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Key points to take from the OECD Global Forum on VAT

Published: 08 May 2017

Last month the fourth meeting of the Global Forum on VAT took place in Paris, involving around 300 participants, constituting over 100 delegations from member countries, non-members and NGOs.

The event lasted two three days, from April 12 to 15 and addressed several focus topics.

It is worth mentioning the discussion over the introduction of VAT in China, that substituted business tax in 2016, after a long period of implementation.

The transition toward modern VAT represents a fundamental step to enhance the international competitiveness of the country.

The OECD Deputy General also announced the release of the ‘Recommendation of the Council on the Application of VAT/GST to International Trade in Services and Intangibles’.

The Recommendation is open to non-OECD members and has been drafted based on the VAT/GST Guidelines. Those two instruments are tailored to coordinate the different national VAT systems in the context of international trade.

The participants discussed several possible mechanisms for the practical implementation of the Recommendation, welcoming the proposition of “implementation packages”, the first of which will concern VAT application to internet trade.

In fact, e-commerce, represents an actual issue when it comes to VAT collection since it is often difficult to properly track and tax those activities.

Solutions to the problem have been studied in the context of the BEPS Project to fight base erosion and profit shifting, and they are now part of the content of the Recommendation.

Firm: Addleshaw Goddard

Practice Area: Trade & Customs

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