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Approved Changes (4)

Australia

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ATO Publishes New Taxation Ruling on Effective Life of Depreciating Assets

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has published Taxation Ruling (TR) 2022/1 - Income tax: effective life of depreciating assets, which is effective from 1 July 2022 and replaces Taxation Ruling (TR) 2021/3. Under Australian depreciation rules, taxpayers may choose to use the Commissioner's determination of the effective life of a depreciating asset as included in tables A and B of TR 2022/1 or choose to make their own estimate. Table A lists the effective life for industry-specific assets and Table B lists the effective life for assets in general. For the use of the listed effective lives, if a depreciating asset is first used or installed ready for use within five years of entering into the contract to acquire the asset, beginning construction of the asset, or otherwise acquiring the asset (relevant time), then the effective life is that which was in force at the relevant time. If an asset is not used or installed ready for use within five years, then the effective life is that which was in force at the time of first use or installed ready for use.

For further information, click the following link on Capital allowances: effective life reviews.

07-05-2022

France

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French Court of Appeals Holds CJEU Judgment on Definitive PE Losses Must be Applied

A recent decision of the Administrative Court of Appeal of Versailles has been published regarding the offset of definitive losses of a permanent establishment (branch) in Luxembourg by a French group. The case involved a French group parented by Financière SPIE Batignolles (FSB) SCA, which was solely liable for the tax due by the group. In December 2016, FSB requested the allocation of the definitive loss of a Luxembourg branch to the results of one of its subsidiaries for the financial year ended 31 December 2015. The branch had ceased activity in April 2015 and was removed from the Luxembourg trade register in December 2015. The French tax authority rejected the request, taking the position that under Article 209 of the General Tax Code, profits liable to corporate tax in France are determined by taking into account the profits made by companies operated in France as well as those whose taxation is attributed to France by a tax treaty. Given that the branch constituted a permanent establishment taxable in Luxembourg under the France-Luxembourg tax treaty (i.e., not taxable in France), the request to allocate the losses was rejected. This was appealed, with a lower court finding in favor of FSB, which was then appealed by the tax authority to the Administrative Court of Appeal.

In its decision, the Administrative Court of Appeal also found in favor of FSB. Citing the 2018 decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-650/16, the Administrative Court of Appeal noted that as per EU case law, the allocation of definitive losses of an establishment in another Member State must be allowed. Since it is not disputed that all possibilities for deducting the losses in Luxembourg had been exhausted and there was no revenue from the branch for the losses to offset, FSB was entitled to seek the benefit of the allocation requested in accordance with the referenced CJEU case.

07-05-2022

Pakistan

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Pakistan Finance Act 2022 Published Including New Super Tax

Pakistan's Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has published the Finance Act 2022, which received the assent of the President (was enacted) on 30 June 2022. The Finance Act 2022 contains the measures of Pakistan's Federal Budget 2022-2023, presented on 10 June 2022. The measure of the Act came into force on 1 July 2022, unless otherwise specified.

Some of the main measures are summarized as follows:

  • The introduction of a new super tax on high-income persons, including progressive rates of up to 4% plus a higher one-off rate for certain industries:
    • progressive rates for tax year 2022 and subsequent years (banking companies excluded for tax year 2022):
      • income not exceeding PKR 150 million - 0%
      • income exceeding PKR 150 million up to 200 million - 1%
      • income exceeding PKR 200 million up to 250 million - 2%
      • income exceeding PKR 250 million up to 300 million - 3%
      • income exceeding PKR 300 million - 4%
    • for tax year 2022, a higher rate of 10% for persons engaged partly or wholly in specified industries where income exceeds PKR 300 million, including the business of airlines, automobiles, beverages, cement, chemicals, cigarettes and tobacco, fertilizer, iron and steel, LNG terminal, oil marketing, oil refining, petroleum and gas exploration and production, pharmaceuticals, sugar, and textiles; and
    • for tax year 2023, a higher rate of 10% for banking companies where income exceeds PKR 300 million;
  • The corporate tax rate on banking companies is set to 39% (instead of 45% as proposed in the draft bill), along with increased rates on taxable income of banks attributable to investment in the Federal Government securities:
    • 55% if the gross advances-to-deposit ratio (ADR) on the last day of the tax year is up to 40%;
    • 49% if the ADR on the last day of the tax year is between 40% and 50%;
    • Standard rate (39%) if the ADR on the last day of the tax year exceeds 50%;
  • The removal of the provision that reduces the allowed first-year deprecation deduction by 50% during the year of introduction of plant and machinery along with the removal of the provision that allows a 50% depreciation allowance in the year of disposal;
  • Changes to the rate of tax on certain payments to non-residents, including a rate of 15% for royalties and fees for technical services (unchanged) and a rate of 10% in any other case (up from 5%), which applies for fees for offshore digital services as previously provided, as well as fees for money transfer operations, card network services, payment gateway services, and interbank financial telecommunication services, which are newly added;
  • The amendment of the tax rates on capital gains from the disposal of securities from tax year 2023, depending on the holding period:
    • not exceeding one year - 15%
    • exceeding one year but not exceeding two years - 12.5%
    • exceeding two years but not exceeding three years - 10%
    • exceeding three years but not exceeding four years - 7.5%
    • exceeding four years but not exceeding five years - 5%
    • exceeding five years but not exceeding six years - 2.5%
    • exceeding six years - 0%
  • The amendment of the tax rates on capital gains from the disposal of immovable property, depending on the holding period and property type:
    • not exceeding one year:
      • open plots - 15%
      • constructed property - 15%
      • flats - 15%
    • exceeding one year but not exceeding two years:
      • open plots - 12.5%
      • constructed property - 10%
      • flats - 7.5%
    • exceeding two years but not exceeding three years:
      • open plots - 10%
      • constructed property - 7.5%
      • flats - 0%
    • exceeding three years but not exceeding four years:
      • open plots - 7.5%
      • constructed property - 5%
    • exceeding four years but not exceeding five years:
      • open plots - 5%
      • constructed property - 0%
    • exceeding five years but not exceeding six years:
      • open plots - 2.5%
    • exceeding six years;
      • open plots - 0%
  • The amendment of the individual income tax brackets/rates for salaried individuals (at least 75% of income from salary), with less favorable rates than proposed in the draft bill:
    • up to PKR 600,000 - 0%
    • over PKR 600,000 up to 1.2 million - 2.5%
    • over PKR 1.2 million up to 2.4 million - 12.5%
    • over PKR 2.4 million up to 3.6 million - 20.0%
    • over PKR 3.6 million up to 6.0 million - 25.0%
    • over PKR 6.0 million up to 12.0 million - 32.5%
    • over PKR 12.0 million - 35.0%
  • The amendment of the individual income tax brackets/rates for other individuals not meeting the condition for salaried individuals:
    • up to PKR 600,000 - 0%
    • over PKR 600,000 up to 800,000 - 5%
    • over PKR 800,000 million up to 1.2 million - 12.5%
    • over PKR 1.2 million up to 2.4 million - 17.5%
    • over PKR 2.4 million up to 3.0 million - 22.5%
    • over PKR 3.0 million up to 4.0 million - 27.5%
    • over PKR 4.0 million up to 6.0 million - 32.5%
    • over PKR 6.0 million - 35.0%
  • The introduction of a new tax on deemed rental income for residents that own immovable property with a fair market value exceeding PKR 25 million, with the rate equal to 20% on 5% of the fair market value, with several exclusions, including for the following, among others:
    • one capital asset owned by a resident person;
    • self-owned business premises where business is carried out by the persons appearing on the active taxpayers’ list at any time during the year;
    • self-owned agriculture land where agriculture activity is carried out;
    • any property from which income is chargeable to tax under the Ordinance and tax leviable is paid thereon; and
    • capital assets in the first tax year of acquisition where tax under section 236K has been paid;
  • The withdrawal of the incentives introduced by the Income Tax (Amendment) Ordinance 2022, which provided a loss carryforward incentive for companies that acquire a majority of the share capital in a “sick industrial unit” through a scheme of amalgamation or merger;
  • The withdrawal of the 100% tax credit for income from exports of computer software or IT services or IT enabled services, with the tax rate on export proceeds from such services reduced to 0.25% and the rate maintained at 1% for other exported services; and
  • The introduction of a new provision regarding beneficial ownership, which requires every company and association of persons to electronically furnish particulars of its beneficial owners in such form and manner as may be prescribed, and to update the particulars of its beneficial owners as and when there are any changes.

Note that the new super tax on high-income persons replaced the 2% additional tax on poverty alleviation as originally proposed. Further, the proposed increase in the payment threshold to PKR 1 million for the digital means (mode) of payment requirements was reverted to PKR 250,000.

07-05-2022

Tanzania

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Tanzania Approves Budget for 2022/23 Including New Measures for Taxing Digital Services

According to an update from the Parliament of Tanzania, the Finance Bill 2022 was approved on 28 June 2022, containing the measures for the Budget for 2022/23. The main tax measures include the following:

  • The introduction of a digital service tax at the rate of 2% on the income of non-resident digital (electronic) service providers received from individuals in Tanzania in respect of services rendered through a digital market place, which is payable on a monthly basis by the 7th day of the following month, as well as the addition of the following relevant definitions:
    • "digital market place" means a platform that enables direct interaction between buyers and sellers of goods and services through electronic means; and
    • "electronic service" has the meaning ascribed to it under section 51 of the Value Added Tax Act, which includes any of the following services provided or delivered through a telecommunications network: (a) websites, web-hosting, or remote maintenance of programmes and equipment; (b) software and the updating thereof; (c) images, text, and information; (d) access to databases; (e) self-education packages; (f) music, films, and games, including gaming activities; and (g) political, cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, and other broadcasts and events including broadcast television;
  • The expansion of the residence rules for companies, which include that a company is considered resident in Tanzania for a year of income if its management and control are exercised in Tanzania during such year of income, with additional text inserted to provide that the management or control condition may be met "whether physically or through any electronic means";
  • The amendment of the presumptive income tax rates with the introduction of a 3.5% rate on taxpayers with turnover exceeding TZS 11 million but not exceeding TZS 100 million in a year;
  • Measures to grant the Minister of Finance the power to waive income tax for strategic investors after approval by the National Investment Steering Committee (NISC);
  • A withholding tax exemption on coupons for corporate and municipal bonds;
  • A withholding tax reduction on royalties paid in the film industry from 15% to 10% for non-residents, with a 15% rate maintained for residents;
  • The introduction of a final withholding tax at the rate of 2% on payments made to small-scale miners; and
  • Amendments to exempt capital gains tax on:
    • any transactions involved in the entry into force and implementation of agreements involving the transfer or surrender to a Joint Venture Company of any project or the authorization, issue, distribution, or transfer to the government of free carried interest shares, which is intended to ensure timely transfer of mineral rights and information to a joint venture company and transfer of free carried interest to the government; and
    • on equity shares freely surrendered to the Government through the Treasury Registrar, which is intended to resolve existing challenges and ensure timely transfer of shares;

Various VAT measures are also included:

  • The amendment of the Value Added Tax Act to accommodate the taxation of the digital services, with the Tanzania Revenue Authority to establish a simplified registration process to accommodate digital economy operators that have no presence in Tanzania (i.e., non-residents);
  • Measures to grant the Minister of Finance the power to provide VAT exemptions for strategic investors after approval by the National Investment Steering Committee (NISC);
  • The introduction of VAT zero-rating for one year (1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023) on:
    • double refined edible oil manufactured locally; and
    • fertilizer manufactured locally;
  • The introduction of VAT exemptions on:
    • standing trees;
    • inputs for the local manufacture of gas cylinders;
    • sensor arrays and chameleon sensor readers, wetting front detectors, electronic conductivity meters, and nitrate test strips, which is intended to promote R&D in the agriculture sector for sustainable growth and improved productivity;
    • agro-nets;
    • moisture meters, pH meters, tissue culture equipment, and tensiometers;
    • refrigerated trucks and cold rooms for perishable agricultural products;
    • raw materials and machinery solely and directly used in the manufacture of fertilizers by an approved manufacturer;
    • unprocessed green vanilla pods
    • locally manufactured sisal twine;
    • ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk and yogurt;
    • dairy packaging materials (boxes, bottles, and plastic packaging satchels);
    • ear tags for animals and related equipment/machinery;
    • stunning boxes and skinning and dehiding machines;
    • pasture seeds (pasture grass seeds), pasture legume seeds, pasture multiple tree seeds, and pasture cuttings, rhizomes, and stolons;
    • machines and tools solely and directly used by the military and armed forces;
    • meteorological equipment and instruments imported by the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA); and
    • floats for fishing nets, fishing hooks, and fishing lines;
  • The withdrawal of VAT exemptions on:
    • smartphones, tablets, and modems; and
    • supplies of air charter services.

Other measures include:

  • Amendments to the Tax Administration Act to reinstate the power of the Minister of Finance to remit (waive) interest or penalties, with the Minister to issue regulations on the procedure for accessing remission; and
  • The amendment of the definition of the term beneficial owner under the Business Names (Registration) Act, the Companies Act, and the Trustees Incorporation Act, to harmonize it with the definition under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (generally 5% direct or indirect shareholding), as well as the introduction of new related penalties, including a penalty of TZS 100,000 plus TZS 10,000 per day of default for a company and every company officer for failing to:
    • maintain a register of members and beneficial owners or notify the Registrar of Companies of any changes;
    • keep an index of names of the members of the company if more than 50 members; and
    • file an annual return with the company registry within 28 days of the return due date.

The measures are generally effective from 1 July 2022, although further instruction/regulation is needed from the revenue administration regarding the taxation of digital services. Additional details will be published once available.

07-05-2022
Proposed Changes (2)

European Union

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European Parliament Calls for Better Use of Blockchain to Fight Tax Evasion and for Member States to Coordinate More on the Taxing of Crypto Assets

The European Parliament has announced the adoption of a resolution on 30 June 2022, calling for better use of blockchain to fight tax evasion and for member states to coordinate more on the taxing of crypto assets.

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MEPs call for using blockchain to fight tax evasion and an end to crypto asset non-taxation

MEPs adopted a non-binding resolution on Thursday calling for a better use of blockchain to fight tax evasion and for member states to coordinate more on the taxing of crypto assets.

The resolution, drafted by Lídia Pereira (EPP, PT) and adopted in the Economic and Monetary affairs committee, sets out a framework through which both goals of using blockchain in taxation and better taxing crypto assets can be achieved.

Crypto asset taxation

The resolution says that crypto assets must be subject to fair, transparent and effective taxation. It also invites authorities however to consider a simplified tax treatment for occasional or small traders and small transactions.

For this, the resolution firstly calls on the Commission to assess the ways in which the different member states tax crypto assets and evaluate these methods, and identify the different national policies regarding the fight against tax evasion in the field of crypto assets. The resolution then also calls for a clear and broadly accepted definition of crypto assets and for a coherent definition of what would constitute a taxable event. On the latter, the resolution suggests that the conversion of a crypto asset into a fiat currency might be the more appropriate choice and it asks the Commission to specifically assess this option, along with a more general one concerning the identification of possible taxable events. The cross-border nature of crypto assets trading makes it also important to know where the taxable event would have taken place, the resolution adds. Finally the resolution asks for the amendment of the directive on administrative cooperation on taxation to include crypto assets in the exchange of information framework.

Leveraging blockchain

The resolution says that national administrations must use all available instruments to facilitate efficient tax collection, and it identifies blockchain as one of these instruments. Blockchain’s unique features could offer a new way to automate tax collection, limit corruption and better identify ownership of tangible and intangible assets allowing for better taxing mobile taxpayers, the resolution claims.

Work must be undertaken to identify the best practices of using technology to improve the analytical capacity of tax administrations, the resolution says. It also calls on the Commission to better integrate the use of blockchain into the different fora and programmes dealing with taxation and cooperation in this field. Member states should also press on with their efforts to reform their tax authorities, namely through their modernisation the resolution adds.

07-05-2022

Switzerland

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Switzerland Planning Substitute Tax for Electric and Other Vehicles Not Powered by Fossil Fuels

The Swiss Federal Council has issued a release announcing that it is planning the introduction of a substitute tax on electric vehicles and other vehicles powered by alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. According to the release, the substitute tax will be needed to finance transportation infrastructure given that revenue from taxes on fossil fuels will continue to decline as more and more people switch from petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles. The new tax will consist of a fixed amount per kilometer traveled based on the category of vehicle and is planned to be implemented no later than 2030.

07-05-2022
Treaty Changes (6)

Albania-Kosovo

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SSA between Albania and Kosovo has Entered into Force

The social security agreement between Albania and Kosovo entered into force on 1 July 2022. The agreement, signed 26 November 2021, is the first of its kind between the two countries and generally applies from the date of its entry into force.

07-05-2022

Angola-China

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Tax Treaty between Angola and China has Entered into Force

The income tax treaty between Angola and China entered into force on 11 June 2022. The treaty, signed 9 October 2018, is the first of its kind between the two countries.

Taxes Covered

The treaty covers Angola income tax on salaries, corporate income tax, income tax on immovable property, and tax on capital gains. It covers Chinese individual income tax and enterprise income tax.

Residence

If a person, other than an individual, is considered a resident in both Contracting States, its residence for the purpose of the treaty will be determined by the competent authorities through mutual agreement, having regard to its place of effective management, the place where it is incorporated or otherwise constituted, and any other relevant factors. If no agreement is reached, the person will not be entitled to any relief or exemption from tax provided by the treaty.

Withholding Tax Rates

  • Dividends - 5% if the beneficial owner is a company that has directly held at least 10% of the paying company's capital throughout a 365-day period that includes the day of the payment; otherwise, 8%
  • Interest - 8%
  • Royalties - 8%
  • Fees for technical services (managerial, technical, or consultancy) - 5%

Capital Gains

The following capital gains derived by a resident of one Contracting State may be taxed by the other State:

  • Gains from the alienation of immovable property situated in the other State;
  • Gains from the alienation of movable property forming part of the business property of a permanent establishment in the other State; and
  • Gains from the alienation of shares or similar rights if, at any time during the 365 days preceding the alienation, the shares or similar rights derived more than 50% of their value from immovable property situated in the other State.

Gains from the alienation of other property by a resident of a Contracting State may only be taxed by that State.

Double Taxation Relief

Both countries apply the credit method for the elimination of double taxation. China also provides for an indirect credit for the underlying tax on profits out of which dividends are paid subject to the condition that the Chinese resident company owns at least 10% of the shares of the Angola company paying the dividend.

A provision is also included for a tax sparing credit, whereby China will deem tax paid in Angola to include any amount that would have been payable but was exempted or reduced under legislation designed to promote economic development in Angola. The tax sparing credit is limited to the first 10 years the treaty is effective but may be extended.

Entitlement to Benefits

Article 28 (Entitlement to Benefits) provides that a benefit under the treaty shall not be granted in respect of an item of income if it is reasonable to conclude, having regard to all relevant facts and circumstances, that obtaining that benefit was one of the principal purposes of any arrangement or transaction that resulted directly or indirectly in that benefit, unless it is established that granting that benefit in these circumstances would be in accordance with the object and purpose of the relevant provisions of the treaty.

Effective Date

The treaty applies from 1 January 2023.

07-05-2022

Bosnia and Herzegovina-Spain

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Bosnia and Herzegovina Publishes Synthesized Text of Tax Treaty with Spain as Impacted by the BEPS MLI

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Ministry of Finance has published the synthesized text of the 2008 tax treaty with Spain as impacted by the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI). The synthesized text was prepared on the basis of the reservations and notifications submitted to the Depositary by the respective countries. The authentic legal texts of the treaty and the MLI take precedence and remain the legal texts applicable.

The MLI applies for the 2008 Bosnia and Herzegovina-Spain tax treaty:

  • with respect to taxes withheld at source on amounts paid or credited to non-residents, where the event giving rise to such taxes occurs on or after 1 January 2023; and
  • with respect to all other taxes, for taxes levied with respect to taxable periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023.

Click the following link for the Ministry of Finance's tax treaty webpage, which includes the synthesized texts of Bosnia and Herzegovina's tax treaties.

07-05-2022

Finland-Spain

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Finland Publishes Synthesized Text of Tax Treaty with Spain as Impacted by the BEPS MLI

Finland's Ministry of Justice has published the synthesized text of the 2015 income tax treaty with Spain as impacted by the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI). The synthesized text was prepared on the basis of the reservations and notifications submitted to the Depositary by the respective countries. The authentic legal texts of the treaty and the MLI take precedence and remain the legal texts applicable.

The MLI applies for the 2015 Finland-Spain tax treaty:

  • In Finland:
    • with respect to taxes withheld at source on amounts paid or credited to non-residents, where the event giving rise to such taxes occurs on or after 1 January 2023; and
    • with respect to all other taxes levied by Finland, for taxes levied with respect to taxable periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023;
  • In Spain:
    • with respect to taxes withheld at source on amounts paid or credited to non-residents, where the event giving rise to such taxes occurs on or after 1 January 2023; and
    • with respect to all other taxes levied by Thailand, for taxes levied with respect to taxable periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023.

Notwithstanding the above, the provisions of Part VI (Arbitration) of the MLI have effect with respect to the treaty for cases presented to the competent authority of a Contracting State on or after 1 July 2023, and for cases presented prior to that date to the extent agreed by the competent authorities.

Click the following link for the tax treaty page on the Ministry of Justice FINLEX website, which includes the synthesized texts of Finland's tax treaties.

07-05-2022

Portugal-Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor)

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SSA between Portugal and Timor-Leste Signed

On 29 June 2022, officials from Portugal and Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) signed a social security agreement. The agreement is the first of its kind between the two countries and will enter into force after the ratification instruments are exchanged.

07-05-2022

Thailand-OECD

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BEPS MLI in Force for Thailand

The Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI) entered into force for Thailand on 1 July 2022. With respect to the covered agreements (tax treaties) between Thailand and the other countries for which the MLI has already entered into force, the MLI is generally effective from 1 January 2023 in respect of withholding taxes and for taxable periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023 in respect of other taxes (six months after entry into force).

Click the following link for the definitive list of reservations and notifications submitted by Thailand at the time the ratification instrument was deposited.

07-05-2022
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