated) buildings;
- Bare land; and
- Local passenger transport;
- Every person who has a place of residence in the U.A.E. or in a VAT implementing GCC State must register for VAT if at the end of any month their taxable supplies for the previous 12 months exceed the mandatory registration threshold (AED 375,000) or are expected to exceed the mandatory registration threshold in the next 30 days;
- Any Person who is not obligated to register as above may voluntarily register if at the end of any month the total value of taxable supplies or expenses that were subject to tax during the previous 12 months exceed the voluntary registration threshold (AED 187,500) or are expected to exceed the voluntary registration threshold in the next 30 days;
- To determine if the mandatory or voluntary registration thresholds are met, the total sum of the following is calculated:
- The value of taxable supplies made by the person;
- The value of concerned goods and concerned services received by the person (concerned goods and services are those that have been imported, and would not be exempt if supplied in the U.A.E. - generally subject to reverse charge);
- The value of the taxable supplies made by the acquired whole or part of a business, if a person acquires a whole or part of another business from a person who made the supplies; and
- The value of taxable supplies made by related parties.
- Two or more Persons conducting business may apply for tax registration as a tax group if all of the following conditions are met:
- Each person has a place of establishment or fixed establishment in the U.A.E.;
- The relevant persons are related parties; and
- One or more persons are conducting business in a partnership that controls the others;
- Non-resident persons making taxable supplies in the U.A.E. are required to register, unless there is a U.A.E. resident person responsible for accounting for VAT on the supplies (in determining if registration threshold is met, the value of supplies where a U.A.E. person is responsible for VAT is not taken into account);
- Persons only making zero-rated supplies may request an exemption from registration;
- Taxable persons must submit a VAT return following the end of each tax period in accordance with the timeframes and procedures that will be specified in the executive regulation of the Decree-Law (to be due within 28 days following the period and filed online using eServices).
Chile to Eliminate Business Platform Company Regime, Enable Financial Account Information Exchange, and Extend Tax Treaty Deadline for Full Imputation Credit
Chile's Chamber of Deputies has announced that draft legislation is currently under consideration that would introduce a number of tax changes. The main changes are summarized as follows.
The draft measures would eliminate the business platform company regime (sociedades plataforma de negocios). The regime essentially provides for the incorporation of investment companies in Chile that are exempt from tax on investment income from abroad. The regime has not been particularly successful and had been characterized by the OECD as potentially harmful in relation to BEPS. Therefore it is proposed to be eliminated from 2022.
The draft measures include provisions to enable the automatic exchange of financial account information under the OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
The draft measures would extend the deadline for the transition rule in relation to the full imputation credit for residents in tax treaty countries against withholding tax on distributions under the partially integrated regime (PIS).
Under the PIS regime, which applies from 2017, a 35% withholding tax applies when profits are distributed, as opposed to the standard attribution regime (AIS), which includes a 35% tax whether profits are distributed or not. However, while a full imputation credit for first category income tax paid is allowed under the AIS regime, only a 65% credit is allowed under the PIS regime, unless the owner/shareholder is resident in a jurisdiction with which Chile has a tax treaty in force. As part of a transition to the PIS regime, Chile allows foreign residents a full imputation credit, provided that a qualifying tax treaty was signed before 1 January 2017. This transition rule is set to expire in 2019, after which a full credit will not be allowed unless the relevant tax treaty is in force. It is proposed that the transition rule be amended so that a full imputation credit will be allowed if a tax treaty is signed before 1 January 2019 and ratified by 1 January 2021.
Update - Taiwan CbC Report, Master File, and Local File Documentation Requirements
As previously reported, Taiwan has launched a public consultation on amendments to its transfer pricing rules to introduce Country-by-Country reporting, Master file, and Local file documentation requirements. Additional details of the planned requirements are as follows:
- The CbC reporting requirement will apply for ultimate parent entities resident in Taiwan, as well as non-parent constituent entities resident in Taiwan if standard secondary local filing conditions are met: ultimate parent not submitting a report, no agreement for exchange of reports, or systemic failure for exchange;
- Secondary local filing requirement will not apply if a surrogate parent entity has been designated to submit a CbC report in a jurisdiction that will exchange the CbC report with Taiwan and notification of the designation has been provided to the Taiwanese authority;
- Constituent entities resident in Taiwan will be required to provide a CbC notification with details on the on ultimate parent, surrogate parent, etc. when filing their annual tax return;
- The content of the CbC report will be in line with BEPS Action 13 and the report will be submitted electronically within 12 months following the close of the reporting fiscal year (in cases of exchange failure, report is to be submitted within one month of request from the tax authority); and
- The CbC reporting threshold is not yet specified, but expected to be a near equivalent of the standard EUR 750 million consolidated group revenue in the previous year.
The Master file requirements will be in line with BEPS Action 13, subject to a threshold to be specified. The Master file is to be prepared by the tax return deadline, and is to be submitted within 12 months following the close of the reporting fiscal year. It should be prepared in Chinese or accompanied by a Chinese translation, although a request may be made to submit in English.
Current transfer pricing report rules will be expanded in line with BEPS Action 13 Local file guidelines. This will include:
- Additional details on the company's business, including business strategy, key competitors, involvement in any restructuring or intangible asset transfers, etc.;
- Description of the organization and management structure, including local organization chart;
- Additional information on controlled transactions, including copies of the related agreements;
- Additional analysis of the parties to controlled transactions; and
- Copies of relevant APAs and tax rulings that the Taiwan tax authority is not a party to.
As an expansion of current requirements, the transfer pricing report (Local file) should be prepared contemporaneously by the tax return deadline and is submitted upon request (generally within 30 days). The documentation should be prepared in Chinese or accompanied by a Chinese translation, although a request may be made to submit in English. Current revenue/transaction thresholds for full transfer pricing report may apply in relation to the expanded requirements, but not certain.
TIEA between Argentina and the Philippines under Negotiation
Argentina's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that on 24 August 2017, officials from Argentina and the Philippines met to discuss bilateral relations and agreed on negotiations for a tax information exchange agreement. Any resulting agreement would be the first of its kind between the two countries, and must be finalized, signed, and ratified before entering into force.
Tax Treaty between Switzerland and Zambia Signed
On 29 August 2017, officials from Switzerland and Zambia signed an income tax treaty. The treaty will enter into force after the ratification instruments are exchanged, and once in force and effective, will replace the 1954 tax treaty between Switzerland and the UK as it applies in respect of Switzerland and Zambia (extended 1961).
Under the treaty, the withholding tax rate for dividends is 5% if the beneficial owner is a company that has held at least 10% of the paying company's capital for a period of at least 365 days prior to the date of payment; otherwise 15%. For interest, the rate is 10%, and for royalties, the rate is 5%. Additional details will be published once available.