Archive for April, 2015

UK last major supporter of higher VAT rates on e-books

UK last major supporter of higher vat rates on e-books

France, Germany, Italy and Poland have called on the European Union to allow the EU member states to levy a reduced rate tax on e-books, to match that charged on physical copies. As many countries try to build their digital economy a lower VAT on e-books is a good step forward.

France currently charge 5.5% VAT on e-books whereas the UK charge their standard rate of 20%. However in a court ruling in the last few weeks it was declared that France and Luxembourg were breaking the EU VAT directive by charging their reduced rates on e-books and it has now been ruled that they must increase this to their standard VAT rates. Continue Reading

Malaysian GST registration

How to check if a Business is registered for Malaysian GST

Malaysian GST has now gone live. This new Goods and Services Tax has replaced the old Service Tax.

Their GST is based upon widely accepted OECD standards, which includes full liability across the whole production chain with the right to deduct, and on imports. This is fundamental change from the existing consumption taxes which are only charged once, which have no ability to deduct.

Since the introduction of GST on 1st April 2015, businesses that have registered with the Royal Malaysian Customs have started charging GST on the goods and services that they provide, unless these goods or services fall under the exemptions or zero rated lists or the customer is granted relief from GST.

If you are now receiving invoices with GST charged you must ensure that you are only paying GST to businesses registered and authorised to charge it.


How to check a company’s GST status

So how can you check if a company is registered for GST? Continue Reading

Court rules in favour of higher VAT rate on e-books

Court rules in favour of higher VAT rates on e-books

The UK and Germany pressured the European commissions (EC) to challenge the reduced VAT rates currently charged by Luxembourg and France on e-books, matching what they charge in printed copies, whereas the UK and Germany charge 0% and 7% respectively on printed books but charge their standard rates of 20% and 19% on e-books.

Under the EU VAT directive countries are allowed to levy a reduced or 0% rate on printed books. However it didn’t have an official on ruling e-books, which implies that the countries standard rates should be applied. However France and Luxembourg decided to go against this and treat e-books the same as printed copies, with Italy and Malta also joining them later on.

However after being pushed by the UK and Germany for a decision the European court of justice has ruled that e-books do not have the same characteristics of printed books and therefore cannot be subject to the same reduced rate. Meaning e-books are liable to the standard VAT rate in EU states, this is on the basis that it is a service and hence not listed in the EU directive as being subject to reduced rates.

This ruling means that France and Luxembourg now have to increase the VAT charged on e-books, with France making the change affective from 1 Jan 2016, and Luxembourg making the change from 1 May 2015.

Belgium urged to raise VAT rates

Belgium told by IMF to raise VAT

Belgium has been urged by the International Monetary Fund to raise it VAT rate in order to help fund labour tax cuts, whist Belgium has returned to growth and reduced budget deficits, structural reforms are needed to support growth.

Belgium has already scheduled a cut in the social security levies from 33% to 25% through cuts elsewhere. But the IMF has suggested that a rise in the reduced VAT rate from the current 6% and 12% (on restaurants) or removal of exemptions. Belgium’s standard VAT rate of 21% is currently below the average for the European Union, this is due to the fact they haven’t raised the standard tax since 1996, whereas all its European neighbours have raised theirs.

International Tax Review’s European Tax Awards 2015

eBiz Answers shortlisted for
European Tax Awards 2015

eBiz Answers are proud to have received two nominations for the International Tax Review’s European Tax Awards 2015. The awards, which have taken place annually since 2005, seek to recognise the leading international tax professionals from around Europe.

eBiz Answers have been shortlisted for the following awards:

– European Tax Innovator of the Year
– European Tax Technology Firm of the Year

“We are extremely pleased to be nominated for these awards. To be selected in a group which features industry players such as Deloitte and KMPG is an honour and real testament to the hard work that everyone at eBiz Answers has put in over the past 12 months”.
Andrew Bohnet – Senior Director at eBiz Answers Ltd.

All awards are judged according to:

Size (Not conclusive, though it does indicate what a tax team is capable of taking on)
Innovation (Did the advice the firm gave show something more than the straightforward answer that is commonly used?)
Complexity (Did the matter address tax issues that were out of the ordinary and what ingenuity did the firm show to solve them?)

The winners of the awards will be announced and presented at a dinner in London this May and eBiz would just like to take this opportunity to wish all other nominees across all of the categories, the best of luck.

To see this years’ full list of nominees please visit:

Malaysian GST – When do I have to set a supplier up for GST?

We often have clients that want to put every small purchase through their petty cash process but there is legislation to limit this.

GST Regulations 2014, S38(a)(ii) states :

“A tax invoice which does not contain the name and address of the recipient where approval has been given by the Director General under paragraph 33(3)(a) of the Act provided that the maximum amount of input tax to be claimed is not more than thirty ringgit;”

So if the receipt is more than 30 Ringgit and from a registered GST supplier then it should be set up as a supplier! A way around this is for an individual to purchase the item themselves and then submit an expense claim.

Malaysian GST – do you have to register for MY GST if you sell to Malaysia but are not located there?

GST Act 2014, Guide on Tax Invoice and Records Keeping and Guide on Agents.

GST Act 2014 , S65(6) states:

“ where a person who does not belong in Malaysia makes taxable supply in Malaysia and is liable to be registered under section 20 or intends to be registered under section 24, he shall appoint an agent to act on his behalf and such agent, whether or not he is a taxable person, shall be liable for the tax and comply with any other requirements imposed under this Act as if the agent is a person who does not belong in Malaysia.”

Please refer to page 8 and 9 of the Guide on Agents for further explanation on the discussed scenario.