January/February 2015  
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International VAT Monitor
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Issue No. 1 - 2015 of the International VAT Monitor is now available online.

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VAT Considerations in M&A Transactions

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Number 1 - 2015 contains the following:

New Rules from 2015 Onwards for Telecommunications, Radio and Television Broadcasting, and Electronically Supplied Services

Patrick Wille
Amendments to the VAT Systems of EU Member States on 1 January 2015 - Update
Fabiola Annacondia
In this article, the editor gives an overview of the state of affairs, at the beginning of January 2015, of the transposition process of the rules that must have entered into force on 1 January 2015 in the individual Member States.
The 2015 Rules for Electronically Supplied Services – Compliance Issues
Marie Lamensch
In this article, the author discusses the new rules applicable for electronically supplied services from 1 January 2015. According to the author, these rules are missing their objective of alleviating businesses’ compliance burden and of increasing legal certainty. The author also makes tentative recommendations of best practices for suppliers of those services and for tax administrations. The author suggests Member States to consider the introduction of a threshold for small and medium-sized businesses.
Scanning the Scope of Skandia
Simon Cornielje and Ivan Bondarev
In this article the authors explore a number of questions around the impact of the recent decision of the ECJ in Skandia. Their analysis focuses on the implementation of the VAT grouping arrangement in Sweden, the possibility of considering as a taxable transaction the charges between a main establishment and its branch, and if the impact of this case should be limited to situations where a main establishment is in a country outside the European Union.
New Rules for Head Office to Branch Scenarios – Comments on the Skandia Case
Odile Courjon

The author comments on the ECJ decision in the Skandia case. She analyses the impact of this recent decision in relation to supplies of services between head office and branches, and the ramifications of this case, particularly in countries that recognize VAT grouping.

Publishing Industry and Reduced VAT Rates: An Open Question
Paolo Centore and Maria Teresa Sutich
In this article, the authors discuss the decision of the ECJ in K Oy and highlight the problems with the concept of an “average consumer”. From this decision, it seems that the opinion of the “average consumer” could justify the differential tax rates chosen by Member States. In the opinion of the authors, national courts can now apply this concept to ensure the neutrality of the VAT system and avoid discrimination between comparable goods or services.
Practical Information on European VAT
Fabiola Annacondia
As is traditional in the first issue of each year, the green annex presents the key features of the VAT systems of most European countries (both EU and non-EU), including standard and reduced VAT rates, various thresholds, the format of the VAT identification numbers and contact details of the offices of the national tax administration which process VAT refund applications or provide information to non-resident businesses on national VAT rules. The overview is compiled by the editor on the basis of information provided by the International VAT Monitor’s correspondents at the beginning of 2015.
Reports from: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, China (People's Rep.), Colombia, Comoros Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, European Union, Georgia, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (FYR), Madagascar, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Russia, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom and United States.
Case notes from: Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.
Judgments in: Joined Cases C-131/13, C-163/13 and C-164/13,  Case C-219/13, Case 590/13 and Case C-639/13; Opinion in: Case C-499/13; Preliminary ruling requests in Cases: C-419/14, C-423/14, C-463/14, C-518/14 and C-516/14; and Removal of: Case C-403/14.