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Serbian Parliament Considering Draft Legislation Including New Depreciation Rules, Introduction of an IP Regime, and Other Changes — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

Draft legislation was submitted to Serbia's National Assembly (parliament) on 20 November 2018 that includes new depreciation rules, the introduction of an IP regime, and other changes. The measures include:

  • Changes to the depreciation rules so that all fixed assets must be depreciated on a straight-line basis instead of just real estate (Group I) – depreciation rates are prescribed as follows:
    • Group I – 2.5%
    • Group II – 10%
    • Group III – 15%
    • Group IV – 20%
    • Group V – 30%
  • The repeal of the 10% of total revenue restriction on the deduction of advertising and marketing expenditure;
  • The introduction of double deduction for expenditure incurred for R&D performed in Serbia, excluding expenditure incurred in finding and developing oil, gas or mineral resources in the extractive industry;
  • The introduction of an 80% exemption for qualifying income from registered copyrights, patents, and related rights, excluding income from the transfer of rights;
  • The introduction of a 20% inclusion (i.e., 80% exclusion) of capital gains realized on the transfer of copyrights, patents, and related rights in taxable profit, as well as a related 20% limitation on the offset of capital losses from such transfers;
  • The introduction of a 30% tax credit for investments in qualifying innovative start-up companies that may be carried forward up to five years, subject to certain conditions including that the investor, together with related parties, held not more than 25% of the start-up prior to the investment, the investment is a cash capital contribution, and the investment is held continuously for at least three years; and
  • The introduction of new rules providing for a foreign tax credit for tax paid on capital gains in another country, unless an applicable tax treaty provides that gains are only taxable in Serbia.

Subject to approval, the measures apply for tax periods beginning in 2019. With respect to depreciation, the new rules will generally apply for assets acquired on or after 1 January 2019 or in the first tax periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019, with certain transition rules for assets acquired in prior periods.