EU

Adding Real Time Analytics to your Tax Department’s Indirect Tax Toolkit

eBiz Answers have recently added Real Time Tax Analytics to their indirect tax toolkit,  the application has designed specifically with the tax department in mind.   Real Time analytics is a user friendly web application which will inform the tax department of a transaction with a potential tax issue within seconds of it being entered.   This allows the tax department to identify and correct issues at source and empowering the tax department to be involved in the end to end process.

The ever increasing use of technology by Tax Authorities for tax compliance is directly impacting the inner workings of the tax department.     The VAT landscape is changing rapidly across the globe as Tax Authorities introduce technology to crackdown on tax avoidance and ensure corporate tax transparency.    From South American to Europe,  tax authorities are passing regulation to ensure companies provide accounting data in a standardised format, direct from their ERP applications on a monthly basis.  The tax authorities can then check the file, validate the data and ensure compliance.   Poland has introduced electronic filing with SAF-T files from the 1st July to join Portugal, Luxembourg, Austria and Lithuania who are already using the SAF-T filing format.

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What Exchange Rate To Use For Foreign Currency Invoices From Domestic Suppliers

Do I have to use the exchange rate on the supplier invoice when entering a domestic invoice with a foreign currency.

Most ERP systems, good ones at least such as Oracle and SAP, will allow you to enter and store an exchange rate to use for your foreign currency invoices so that the foreign currency will then be automatically converted to your ledger currency when posted. There are also times when you may receive a foreign currency invoice, USD is the most common scenario, from a domestic supplier and VAT is charged because the sale is within the same country.

The problem

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How do you make indirect tax interesting? Revolutionise it!

As published in the Tax Technologist – specialist newsletter.

After I had done my part on a recent Oracle R12 presales presentation, I received the comment “I usually find tax really boring but somehow Andrew made that enjoyable to listen to”.  In fact, I always get a fantastic engagement when I talk about our indirect tax solutions in Oracle ERP systems (Oracle R12 and Fusion or Oracle Cloud as it is now known). The reason for this is simple, we are trying to make a difference and change the indirect tax process status quo.

We understand indirect tax and we are experts in Oracle, so we perfectly translate between the two. The majority of solutions we see usually fall well below what should be an acceptable solution. Maybe 90% either are or are considered at risk of being non-compliant as they rely almost entirely on a manual solution. Continue Reading

Oracle – VAT applicability between a parent company and a permanent establishment in Italy

Really this can apply to any EU country and comes under the tax engine rules for Same VAT Group and can apply to any VAT or GST based tax regime.

In reference to the original article by the TMF group on VAT in Italy between a parent company and its child, I thought that i would try and explain this in terms of setting up the tax in Oracle R12 eBTax or Oracle Cloud Tax.

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Senior Account Officers say VAT is causing them most concern

Why be worried about VAT compliance when the answer is out there?

A poll conducted by one of the big 4 consultancies and outlined in their ‘SAO Toolkit‘ said that from a recent poll (no date was given so assume still recent), “over three- quarters (77%) of Senior Accounting Officers say they undertook a review of their reporting systems and nearly half (46%) of firms say VAT is the area of tax which is causing them most concern, followed by PAYE (32%), corporation tax (11%) and excise”.

With this in mind, why then do so many companies have such poorly designed VAT systems and do not invest any money in reducing the risk of non compliance around VAT?

Get in touch with us to find out how we can lead the way to achieving 100% compliance.

European Council VAT Action Plan on VAT Fraud

On 25th May 2016 the ‘Council for the European Union’ and the ‘Economic and Financial Affairs Council’ (also known as ECOFIN) agreed on an action plan to tackle VAT fraud and the ever increasing VAT gap in Europe, leading towards a single EU VAT area.

At a recent meeting in Brussels the ECOFIN reviewed the programe see the original publication here, to tackle fraud and simplify the process around VAT compliance. The plan proposes a range of measures including the extension of MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) reporting to goods, the removal of zero rating intra-Community supplies and better co-operation between tax authorities.

The key points raised were;

• Welcomes the findings towards a single EU VAT area with the aim of tackling VAT fraud and closing the VAT gap.

• It agrees with the Action Plans call for new and radical anti-VAT fraud measures, but highlighted that more simplification is required with the aim of introducing these legislative principles in 2017. Continue Reading

Hungary to cut VAT on Restaurants and Basics

The Hungarian government has announced its plans to cut VAT on restaurants, café services, milk, eggs and poultry by 2017.

According to this recent proposal as from the 1st of January 2017, the VAT on food basics – milk, eggs and poultry will be cut from the current rate of 27% down to 5%. In addition to this the VAT on restaurant and café services will drop from 27% to 18% with plans to cut this further to 5% in 2018. This is a follow on from early cuts which brought the VAT on pork down from 27% to 5%.

Whilst this will bring a shortfall in revenue for the government they believe that it will have no operational deficit as this loss will be covered by higher expenditure and faster growth, with GDP expected to pick up to 3.1% next year from 2.5% expected this year.

There is also the potential that internet will also be cut from 27% to 18%.

Oracle R12 eBTax – EMEA VAT SELECTION PROCESS Finally faster!

This blog should affect every single entity using Oracle in the EU but as we usually find, the majority of tax configuration for Oracle R12 has been badly done by the various integration partners and the EU reporting functionality completely missed and nowhere to be seen! Oracle have provided an excellent solution with the European Tax Reporting Ledger but it is often completely missed. But for those of you who have set your solution up correctly, you will often be frustrated by how long the EMEA VAT: Selection Process takes to run and for some large companies we have done work for, the times can be more than 24 hours! Something completely unacceptable for busy tax departments.

But fear not, Oracle now have a fix.

Patch 17976021: MINIMUM TAX REPORTING DATE PARAMETER REQUIRED IN EMEA VAT SELECTION PROCESS TO AVOID PERFORMANCE ISSUE

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Austrian Reduced VAT rate increase

Austrian Reduced VAT rate increase

As part of their 2016 budget Austria have proposed a reduced VAT rate hike raising it from 10% to 13% for the majority of supplies, this is expected to come into force on 1st January 2016, the list of supplies included in this VAT hike are:

Cultural events, including entrance to public museums and galleries

• Livestock and seeds
• Hotels (applies later in 2016)

Whilst staying at 10% will be:

• Supplies of food
• Pharmaceutical products

Greek bailout agreement reached

Greece agree bailout deal

An agreement was finally reached last Monday for a €86B bailout deal for Greece, the terms of the new bailout included implementing by Wednesday 15th July to pass laws that:

• Implement VAT hikes.
• Cut pensions.
• Take steps to ensure the independence of Greece’s statistics office is maintained.
• Put measures in place to automatically slash spending if Greece fails to meet its targets on primary surpluses (revenue minus expenditure excluding debt servicing costs).

And by Wednesday 22nd July to:

• Overhaul its civil justice system.
• Implement the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) to bring bank resolution laws in line with the rest of the EU.
• Market reforms with a clear timetable for implementation of all OECD recommendations, including Sunday trade, sales periods, pharmacy ownership, milk and bakeries, except over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, which will be implemented in a next step.
• Privatisation of the electricity transmission network operator (ADMIE), unless replacement measures can be found that have equivalent effect on competition.
• Labour market policies should be aligned with international and European best practices.
• Adopt the necessary steps to strengthen the financial sector. Continue Reading

Greece presents new bailout proposals

Greece new bail out proposals

Greece have outlined their latest VAT proposals since the ‘No’ referendum last Sunday, so far their main points include:

• Cuts to military spending.
• VAT changes.
• Corporate tax increases.
• Raising retirement age to 67.
• Crack down on tax fraud.
• Increase tax on shipping companies.

The key VAT points are:

• 30% relief for Greek islands to be scrapped – only the most remote islands will keep these tax breaks.
• Restaurants and catering services VAT will rise from 13% to 23%.
• Reduction of the 6.5% to 6%, now only applicable to books, theatre admission and certain medicines.
• A Reduced 13% tax on basic foodstuffs. Continue Reading

Poland plan to cut VAT

Poland VAT cut

Today Poland’s ruling Civic Platform (PO) party announced plans to lower the VAT rate from 23% to 22% starting from the 1st of January 2016. The VAT rate was raised in 2011 to raise budget income during the financial crisis, when its GDP reached 10%, a rate of 3% or lower is required to stay in the Euro currency. However Poland fared well during the financial crisis being one of the only countries not to go into recession, and latest figures show that it could now reach the Euro currency figure comfortably, with the PO currently being pro-EU. This drop in VAT is expected to affect the budget as bringing it down by 1 percentage point will cost the budget an estimated 5 to 6 billion zlotys.

However nothing is yet set out as there will be a general election in October and the PO’s current strongest competition has not laid out any plans for a VAT cut but have proposed plans to stay out of the Euro zone.

Romania’s potential new reduced VAT rate & the success of the food VAT rate drops

Romania potential new reduced VAT rate & the success of the food VAT rate drops

Romania’s Lower House of Parliament has approved plans to introduce a new reduced rate of VAT to 5% for cultural services, lower value houses and printed media. The new 5% VAT rate would apply to books, newspapers, magazines, and tickets to museums, monuments, cultural events, cinemas and sporting events.

More approvals from the Upper House of Parliament still need to be received before this reduced VAT rate can be introduced.

Romania’s recent success

Romania has recently seen success in lowering the tax rate on food products by 15% (see previous eBiz Answers post). From this they have seen an increase of 17% in the number of products sold in the first 2 weeks, compared to figures from last year, with coffee seeing the biggest increase in sales, going up 25%. Overall sales were 12% higher than in May and 17% higher than June 2014.

Greek financial crisis – possible VAT changes

July 2015

Greek VAT reforms in the economic crisis

Yesterday Greece became the first European Union country to miss their deadline to repay a loan, totaling around £1.1bn, from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after their request for another extension for the previous bailout was denied on Tuesday. By being in arrears to the world’s financial backbone, Greece immediately lose access to IMF resources and could eventually be kicked out of the fund entirely. If the country goes bankrupt or decides to leave the 19-nation Eurozone, the situation could create instability in the region and resonate around the globe.

Greece’s total debt is around €360,000,000,000 which is 180% of its GDP and with around 25% of its citizens unemployed what are Greece doing to try and combat this economic crisis?

Greece’s latest proposals are focused on VAT rates, early retirement measures and tax increases, which aim to cover a good part of the country’s budgetary gap, which is around €900M, the proposals around VAT could bring in around two billion euros. In terms of the VAT proposals last week the government offered VAT increases on a range of products, so the standard rate of 23% would remain but the scope would change with the standard rate being extended to more products including:

• Water supplies
• Transport of passengers
• Social housing
• Repairs to private housing
• Agricultural imports
• Social services
• Food Outlets
• Hotel stays

But nothing is so far confirmed with many other products and services also in the mix for potential VAT raise and the lower 6% reduced rate could be limited to books and medical supplies. Greece’s creditors also want the 30% VAT discount applied to Greek islands eliminated making VAT uniform throughout the country but Greece wants to keep the discount in place. Continue Reading

Romania confirms 5% VAT rate cut

Romania confirms 5% VAT rate cut

The Romanian Government has now confirmed that the planned VAT rate cut is going ahead, a drop from 24% which is one of Europe’s highest to 19% which is one of the lowest. It has recently been uncertain as to whether the cuts would go ahead due to some political unrest when the opposition accused the Government of going in the wrong direction with the budget and calling for a re-election which would have put the VAT plans in jeopardy.

However earlier this month the Government confirmed the VAT cut was to be implemented by 1st January 2016, and at a greater rate than was expected. In February they announced a cut to 20%, this is based on a quicker than expected return to growth in the country.

Furthermore in addition to this they also confirmed that draft beer will drop from 24% to 9% following in line with the earlier cut to food products.

Yet with this measure potentially impacting the budget revenues by some EUR 2.6 billion both the EU and the IMF have expressed doubts over the sustainability of such deep tax cuts in Romania.

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