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This e-newsletter gives you an overview of international corporate tax developments being reported globally by KPMG member firms in the Europe and Africa regions between 1 May and 31 May 2013.

Albania France Morocco Slovakia
Belgium Germany The Netherlands Slovenia
Croatia Hungary Norway South Africa
Czech Republic Ireland OECD Switzerland
Denmark Israel Poland Turkey
Estonia Lithuania Russia Ukraine
European Union Luxembourg Serbia United Kingdom

For a full summary of global tax developments, visit kpmg.com/TaxNewsFlash.

To contact the Global International Corporate Tax Group email go-fmglobalict@kpmg.com.

  Tax area concerned Relevant date/case reference Description of measures and publication link
(Considerations in italic where necessary)
Albania
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Personal income tax / Property tax 30 April 2013 New legislation has been enacted in Albania that amends the individual income tax rate schedule and the rules that apply for deductions for services, and concerns exemptions from local tax for certain property (including mobile and transmission antennas).
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Belgium
Proposed legislation Budget May 2013 The Belgian government has provided more details concerning the tax proposals that were agreed to in March 2013, as part of the budget process.
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Budget May 2013 Draft legislation now provides more details concerning the tax measures as agreed to by the Belgian government at the end of March 2013 in the “budget follow-up.”
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Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Corporate income tax 1 October 2013 The Belgian tax authorities have extended—to 1 October 2013—the deadline for taxpayers to file electronic corporate income tax returns for the assessment year 2013. The original due date for electronically filing corporate income tax returns was 18 September 2013. The deadline for paper filing remains 21 August 2013. These deadlines apply for resident companies, non-resident companies, and non-profit legal entities, with a financial year closing on 31 December 2012. The BizTax application for electronic return filing is expected to be available 16 May 2013.
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Croatia
Proposed legislation VAT 1 July 2013 On 1 July 2013 Croatia will join the European Union, and as a result, Croatian VAT law will change, with the introduction of new rules and new types of transactions subject to VAT. The final draft of the VAT law changes is pending consideration by the Parliament, prior to enactment.
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Customs 1 July 2013 Croatia is scheduled to become a member of the European Union on 1 July 2013. With ratification of the accession treaty of the remaining two countries (Germany and Denmark) in May 2013, Croatia will become the 28th Member State of the European Union. Businesses conducting trade with, or are developing activities in Croatia, will encounter customs implications of Croatia’s accession to the European Union.
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Czech Republic
Proposed legislation Corporate income tax 1 January 2014 In April 2013, the Czech Republic government submitted to the Chamber of Deputies its long-discussed proposals to “re-codify” the tax laws. The legislative proposals are now being considered by the Chamber during its May session, with a proposed effective date, generally, of 1 January 2014. Certain proposals, however, would not be effective until later (i.e., not beginning in 2014). Apart from technical changes that would reflect the enactment of a new Civil Code in the Czech Republic, the proposed tax law amendments would make a number of changes that could affect the scope of taxation—including limitations on tax relief and tax credits for non-residents from “third countries” (i.e., countries other than the EU, Iceland, and Norway).
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Denmark
Proposed legislation VAT 1 January 2014 A plan to strengthen the liquidity, economy, and competitiveness of Danish companies, to be considered by the Danish parliament, includes certain VAT reform measures. One of the proposals would provide for an increase in the percentage of VAT deduction available for hotel accommodations relating to business travel. The VAT deduction would be increased to 75% (up from 50%) effective 1 January 2014. Another change concerns the due dates and schedules for filing VAT returns and VAT remittances.
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Estonia
Proposed legislation VAT 1 May 2013 / 30 September 2013 The deadline for refund applications for VAT paid in Estonia by foreign persons not registered as being liable for VAT is 30 September 2013. Additional customs duties on imports of certain products originating in the United States apply as of 1 May 2013. The rate of customs duty on imports from the United States of sweet corn, base metal glasses and goggles, truck cranes, and certain types of jeans is 26%, instead of the prior customs duty rate of 6%.
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European Union
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update VAT May 2013 There is a zero (0%) rate of VAT—i.e, the tax on goods and services—for exports of goods outside the European Union. Application of the 0% rate, however, depends on having possession of a special confirmation from the customs authorities that the goods actually left the customs territory of the EU. In this respect KPMG Poland prepared a report: Possibility of export VAT recovery for the export of goods outside the European Union
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Proposed legislation Tax evasion and aggressive tax planning May 2013  Leaders of the European Union agreed on 22 May 2013 to certain initiatives to address perceived tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. Among the items identified in the European Council’s release for future action are:
revision of the EU Savings Directive
a global standard for information exchange
revision of the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive
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Reporting requirements 30 May 2013 A proposal pending in the European Union would require companies listed in EU markets to report, on a country-by-country basis, amounts paid to EU Member State governments, including taxes. The proposed revision to the Transparency Directive would require country reporting of payments to governments by EU-listed companies active in the mineral extractive (e.g., oil, gas, and mining) and forestry industries.
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Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Financial transactions tax United Kingdom v. Council, C-209/2013 The Council of the European Union announced that the United Kingdom has initiated a judicial action seeking annulment of the Council’s decision authorizing enhanced cooperation with respect to the financial transaction tax. The position of the UK is that the EU Council’s decision is contrary to EU law (specifically measures under the EU treaty that any enhanced cooperation must respect the rights of non-participating EU Member States) and that:
the financial transactions tax (FTT) under enhanced cooperation will have “extraterritorial effects.”
the Council decision is in breach of EU treaty provisions providing that any costs resulting from the implementation of enhanced cooperation is to be borne by the participating EU Member States only.
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Fuel tax 30 May 2013 The European Commission formally requested the United Kingdom to amend its tax law so that private pleasure boats (such as luxury yachts) can no longer purchase lower-taxed fuel that is intended for fishing boats.
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Property tax 30 May 2013 The European Commission this week announced it has referred France to the Court of Justice of the European Union with respect to France’s allegedly discriminatory tax rules on new residential property. According to the EC release (IP/13/473, 30 May 2013), French law allows investments in new residential property in France, intended to be leased for a minimum of nine years, to benefit from accelerated depreciation, but does not allow the same depreciation treatment for similar foreign investments. The EC found these provisions mean that taxpayers investing the same amount in immovable goods abroad would face a higher tax liability and that such provisions are incompatible with the free movement of capital.
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France
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update VAT April 2013 The French tax authorities in late April 2013 published three decrees to implement rules concerning the issuance of invoices and electronic invoices (e-invoices) in France.
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State aid May 2013 The European Commission announced that following the June 2012 judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the EC was reopening an inquiry into certain tax treatment that the French tax authorities afforded Electricité de France related to its balance sheet restructuring.
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Corporate income tax 30 May 2013 The European Commission this week announced it has referred France to the Court of Justice of the European Union with respect to France’s allegedly discriminatory tax rules on new residential property. According to the EC release (IP/13/473, 30 May 2013), French law allows investments in new residential property in France, intended to be leased for a minimum of nine years, to benefit from accelerated depreciation, but does not allow the same depreciation treatment for similar foreign investments. The EC found these provisions mean that taxpayers investing the same amount in immovable goods abroad would face a higher tax liability and that such provisions are incompatible with the free movement of capital.
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Proposed legislation Personal income tax April 2013 The French President announced several measures concerning the taxation of capital gains realized by individuals on the sale of shares and concerning the Plan d’épargne en actions (PEA)—a share savings plan. According to the 29 April 2013 announcement, two regimes would co-exist:
an ordinary tax regime
an incentive tax regime
Under both regimes, capital gains would be taxed under the progressive individual income tax rate schedules, but “tax allowances”—which in general depend on the shares’ holding period—would be increased.
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Administrative and case law VAT 22 March 2013 Companies with business transactions in France need to verify and carefully consider the invoices that they issue and receive contain certain mandatory information, and in the manner required under the VAT decrees. In a 22 March 2013 decision, the Conseil d’Etat (French supreme tax court) rejected a company’s claim for a refund of input VAT because the date of the invoice—a required item—was not clearly indicated on the actual invoice received by the company. While the company asserted that the date of the invoice was actually indicated in the invoice number, the court applied a strict interpretation of the invoice requirements and held that the date must be clearly stated.
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Germany
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Corporate income tax 28 February 2013 A new law in Germany amends the taxation of portfolio dividends. Under the new law, portfolio dividends (shareholding of less than 10% at the beginning of a year) are subject to corporate income tax. The new tax liability will apply for the first time to portfolio dividends distributed after 28 February 2013.
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Tax facts May 2013 KPMG Germany prepared a reference guide that sets forth tax rates for corporations and individuals, including income tax, trade tax, real property tax, VAT, energy tax, and inheritance and gift tax, as well as provisions concerning social security contributions, income tax treaties, transfer pricing, and other information.
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VAT May 2013 Germany’s finance ministry issued guidance concerning VAT return filing obligations after the dissolution of a VAT group. In general, in the event that a VAT group is dissolved, the former controlled VAT group company becomes a business in its own right under § 2(1) UStG and is required to submit regular VAT returns either on a monthly or quarterly basis.
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FATCA May 2013 The German Cabinet approved a resolution on the signing of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between Germany and the United States, for enhance tax compliance with respect to the exchange of tax information under FATCA (i.e., as the U.S. legislation, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is known).
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Proposed legislation Corporate income tax May 2013 Recent developments concerning tax in Germany include a new law on the taxation of portfolio dividends and a proposal to amend the tax procedure rules.
A new law provides that portfolio dividends (for shareholdings of less than 10%, measured as of the beginning of the calendar year) received by corporate entities are generally subject to corporate income tax, and are no longer exempt from tax under Germany’s participation exemption regime (effective 95% exemption).
A proposed reduction of 10-year retention periods for accounting and tax records has been considered by the Bundestag.
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FATCA 16 May 2013 The German Parliament on 16 May 2013 began consideration of a legislative resolution that would amend the German investment tax law, and other tax laws, to allow for transposition of implementing measures that would codify FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act under U.S. legislation) procedures.
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Administrative and case law Corporate income tax May 2013
A court decision affirmed the ability of companies to establish tax-deductible accruals for future tax and audit expenses.
A court decision found with respect to upstream mergers, merger-related gain or loss— when the inside basis of the transferring entity’s assets differ from the outside basis of the transferring entity’s shares—must be recognized also in mergers, demergers, or spin- offs when the transferee did not have an ownership interest in the transferring entity prior to the reorganization. Thus, the transaction costs are not tax deductible.
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Hungary
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Corporate income tax May 2013 In Hungary, new rules and amendments to existing provisions under the income tax law were published recently and concern:
environmental product charges, with respect to packaging and certain invoice reporting requirements.
corporate income tax provisions for taxpayers who offer support packages to popular team sports, free entrepreneurial zones, and the sponsorship of performing arts organizations.
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Ireland
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Incentives May 2013 To encourage companies in all sectors to innovate, the Irish government provides an incentive in the form of the research and development (R&D) tax credit to all companies undertaking qualifying R&D, regardless of the industry in which they operate (provided they meet certain conditions).
The R&D regime enables companies to claim a tax credit of up to 25% of incremental qualifying expenditure on an R&D project (or €25 for every €100 spent). The R&D credit can either be offset against corporation tax or, in instances when the company is in a loss-making position, can be received as a cash payment from Irish Revenue in three installments (subject to certain conditions).
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Israel
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update VAT 2 June 2013 An order published, establishes the rate of VAT will increase to 18% effective 2 June 2013. The new VAT rate will apply with respect to trade and import transactions as per the billing date of the transaction. The change does not affect the rate of VAT applicable for financial institutions, which is 17%. 
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Lithuania
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Corporate income tax / Personal income tax / VAT May 2013 Recent tax developments in Lithuania include:
a new procedure with respect to individual income tax for the taxation of life insurance premiums and pension contributions
corporate income tax relief with respect to a solar light power plant
VAT declarations on imported goods
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Luxembourg
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update VAT 2013 Luxembourg’s tax authorities issued guidance to clarify how to calculate the amount of deductible input VAT for taxpayers with “mixed activities.” Circular n° 765 (15 May 2013) is effective as of fiscal year 2013, and provides guidance for use by banks, financial companies, fund management companies, insurance companies, certain holding companies, real estate companies, and other entities that conduct certain “mixed activities” that may provide a right for recovery of input VAT.
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Personal income tax 1 January 2013 The Luxembourg tax authorities published a circular (L.I.R. n° 95/2 (21 May 2013)) regarding the tax regime applicable to “impatriate workers” working in Luxembourg. The May 2013 circular applies retroactively, from 1 January 2013, and replaces circular n° 95/2 (31 December 2010). Under the circular, specific tax provisions apply with respect to “impatriate workers” (that is, foreign workers relocating to Luxembourg) as of 1 January 2013. These provisions aim at exempting from tax part of the remuneration and expenses paid to these workers in relation with their work assignments in Luxembourg.
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Treaties Information exchange agreement May 2013 Luxembourg’s Finance Minister announced that Luxembourg will sign a Model 1 intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to allow for an automatic exchange of information pursuant to the U.S. legislation known as FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). The Luxembourg Finance Ministry announcement reports that Model 1 IGA will allow for the automatic exchange of information between the Luxembourg and U.S. tax authorities on bank accounts held in Luxembourg by U.S. citizens and residents.
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Administrative and case law Withholding tax May 2013
A regional administrative court of Madrid (Tribunal Económico-Administrativo Regional de Madrid) issued a taxpayer-favorable in a case concerning claims for refund of withholding tax filed on behalf of a Luxembourg-resident FCP qualifying as an UCITS.
The Spanish court concluded that the tax authorities had failed to properly review the documentation provided by the taxpayer in support of the withholding tax refund claim.
A ruling of the Finnish central tax board that tax is not to be withheld on dividend distributions from a Finnish company to a Luxembourg FCP was not appealed by the Finnish tax authorities, and now has become final. Thus, FCPs qualifying as UCITS need to consider filing claims for refunds of withholding tax in Finland. A withholding tax reclaim filed before the end of the year 2013 can cover tax years 2008 onwards.
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Morocco
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update OECD 21 May 2013 Morocco on 21 May 2013 signed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
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The Netherlands
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Budget 2012 The Dutch government reported tax revenue collected for 2012 was €11.4 billion less than had been forecast in the 2012 Budget memorandum (Miljoenennota). As reported on “Accountability Day” (this year, 15 May 2013), the shortfall in tax revenue was seen in almost all tax areas, with the biggest shortfall in real terms found in the three largest tax regimes—payroll and individual (personal) income tax, value added tax (VAT), and corporate income tax.
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  Corporate income tax May 2013 The European Commission today formally proposed that the Netherlands repeal a corporate tax exemption made available to certain Dutch public undertakings. According to EC release (IP/13/395), the EC considers that public companies that conduct economic activities in competition with private companies ought to be subject to corporate tax—just as private companies are. Exempting certain companies merely because they are publicly owned gives them a competitive advantage, which cannot be justified under EU state aid rules, the EC concluded.
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Administrative and case law Personal income tax May 2013 According to an opinion from the Advocate General of the Dutch Supreme Court, employees who reside less than 150 kilometers from the Dutch border during two-thirds of a 24 -month period preceding the commencement of their employment or secondment in the Netherlands are not eligible for the “30% ruling” tax relief (i.e., the Dutch tax measure that exempts 30% of salary income from tax, leaving the remaining 70% as taxable salary).
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Norway
Proposed legislation Budget May 2013 Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced in his “May Day” speech that the revised Budget (scheduled for 7 May 2013) would include provisions to address certain international tax planning devices. The to-be-introduced proposals would target “loopholes” that are used by multinational entities to transfer their profits to “tax haven” jurisdictions. The prime minister, however, did not disclose any details.
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Budget 7 May 2013 Norway’s prime minister and finance minister during a press conference on Sunday, 5 May 2013, outlined tax proposals to be included in the revised Budget 2013, scheduled for presentation before parliament on 7 May 2013. The revised Budget proposals are expected to include relief for certain businesses, but also to include increased rates under the petroleum tax and the resource rent tax (i.e., the tax on the production of hydroelectric power) regimes. In addition, an anticipated proposal to increase the taxable value of second homes is expected to be included in the revised Budget.
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Budget 2014 As part of Norway’s revised budget for 2013, the government proposed on 7 May 2013 changes to Norway’s petroleum tax law. Among the proposals are measures that would:
Reduce the “uplift” (a tax deduction against the special petroleum tax) with immediate effect.
Revise the depreciation schedule for “onshore” machinery, to 30% for the first year when the annual declining balance rate is 20%.
In a report released prior to the announcement of the revised budget for 2013, the following tax measures were proposed by the government:
Reduce the general corporate income tax rate from 28% to 27%.
Increase the special petroleum tax rate from 50% to 51%.
The rate changes could be effective as of 2014, depending on the budget for 2014 (which is expected to be announced in October 2013 after the election.
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OECD
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Transfer pricing May 2013 The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that the OECD Council has approved a revision concerning safe harbours contained in the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines.
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Poland
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Corporate income tax 8 May 2013 Guidance in Poland finalizing a revised list of “harmful tax competition” countries and territories is effective from 8 May 2013. The new guidance reflects changes resulting from the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles and from tax information exchange or treaty agreements between Poland and the Isle of Man, Jersey, and the States of Guernsey.
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Proposed legislation Corporate income tax 1 January 2014 A proposal to amend Poland’s corporate income tax and individual income tax laws would introduce provisions to address certain transactions involving controlled foreign companies (CFCs) maintained by Polish taxpayers in jurisdictions that have a lower rate of taxation.
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Russia
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Reporting requirements February 2013 Russian authorities posted in February 2013 a website notice announcing a registry of REPOs, derivatives, and material agreements (e.g., single contracts) of the financial markets.
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Transfer pricing 2012 New law in Russia revises and extends certain transfer pricing deadlines or dates for action. The legislation (Law 227-FZ) was signed by the Russian president on 5 April 2013, and extends certain deadlines with respect to transfer pricing actions for the 2012 year.
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Proposed legislation Incentives May 2013 The Russian government is considering draft legislation that would provide tax benefits in the oil and gas industry, for companies developing fields in the Russian Arctic shelf.
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Serbia
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Tax facts May 2013 KPMG Serbia has prepared a “tax card”—an overview of Serbia’s corporate income tax and taxation of capital gains, withholding tax, VAT, property tax, real estate transfer tax, and other tax-related information.
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Salary tax / Pension / insurance 30 May 2013 In Serbia, new salary tax and pension and disability insurance rates are effective 30 May 2013.
The salary tax rate is reduced from 12% to 10%.
The rate of mandatory pension and disability contributions is increased from 22% to 24% (the employee contribution is increased from 11% to 13%, while the employer contribution remains at 11%).
Health insurance and unemployment insurance rates remain unchanged at 6.15% and 0.75%, respectively.
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Slovakia
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Investment aid 1 May 2013 Changes to Slovakia's investment aid law are effective 1 May 2013. The new measures:
reduce the statutory investment amount ceilings.
increase or enhance the conditions for existing companies to request investment aid for expansion projects.
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Slovenia
Proposed legislation VAT 1 July 2013 The government of Slovenia plans to introduce legislation that would increase the rates of VAT. Under the plan (not yet introduced as a bill), the proposed increase in the general rate would be from 20% to 22%, and in the “reduced” VAT rate would be from 8.5% to 9.5%, with a proposed effective date of 1 July 2013.
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South Africa
Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Penalties May 2013 A new, consolidated penalty regime provides the South African Revenue Service (SARS) with an arsenal of hefty financial sanctions to punish aberrant taxpayers that understate their tax liabilities or otherwise fail to comply with administrative rules.
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Switzerland
Proposed legislation Corporate income tax 17 May 2013 The Swiss finance ministry announced a plan to review the corporate tax system in Switzerland. The Swiss tax system review is, in part, a response a request from the EU concerning what has been perceived to be “unfriendly tax competition.” At this point, it is unclear what tax measures could change; however, taxpayers with Swiss operations, principal and holding company structures need to be aware of this review and understand what could be the effects of any potential future changes.
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Turkey
Proposed legislation Petroleum tax May 2013 A draft law accepted by Turkey’s commission with authority over energy and natural resources is intended to allow for expedient, continuous, and effective exploration, development, and production of Turkey’s petroleum resources. The procedures proposed would regulate petroleum exploration and production activities in Turkey, by updating the now 60-year old law. The measures are currently in draft form, and therefore are subject to change during the legislative process.
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Ukraine
Treaties DTT April 2013 Representatives of the governments of Ukraine and Ireland signed an income tax treaty. Once the treaty is ratified and enters into force, it will provide reduced rates of withholding tax on:
dividends (5% for a 25% shareholding)
interest (5% on interest related to bank loans and credit sales, and 10% on all other interest payments)
royalties (5% or 10%)
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United Kingdom
Treaties Information exchange agreements May 2013 All British Overseas Territories with significant financial centers have signed up to the UK government’s strategy on global tax transparency. The agreements mean that the UK will automatically be provided with much greater levels of information about bank accounts held by taxpayers in these jurisdictions—e.g., names, addresses, dates of birth, account numbers, account balances and details of payments made into those accounts.
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Incentives May 2013 Amendments relating to the new R&D expenditure credit affect the mechanics of the payment only, to rectify a small computational error. No additional fundamental changes are introduced. HM Treasury restated its intention that all large companies claiming under the R&D expenditure credit are to receive the same net benefit—regardless of their corporation tax liability—which is achieved by certain mechanistic adjustments to the way the payable element of the credit is calculated.
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FATCA 31 May 2013 HM Revenue and Customs released the current version of the UK guidance and draft regulations on implementing the FATCA agreement with the United States.
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Tax legislation adopted and regulatory update Financial transactions tax United Kingdom v. Council, C-209/2013 The Council of the European Union announced that the United Kingdom has initiated a judicial action seeking annulment of the Council’s decision authorizing enhanced cooperation with respect to the financial transaction tax. The position of the UK is that the EU Council’s decision is contrary to EU law (specifically measures under the EU treaty that any enhanced cooperation must respect the rights of non-participating EU Member States) and that:
the financial transactions tax (FTT) under enhanced cooperation will have “extraterritorial effects.”
the Council decision is in breach of EU treaty provisions providing that any costs resulting from the implementation of enhanced cooperation is to be borne by the participating EU Member States only.
Read more
Fuel tax 30 May 2013 The European Commission formally requested the United Kingdom to amend its tax law so that private pleasure boats (such as luxury yachts) can no longer purchase lower-taxed fuel that is intended for fishing boats.
Read more
Administrative and case law Tonnage tax Euroceanica (UK) Ltd. v. HM Revenue and Customs; TC/2012/03605 The First Tier Tribunal decided that interest income arising from deposits (cash collateral) required as part of financing arrangements for the acquisition of vessels may be subject to the tonnage tax regime.
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Proposed legislation Offshore funds tax 31 May 2013 Draft amendments to address certain technical issues in the operation of The Offshore Funds (Tax) Regulations 2009 have been published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), with an open consultation period until 31 May 2013. The proposed amendments do not place any additional burden on fund managers, but do operate to make sure end investors receive more accurate information. The Finance Bill will introduce certain changes to the HMRC "approved share plan" rules. The aim of the changes is to harmonize certain provisions across the different types of approved share plans as part of the UK government’s ongoing review of the simplification of taxation.
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Budget 29 May 2013 The UK government announced that it introduced provisions, as part of the Finance Bill, to amend the capital allowances rules by providing that a business cannot claim capital allowances on capital expenditure on plant or machinery that is covered by a capital contribution from another business. The draft legislation would apply to capital allowances claims made on or after 29 May 2013 by a recipient of a contribution and, in certain circumstances, to expenditures that are previously pooled. There would also be provisions to limit the value of any claims made.
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