London hosts IAPA Annual Conference 2012

iapa-conference-london-june-2012_150pxOn 25/26th May delegates gathered in London and enjoyed an unexpectedly fine spell of weather for the 2012 Conference.

On the Friday afternoon a visit was arranged to the offices of the host firm, Macilvin Moore Reveres, in Harrow and later on in the evening there was a dinner at Smith’s Bar and Grill in Paddington Central where everyone enjoyed cuisine described as “modern British”.

Saturday morning was the formal IAPA conference and AGM chaired with his usual aplomb by Peter Scheller with the financial report from Hugo Schauli, a very interesting presentation by Tom Keane and various contributions from the other delegates followed by a buffet lunch.

In addition to the usual program of events many of the delegates and their partners managed to find time for some of London’s famous shopping venues and even a round or two of golf ! Having proved to be capable of hosting an IAPA conference London is now declared officially ready to cope with the 2012 Olympic Games!

We now look forward to the 2013 Annual Conference at a venue still to be announced.

Author: David Segall, Macilvin Moore Reveres LLP, London,


EU: VAT-news

European Commission – Further Developments regarding the One Stop Shop aimed for 2015

On 13 January 2012 the Commission accepted a proposal regarding the broadening of the one stop shop for non-established taxable persons (both EU and non-EU) supplying telecommunication, broadcasting and electronic services to non-taxable customers.

As previously reported, from 2015, all telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services are to be taxed in the Member State in which the non-taxable customer is established, or has his permanent address, or usual residence, regardless of where the supplier of the services is established.

However, as is currently the case for non-EU suppliers providing electronically supplied services to non-business customers in the EU, taxable suppliers would have the option to make use of a special scheme, i.e. the One Stop Shop. This would allow the taxable suppliers to only account for the VAT in the EU Member State in which they are established, without having to register for VAT in various other EU countries where their customers are located.

Austria – Limitation to the application of the reverse charge mechanism for non-established suppliers organizing fairs, exhibitions, conferences or congresses

With effect from 1 January 2012, non-established suppliers that organize a fair, exhibition, conference or congress in Austria and charge attendance fees will no longer be able to avail of the extended domestic reverse charge mechanism in Austria with respect to the event registration / attendance / entry fees.

Events with only selected attendees (events not open to the public) are not affected and therefore, the extended domestic reverse charge mechanism continues to apply on such event registration / attendance / entry fees.

Cyprus – Increase standard VAT rate by 2% from 1 March 2012

The standard VAT rate of Cyprus will increase to 17%, from 15%, and will come into force from 1 March 2012. There will be no change to the reduced VAT rates of 5% and 8%.

France – President Nicolas Sarkozy is to raise the VAT rate to 21.2%

The French President has announced an increase in the standard VAT rate from 19.6% to 21.2%, which will be due to come into force in October 2012, It has been approved by Parliament on 29 February 2012 and now still needs to be validated by the Constitutional Council.

France – Clarification on the application of the new reduced rate of 7%

The new reduced rate of 7% will apply to all goods and services that were previously subject to the 5.5% VAT rate, with the exception of foodstuff, gas and electricity, energy supply networks, and goods and services for disabled persons that will remain at the 5.5% VAT rate.

The increase in the reduced VAT rate is effective from 1 January 2012, except in relation to paper books which has been delayed to 1 April 2012.

The French Government have also clarified that prepared food ready for consumption (sandwiches, pizza) will be subject to the new 7% VAT rate.

Norway – VAT Updates

A significant change has been introduced in Norway in respect to VAT refunds through the refund scheme available to businesses involved in international transport services. Pursuant to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, companies without an establishment in Norway that carry out cross- border transport services are liable to register for VAT in Norway, subject to the standard registration thresholds.

In light of the above businesses will no longer be entitled to recover input VAT incurred in Norway via the refund scheme. Instead, Norwegian VAT incurred will only be deductible via local VAT returns by businesses who successfully register for Norwegian VAT purposes.

Despite this statement being announced by the Ministry of Finance only recently, the changes apply retrospectively with effect from 1 January 2010.

With effect from 1 January 2012 the online submission of VAT returns has become mandatory in Norway.  The Norwegian VAT authorities will no longer issue paper based VAT returns but in special cases taxable persons may be allowed to continue submitting paper returns if they can convince the tax authority that they cannot make electronic filings due to practical considerations.

The VAT rate on nutrients/foodstuffs has been increased from 14% to 15% with effect from 1 January 2012.

UK – Registration threshold to become NIL

Effective from 1 December 2012, non-established businesses will be required to register immediately if they make taxable supplies in the UK as the UK VAT registration threshold, currently £73,000, will no longer apply to non-established businesses.

Author: Tamás Bajor, Vienna Consult Kft.,

EU: VAT-news

Czech Republic – Proposal to bring single 19% VAT rate from 2012 defeated

Proposal from Czech Finance Minister, Miroslav Kalousek, to bring in a single 19% higher VAT rate from start 2012 has been defeated. The proposal to rush in a higher rate of VAT than under a previously agreed timetable was challenged by junior member of the coalition. Under the existing timetable, two rates of higher VAT at 20 percent and 14 would be introduced next year with a single 17.5 percent rate coming in 2013. Kalousek had been proposing a single 19% higher rate to come in from start of 2012.

France – New 2011 taxation rules for conference and event organisers in France

On the 28 March 2011 the French Tax Authorities published an official guideline on the new VAT place of supply rules for event related services
This guideline is clarifying the impact of the VAT changes that were introduced by the Directive 2008/8/EC dated 12 February 2008 and came into force on the 1st January 2011, and deals in particular with services supplied in connection with conferences, congresses, trade fairs, etc. The information in this administrative guidance can be very useful for taxable persons who are either attending, or organising events in France. It brings some level of response to the uncertainty created by the new EU VAT taxation rules in this area, and also sheds some light on the implementation of those rules in France by featuring specific examples and solutions for various situations.

The information in this guideline is focusing the following items:

  • VAT place of supply rules for services in respect of admission to an event
  • VAT place of supply rules for event organisation services
  • VAT place of supply rules for rental of exhibition space
  • VAT place of supply rules for a complex package of services supplied within the frame of an event

However this guideline is also dealing with other questions such as VAT taxation rules for services rendered by Professional Congress Organisers („PCO“) or the VAT place of supply rules for training services.

Greece – VAT rate on food and drinks supplied for immediate consumption to increase from 1 September 2011

The VAT rate applicable to non-alcoholic beverages and to the supply of food for immediate consumption in restaurants, as well as on some connected services is to increase from 13% to 23% (16% in the Agean Islands) from the 1st of September 2011.

This change will not affect food and beverages supplied in canteens used by medical, educational or social welfare organisations. Also, this change will not affect food intended for mass consumption that are ready to eat and are sold in packages in the restaurant/take-away.

Hungary – Hungary’s VAT regulatory practices not compliant with EU VAT Directive

The European Court of Justice found that Hungary’s practices are incompatible with EU law and need to be modified. The current situation allows taxable persons to deduct the input VAT of their acquisitions from the amount of VAT payable. If the amount that is deductible is greater than the VAT payable the excess can then be reclaimed, except where the taxpayer has not paid the consideration.

This means that for certain taxpayers the opportunity to reclaim VAT is postponed for several tax periods, this was considered by the ECJ in its decision on 28th July 2011 to be  contrary to the EU VAT Directive.

Ireland – Introduction of a new reduced VAT rate of 9%

The Minister for Finance has announced that a second reduced VAT rate of 9% will be introduced in respect of certain goods and services (mainly related to tourism) for the period 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2013 under the “Jobs Initiative 2011”. The new VAT rate is effective from the 1st of July 2011.

Ireland – Update on the deduction rules for Car related expenses

The information used to prepare this update is contained in the VAT Leaflets published on the Irish Revenue website:

1. Purchase of cars

The purchase of a car in Ireland is subject to Irish VAT. VAT incurred on this purchase is usually not deductible. However, a VAT registered trader may deduct VAT if the car is used 100 % for business and if it belongs to category B or C, i.e. commercial vehicles.

There is an exception to this rule, Motor dealers and driving schools may recover VAT incurred on the purchase of a wider range of vehicles.
From the first January 2009 a trader can also recover some of the VAT incurred in relation to the purchase of category A vehicles, i.e. saloons, estates, hatchbacks, convertibles, etc. However there are conditions;

  • Vehicles must have been registered on or after the 1st Jan 2009
  • CO2 emissions must be less than 156g / km (Co2 emission bands A, B or C)
  • At least 60% of the vehicle’s use must be for business
  • The car must be used for business purpose for at least 2 years

Where those conditions are fulfilled it is possible to recover up to 20% of the VAT paid.

2. Hire and leasing of cars

VAT is recoverable on the hire and leasing of cars under the same conditions than above, i.e. full deduction of VAT may be possible if the car is category B or C and 100% used for business purposes and up to 20% deduction is possible for cars belonging to category A where the conditions described above are fulfilled.

3. Repairs and servicing of cars

VAT is recoverable on repair and servicing of cars under the same conditions than above, i.e. full deduction of VAT may be possible if the car is category B or C and 100% used for business purposes and up to 20% deduction is possible for cars belonging to category A where the conditions described above are fulfilled.

4. Petrol and diesel

VAT registered traders are not entitled to recover VAT incurred on the purchase of petrol.

VAT is fully recoverable on diesel by VAT registered traders if the vehicle is used 100% for business.

5. Toll bridges and car parking

VAT registered traders are entitled to deduct VAT incurred on toll bridges and “off-street” car parking. VAT should be fully recoverable by VAT registered traders if the vehicle is used 100% for business. VAT on “on-street” car parking is exempt.

The Irish revenue has created categories of vehicles ; A, B, C, D, M, M1, M2 etc. only commercial vehicles in categories B and C open right to VAT deduction, Category A is for vehicles such as estates, saloons, convertibles, etc., that are not designed as commercial vehicles.

United Kingdom – HMRC will target businesses who have not registered to pay VAT

HMRC has launched a campaign to target businesses that are trading above the VAT registration threshold (73,000 GBP) but are not registered for VAT.

Under the terms of the VAT Initiative, those who have not registered to pay VAT can come forward any time up to 30 September to tell HMRC that they want to take part. If they make a full disclosure, most face a low penalty rate of 10 per cent on VAT that has been paid late. After 30 September, using information pulled together from different sources, HMRC will investigate those who have failed to come forward. Substantial penalties or even criminal prosecution could follow. HMRC uses new technology and legislation to gather and analyse data, from internal and external sources, to identify people who should come forward.

United Kingdom – Businesses call for VAT cut

Fears that the UK economy has flatlined in the nine months since October have led to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to call for yet another VAT rate change urging the government to drop VAT to 5% in certain sectors. While this approach has been adopted in other jurisdictions such as France, Germany and most recently Ireland there is little evidence of a positive impact and in some cases questions over whether these reductions were being passed on to end consumers at all.

United Kingdom – HMRC continue to move VAT on-line – Consultation Document Released

HMRC has just released a consultation document covering the changes to the operation of VAT and moving of more transactions on-line. HMRC proposes that from 1st of April 2012, for businesses with a turnover below £100,000, it will be compulsory to file VAT returns on-line and make electronic payment of any VAT due. On-line filing is currently optional for these smaller businesses, however, all new businesses that registered for VAT since 1 April 2010 and larger businesses, with a turnover of £100,000 or more are obliged to file and make VAT payments on-line.

Author: Tamás Bajor, Vienna Consult Kft.,

The first post

This is the first post from IAPA. In the future there will be blog-like information in this section. Everything around our claim „Audit, Tax and Accounting in Europe. And worldwide.“

You will find posts from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The information comes from dozens of Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisers from numerous European IAPA members. Have fun with their posts. Comments are deactivated but, please, feel free to contact any individual author or other member of IAPA for questions or further assistance.