Indirect tax briefing

A review of global indirect tax developments and issues.

In this edition, we start by looking at three megatrends that
are shaping our modern world – transparency, technology and talent – and consider how they impact indirect taxes. To meet the challenges of doing business in a complex and rapidly changing environment, business models are changing, creating new challenges for tax administrations and tax systems as well. In keeping with this theme, we include an article on 3-D printing and ask how indirect taxes can deal with a radically altered supply chain from both a VAT and customs duty perspective.

We also take a closer look at four trends that are shaping
the global indirect tax landscape. Indirect taxes continue to
grow and broaden their base. In addition to our regular global indirect changes map (pages 24 and 25), we also include a
map that highlights countries and regions that have recently introduced VAT/GST systems, are developing these systems or are undergoing major changes (pages 68 and 69). A further map looks at some of the countries that have announced changes
or are reviewing the taxation of the digital economy (pages 34 and 35). These maps provide a high-level overview of significant developments in indirect taxation around the globe, but it is
not an exhaustive review. Our article on the GST rollout in India provides an update on the progress of GST introduction and outlines a number of ways in which businesses can be prepared for the many changes GST will bring.

Governments across the globe are continuing to look for ways
to increase revenue to finance their budgets, with indirect tax
at the forefront. It’s not just the traditional VAT/GST and global trade changes that are affected. We feature specialty indirect taxes — insurance premium tax and environmental and energy taxes — looking at recent changes in these areas and asking how businesses can meet the challenges of compliance and grasp the opportunities that these indirect taxes present.

Tax compliance is a major concern for businesses across the globe. Getting everything right all the time and in every country is a tall order, especially as rules change frequently and are not uniformly applied, even across single-market trading blocs such as the EU. We look at compliance challenges in a number of countries, including the tour operators’ margin scheme in the EU, new requirements and cash flow issues in Italy, and the new VAT return form in Russia.

Compliance failures, complex legislation and new tax rules
often lead to problematic tax audits and disputes with tax administrations. We provide an overview and key messages from our recent report Managing indirect tax controversy: dealing with audits and disputes,1 which examines challenges business face in managing controversy around the world as tax administrations focus more attention on enforcement activity. 

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