15 key tax updates this December

Christmas may be coming but there is no sign of tax updates slowing around the world. The first half of December has seen dozens of crucial changes made to VAT regimes – and here are our top 15:

1) Poland

Poland has introduced a reduction in VAT on natural gas from 23% to 8% as it bids to limit the impact of rising inflation on households and businesses.

2) Indonesia

A bill to gradually increase the standard rate of VAT from 10% to 11% by April 2022, and to 12% in 2025 has been passed by the nation’s parliament.

***Correction: in our original post we wrote that the standard VAT rate would raise to 11% by January 2025 – this has now been updated.***

3) European Union

The EU has granted permission to member states to reduce VAT rates across seven categories of goods and services. A rate of between 0% and 5% is now allowed on items such as solar panels, water, passenger transport and live streaming of sports matches.

4) UK

A recent High Court judgement that private hire tax operators enter contracts with their customers has led Uber to warn that it may soon have to start charging customers VAT at 20%.

5) Turkey

The rate of VAT on legal aid services has been reduced from 18% to 8% following a vote in the Turkish parliament.

6) Moldova

The reduced rate of 6% for accommodation and restaurant services in Moldova has been extended until 15th January 2022.

7) Russia

A series of innovations in VAT have been outlined by the Federal Tax Service of Russia, including details on the breeding of fish. It noted that operations for the sale of breeding fish, as well as embryos and threshers obtained from this practice, will be exempt from VAT from 1st January 2022.

8) Bahrain

Lawmakers have reportedly agreed to double Bahrain’s standard VAT rate from 5% to 10%.

9) Egypt

VAT will now be levied on YouTubers, bloggers, social media personalities and content creators after Egypt extended its VAT charging and collection obligations to these groups.

10) Azerbaijan

The list of goods not covered by the VAT refund in Azerbaijan has been extended to cover items such as vehicles with manual transmission, alcoholic drinks and tobacco products.

11) Paraguay

The current reduced rate of VAT for tourism services – including hotels and entertainment venues – has been extended.

12) Greece

The temporary reduced VAT rate on key supplies has been extended until June 2022.

13) Norway

New regulations are set to come into effect that will mean VAT returns have to be reported electronically and directly from the ERP system from January 2022.

14) Belarus

VAT incentives for the use of electric vehicles will soon be on offer in Belarus after the country’s president signed a decree on a range of measures.

15) South Korea

The 30% exemption in sales tax for car purchases will be extended for another six months, with excess tax revenue used to fund relief measures for businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.

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