Finland has been looking broadly at measures to increase the country’s tax take post-COVID, and at ways to increase compliance in a number of areas.
Earlier this month, for example, the Finnish Government published a report which explores the economic and fiscal consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for Finland and considers what taxes could be increased to help restore the public finances.
The report observes that Finland already has one of the highest tax burdens in the world, especially on labor. Therefore, raising taxation poses the risk of damaging Finland’s competitiveness, it warns, but goes on to identify certain tax areas in which there is scope for revenue increases without threatening the economy.
These, according to the report, are: property taxes (which tend not to be economically distortive and affect largely wealthier taxpayers); corporate tax (where there is scope available to reduce the … Read More »
The Netherlands has unveiled proposals for wide-ranging reforms to the country’s tax system. Presenting ‘Building Blocks for a Better Tax System’ in a Parliamentary letter submitted to the House of Representatives on May 18, State Secretary for Finance Hans Vijlbrief unveiled plans to improve and “future-proof” the country’s tax system.
The report is based on the results of 11 investigations into seven “bottlenecks” in the tax regime which lead to unfavorable outcomes. It suggests 169 “building blocks” that political parties could use in future to rebuild the tax system.
According to the Government, the seven bottlenecks include:
A rising tax burden on labor;
Ineffective taxation of the platform and gig economy;
Inconsistent taxation of capital, with some forms of capital income taxed more lightly than others;
Inadequate taxation of profits;
Insufficent “pricing” of pollution through taxation; and
The declining effectiveness of national taxation.
Policy options detailed in the … Read More »
The Irish Revenue has issued guidance on the tax treatment of the supply of emergency accommodation and the donations of gifts of goods or meals supplied in response to the COVID-19 crisis, outlining the application of the Capital Goods Scheme (CGS) to emergency accommodation. The CGS is a mechanism for regulating the amount of VAT reclaimed over the VAT-life, and aims to ensure that the VAT reclaimed reflects the use to which the property is put over its VAT-life.
Revenue said that, as a concessionary treatment, it will not apply the CGS “big swing” adjustment in cases where the change in the proportion of deductible use is a consequence of a capital good being diverted for use as emergency accommodation.
The guidance also explained the VAT treatment of donations of gifts of goods and meals. Generally, where a business donates goods free … Read More »
In an update on the COVID-19-related tax relief measures available to businesses, the German Finance Ministry announced that a regulation is being prepared to temporarily reduce the rate of value-added tax in order to assist the catering sector, and hopefully permit it to remain afloat in the new socially distanced era of eating out.
Under the proposal, food supplied in restaurants, cafes, and similar outlets will be taxed at the seven percent reduced rate.
Currently, food supplied for consumption on catering premises is subject to VAT at the 19 percent standard rate, while supplies of takeaway food are taxed at the seven percent reduced rate. The measure is expected to apply from July 1, 2020, until June 30, 2021.
For more information on this, and other topical international tax matters, please visit: https://www.cchgroup.com/roles/corporations/international-solutions/research/global-tax-weekly-a-closer-look