In Europe, on August 29, legislation was signed into law providing for numerous changes to value-added tax rules.
The legislation included the introduction of a mandatory VAT split payment mechanism on certain supplies, whereby when a taxable person acquires goods or services from another taxable person, the portion of the payment to the supplier that is VAT will be deposited separately and automatically to a dedicated account of the seller, in order to satisfy the VAT that is required to be remitted to the tax agency.
Under this mechanism, it was announced, split payments will be mandatory for supplies that are currently subject to the reverse charge mechanism, including:
European Union emissions trading allowances;
automotive parts and accessories;
coal and coal products; and
electronic machinery and equipment and their parts.
The legislation also includes numerous measures intended to simply VAT rules, including through:
the use of the … Read More »
Having considered both sides of the Brexit debate, many observers have come to the rather depressing conclusion that the United Kingdom is in a no-win situation with regard to its position in the European Union. It has been argued by those campaigning for a Brexit that the Remain campaign is preying on voters’ fears about the economic impact of Britain leaving the EU, especially with regard to tax and spending. Yet it’s also difficult to see how Brexit won’t have negative repercussions for the British economy, at least in the short-term. It’s just that we don’t know what those ramifications will be (although we can have a good guess: tanking pound, financial turmoil, plummeting foreign investment, etc.), or how severe they will be and how long they will last. The notion put forward by Brexiters that once detached from the … Read More »
It would be somewhat remiss not to mention the latest battery of anti-corporate tax avoidance proposals from the European Commission, especially as they represent probably the most serious attempt by Brussels so far to harmonize corporate tax in the EU. Indeed, even the most europhile member states in the heart of “old Europe” (France, Germany, Benelux et al) must have been taken by surprise by the ferocity of the Commission’s recent attacks on member states’ tax regimes. But, rather than do the predictable thing of chastening Brussels for its latest power grab over the tax sovereignty of European nations, it is possible look at this from a different angle. If there’s one good thing to come out of the EU’s aggressive stance on tax avoidance, it’s that minds are beginning to focus on tax reform on the other side of … Read More »
…for suggesting that the OECD’s focus with its BEPS project is almost entirely focused on “harmful” tax practices to the point where the beneficial ones have been forgotten about. It sounds – in the spirit of one of John Cleese’s characters again – like stating the bleedin’ obvious, but it’s about time somebody did. Of course, from the OECD’s point of view, I suppose that’s the whole ethos of The Project: the elimination of tax competition. Not that you’ll hear such an admission from the mouth of Angel Gurria or the finance ministers of the OECD governments who regularly praise the work of the OECD without ever seeming to question it. If they ever did stop to think what they are about to unleash on the world, perhaps they might begin to have second thoughts. Then again, politicians generally are … Read More »
“What have the Romans ever done for us,” Reg, played by John Cleese, asks his fellow anti-Roman insurgents in a memorable and amusing scene from the movie The Life of Brian “apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order?” You could ask a similar question when looking at your paycheck or tax return and discovering how much you are paying in tax, i.e. “what has the Government ever done for us?” The answer to that will vary greatly depending on where you live. If you live in Europe, the Government probably does quite a lot for you, regardless of whether you want it to or not. The Scandinavian countries stand out as providing the most comprehensive “cradle to grave” welfare states. But Austria must … Read More »