iSP Global Tax Newsletter August 2017

iSP Global Tax Newsletter August 2017

BEPS NEWS

New OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines
On 10 July 2017, the OECD issued new OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations (the revised Guidelines). The new guidelines provide guidance on the application of the “arm’s length principle”, which represents the international consensus on the valuation, for income tax purposes, of cross-border transactions between associated enterprises. Guidelines reflect a consolidation of the changes resulting from the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project. The main modifications include the following:

  • the revisions presented by BEPS Action 8-10 and 13;
  • the revisions to Chapter IX to conform the guidance on business restructurings to the revi-sions introduced by the reports on BEPS Actions 8-10 and 13;
  • the revised Guidance on safe harbors in Chapter IV; and
  • Consistency changes that were needed in the rest of the OECD transfer pricing guidelines to produce this consolidated version.

Mauritius Signs Multilateral Instrument
On 5 July 2017, Mauritius became 69th country to sign the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS (MLI) which offers modifications of existing tax treaties in order to comply with BEPS minimum standard preventing treaty abuse and limiting the scope of hybrid mismatches.

LOCAL TAX NEWS

Belgium - New Tax Reform Announced
Belgian government has announced Tax reform which will be included in the Budget 2018. For the corporate income tax payers, the tax reform will lower corporate income tax rates as well as change the notional interest deduction rules.

It is proposed that the corporate income tax rate will be reduced in two stages. Reduction from 33% to 29% in 2018, following by a further reduction to 25% in year 2020. Additionally, the surcharge of 3%, currently imposed on the adjusted corporate income tax liability, will be reduced to 2% in 2018 and phased out by year 2020. Compensatory measures flowing the decrease in corporate tax rate will be included in the new legislation.

National interest deduction will continue to apply, however the existing legislation will be modified in order to stimulate the increase of equity. Such a deduction will be limited and in the future based on an increase in the value of the equity of the company.

Italy - Taxation of Capital Gains
The Italian government published a decree decreasing the exemption percentages of qualifying capital gains. As a consequence qualifying capital gains realized from 1 January 2018 are tax exempt for 41.86% (previously, 50.28%) of their amount. The remaining 58.14% (previously, 49.72%) is part of taxpayers taxable income and therefore taxed at the standard rate of 24%.

Slovenia - Liechtenstein Removed from List of Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions
The Slovenian Ministry of Finance decided to remove Liechtenstein from the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. The resolution is effective from 17 June 2017.

TREATY NEWS

Oman - Portugal
On 26 July 2016, the Oman - Portugal Income Tax Treaty (2015) entered into force. The treaty generally applies from 1 January 2017.

Croatia - United Arab Emirates
On 13 July 2017, Croatia and the United Arab Emirates signed an income tax treaty. Further devel-opments will be reported as they occur.

South Africa - Sweden - Ruling on MFN Clause
South African tax authority has issued a binding ruling concerning application of the most-favored-nation (MFN) clause in respect of dividend payments under the South Africa - Sweden Income Tax Treaty.

The ruling states that due to the fact that Kuwait - South Africa double tax treaty (2004) provides no source taxation of dividends, the MFN clause in South Africa - Sweden Income Tax Treaty will be automatically triggered.

This is due to unusual formulation of MFN provision not limiting the MFN effect to treaties signed after the South Africa - Sweden Income Tax Treaty entered into force 2012. As a result, the MFN clause, according to South African Tax authority, has a retroactive effect. This ruling and the effect of MFN clause is effective until South Africa renegotiates its Double tax treaty with Kuwait.

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