TaxTech June 11, 2018

Last week the European Commission released a proposal to encourage cooperation among customs authorities. The Customs program would enhance the single union by improving the ability to collect correct amounts of customs duties, import VAT, and excise taxes. The European Commission also released its June package of infringement decisions.  Europe’s anti-fraud office released its report on fraud trends in 2017. The office recommends that over €3 billion needs to be reimbursed to the EU budget, most of which stemmed from fraud cases where the scope of the value of the project was undervalued. A new research publication about the gender investment gap by the Boston Consulting Group and MassChallenge revealed that businesses founded by women deliver higher revenue—more than twice as much per dollar invested—than those founded by men, making women-owned startups better investments for financial backers.

Germany: e-commerce platforms liable for VAT. Starting on Jan 1, 2019, Germany wants to make e-commerce platforms (eBay, Amazon, etc.) responsible for registering international sellers on their sites in order to more easily collect lost VAT abroad.  The European Council adopted new rules on Dec. 5, 2017, mandating that VAT should be collected in the consumer’s member nation, regardless of where the seller is based. Post here.

Sweden: Gambling Tax Act. Per Jan 1, 2019 the new Swedish Gambling Act and Swedish Gambling Tax Act will enter into force. Gambling subject to licensing will be taxed at 18 per cent. Gambling for non-profit purposes will continue to be tax exempt. Winnings will be taxed when players win money on unlicensed gambling websites. More details here.

EU: Amendment Council Directive 2011/16/EU. Directive 2018/822/EU of May 25, 2018, amends Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. The Directive introduces an obligation regarding a mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation relating to reportable cross-border arrangements.  The Directive enters into force on June 25, 2018. More here.

EU: Agreement on telecom rules. The EU reached an agreement on The Electronic Communications Code, which will lead to more affordable international communications services and promote better tariff transparency and contract price comparisons, while consumers subscribing to bundled service packages will also be more protected. Consumers will also be able to change service providers much easier than before and will be able to retain their same phone number. Details here.

US: Tax agenda items. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., updated the traditional Capitol Hill calendar this week, announcing that the chamber will be in session for most of August rather than taking its customary month-long summer break. Some of the open tax policy items on their legislative agenda you can find here.

AI Companies Disrupting the Tax Function. Technologi advances in Big Data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) have been transforming the entire business landscape, with Fintech innovations emerging at a rapid speed. The tax ecosystem, in particular, with its masses of data and endless computing requirements, is a prime candidate for disruption by cognitive computing and machine learning. Blog post here.


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