EU 2015 VAT Changes: EU Commission published Explanatory Notes on the new VAT rules

On 4 April, the European Commission has published Explanatory Notes to prepare businesses for the new VAT rules for telecom, broadcasting and electronic services, which will enter into force on 1 January 2015.

The aim is to help businesses to be fully prepared on time for the change-over, whereby VAT on telecom, broadcasting and electronic services will be charged where the customer is based, rather than where the seller is.

The Explanatory Notes are available on the EU Commission’s website in English (click link). (It will later be translated in all EU languages, as well as in Chinese and Japanese.)

We will discuss the key provisions and critical issues of the EU Commission’s Explanatory Notes with businesses, delegates of the Member States and the Commission during our next B2C 2015 Working Group meeting in Brussels, on 23 April 2014.

South Africa – New Electronic Services Tax postponed till June 1st – Materials and recording of PwC Webcast of 25 March 2014

Following our previous post, you can now access the recorded version of our Webcast on South Africa’s plans to apply 14% VAT on all electronic services, even those bought from foreign businesses.

On 28 March the South African National Treasury published its “Electronic Services Regulations” in the Government Gazette and released a media statement, announcing a postponement of the effective date till June 1st, 2014.

The changes will make it compulsory for foreign e-commerce suppliers of electronic books, music and other digital services to register for VAT in South Africa.

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Canada: Public Consultation on taxation of digital imports

Canada joins those countries that make efforts to tax supplies provided by non-established businesses via the Internet to Canadian residents. As recently reported in PwC’s GlobalVATOnline the Canadian government launched a public consultation as part of a 2014 Budget proposal to ensure tax fairness and invites the public to give their opinion on what actions should be taken in order to effectively collect sales taxes on e-commerce sales to residents of Canada by foreign-based vendors.

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South Africa – Webcast on the planned indirect taxation of eservices – 25 March 2014, 16:00 – 17:00 CET

As previously reported here, South Africa intends to impose VAT on electronic / digital services (“eservices”) supplied by non-established businesses to recipients in South Africa with effect from 1 April 2014.

At PwC’s upcoming Webcast Gerard Soverall (Partner, PwC South Africa), specialized in e-commerce and cross-boarder Indirect Taxation will provide an update on the latest developments. This session is designed to inform the participants of the content of the regulations and to discuss the administrative and enforcement challenges that may arise.

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Featured article: Taxation of B2C Telecom Broadcasting and Electronic Services under EU VAT from 2015

On 21 June 2013, the European Council reached political agreement on implementing rules for taxing B2C telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services from 1 January 2015.

In this article, Sophie Claessens and Ine Lejeune give an overview of the new implementing provisions and what additional guidance can be expected from the Explanatory Notes that are currently being drafted by the European Commission.

Publisher/Publication: IBFD, International VAT Monitor, 2014 (Volume 25), No. 1; first published online on 16 January 2014.

South Africa: Update on new VAT rules for eservice suppliers

In line with the new VAT legislation, set to take effect on 1 April 2014, electronic/digital services (“eservices”) supplied by a business outside South Africa to a recipient in South Africa will require the supplier to register for Value-Added Tax in South Africa.

The recipient is deemed to be located in South Africa if:

  • that recipient is a resident of South Africa or
  • where payment originates from a bank registered or authorized in terms of South African law.

It is important to realize that this definition applies supplies made both to B2B (Business – to – Business) and B2C (Business – to – Consumer).

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Luxembourg: Infringement procedure on VAT rates for ebooks

Not long ago we have updated you about the EU Commission’s infringement procedure against France related to their application of the super reduced VAT rates for ebooks. France and Luxembourg share the opinion that ebooks should be taxed as their physical contra-parts (as books), whereas the EU Commission has the opinion that under the current VAT Directive rules ebooks should be regarded as all other eservices and therefore taxed with the standard VAT rate.

Following the published case against France two weeks ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) has also published the EU Commission’s infringement procedure against Luxembourg. Some more information are available at GlobalVATonline.

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