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Indirect tax in the news: Latest updates from around the world

Here is our latest round-up of indirect tax changes and updates announced by authorities around the world so far this month:

Greece: The Ministry of Finance has confirmed the temporary reduced VAT rate of 13% will be extended until 31st December 2023.

Taiwan: A new ruling declares no business tax will be applied to imports of soybeans, corn or wheat between 1st April and 30th June.

Azerbaijan: An amended list of raw materials and supplies that are exempt from VAT upon import to Azerbaijan has been published.

Turkey: The Revenue Administration has announced a reduction in the VAT rate to 1% for supplies of prefabricated structures, following the devastating earthquake that struck some parts of Turkey in early February.

India: A high court ruling has stated that chargers sold along with a mobile phone should have GST applied at 5%, while chargers sold separately should be taxed at 12.5%.

Botswana: The reduced rate of VAT has been extended again, this time until 31st March 2023.

South Korea: Reports suggest the South Korean Ministry of Finance is set to announce an increase in the statutory interest rate on tax refunds from 1.2% to 2.9%.

Philippines: Single parents will soon enjoy a 10% discount on VAT when purchasing essentials including nappies, baby milk and prescribed medicines.

Switzerland: All foreign online retailers must now pay VAT on sales in Switzerland. Until now, stores with less than CHF 100,000 of sales in Switzerland have not had to register, but new regulations will end this rule.

Canada: Excise duty on alcoholic spirits and wines will be adjusted to a new set of rates due to come into effect on 1st April 2023.

Singapore: Parliament has passed new legislation that will see Singapore’s GST rate rise to 9% from 1st January 2024. The standard rate was increased to its current level of 8% on 1st January this year.

Belgium: Minister Van Peteghem has proposed dropping the reduced rate of VAT on fruit and vegetables, medicines, sanitary products and public transport to 0%. Under the plan, there would also be a reduced rate of 9% for all other items.

Romania: Draft legislation tabled by the government seeks to establish more severe penalties for VAT fraud.

Ireland: The hospitality and tourism industries will continue to benefit from VAT at 9% – instead of the usual 13.5% – until 31st August 2023.

Israel: A group of tour operators in Israel has sent a letter to the Finance Ministry urging it to abandon a plan to cancel the VAT exemption for foreign tourists and tourism services, suggesting it will lead to increased prices and damage to domestic businesses.

Costa Rica: A new law has been passed that eliminates a previous 10% tax on imported beer.

Pakistan: Sales Tax is set to increase from 17% to 18%. No definite date for the rise has yet been announced, but reports suggest it will take place this spring.