A look across the border

Umsatzsteuer Newsletter 38/2019
PORTUGAL postpones requirement of certified invoicing software +++ LITHUANIA implements Reverse Charge for mobile phones +++ NORWAY implements SAF-T +++ UK postpones Reverse Charge for construction services +++ POLAND publishes White List of taxable persons and postpones replacement of VAT return by SAF-T +++ CROATIA reduces VAT rate for hospitality and standard VAT rate +++ JAPAN reduces standard VAT rate +++ SAUDI-ARABIA waives obligation of fiscal representative for non-residents +++ CZECH REPUBLIC plans implementation of a general Reverse Charge
1 Croatia
Croatia plans to reduce its VAT rate on hospitality services to 13%. In addition, as of 01.01.2020, the standard VAT rate is to be reduced from 25% to 24%.
2 Czech Republic
The Czech Republic plans to introduce a general reverse charge mechanism for all supplies. However, before the possible introduction, the approval of the EU Commission must be obtained. Should the Czech Republic implement this regulation, the VAT liability for the provision of all supplies would be shifted to the service recipient.
3 Japan
Japan will increase its standard VAT rate from 8% to 10% as of 01.10.2019. At the same time, a reduced tax rate of 8% is to be introduced for food and newspapers.
4 Lithuania
With effect as of 01.08.2019 Lithuania implemented a domestic reverse charge mechanism also on the supply of mobile phones, tablets and laptops. 
5 Norway
As of 01.01.2020, SAF-T will be introduced in Norway for companies with turnovers in excess of NOK 5 million. However, SAF-T will only have to be provided to the tax authorities as a result of their explicit request, e.g. as part of a tax audit. The required SAF-T data will be gradually expanded over time. In a first phase, only accounting information, in particular information on the service provider and recipient as well as VAT ID numbers, will have to be included in SAF-T.
6 Poland
On 01.09.2019 the Polish tax authorities published the so-called "White List of Taxable Persons". This list contains, among other things, bank account numbers provided by taxable persons to the tax authorities. These account numbers have been verified by the STIR system. To date, no foreign bank account numbers have been included in the White List. If a taxpayer transfers payments to a bank account of the service provider other than the one listed on the White List, as of 01.01.2020 the service recipient will be jointly and severally liable with the service provider if the transferred amount exceeds PLN 15,000. If the transfer is made to another bank account and the tax authorities are informed accordingly within three days of this transfer, the joint and several liability will not apply. The White List also contains taxpayers’ addresses, names of authorized representatives, dates of VAT registrations and taxpayers’ VAT statuses.
In addition, Poland has once again postponed the replacement of periodic VAT returns by the SAF-T. As of 01.04.2020, the new regulations should only apply to so-called large taxpayers. Large taxpayers are companies with more than 250 employees or an annual turnover of more than EUR 50 million and a balance sheet value of more than EUR 43 million. The mandatory implementation for all other taxpayers is currently planned for 01.07.2020.
Moreover, new information regarding the Split Payment System was published. The existence of a SEPA Direct Debit Mandate has no effect on the application of Split Payment. Therefore, the agreed payment method has no effect on whether or not the Split Payment is applied. Furthermore, Split Payment must also be applied when the supplier and the payee are not the same person.
7 Portugal
The Portuguese tax authorities have postponed the mandatory application of certified software for non-resident companies until 01.01.2021. Companies not resident in Portugal but only registered for VAT purposes now have more time to implement the requirements of the Portuguese tax authorities.
8 Saudi-Arabia
Since 18.07.2019 Saudi-Arabia no longer requires a local fiscal representative for non-resident companies. Instead, it is sufficient for non-residents to provide a bank guarantee or a cash deposit equivalent to the estimated tax liability for a period of six months.
9 United Kingdom
The planned introduction of a national reverse charge mechanism for construction work carried out in the UK will be postponed until 01.10.2020.

Ronny Langer
Certified tax consultant, Dipl.-Finanzwirt (FH)
Phone: +49 89 217501250

As per: 23.09.2019