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VAT Still Center-Stage

Kitty Miv, Editor
13 May, 2021

Last week we looked at VAT moves in various countries to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on hard-hit industry sectors such as tourism and hospitality, and as a lever to bolster ailing economies more generally.

This week, we will continue to focus on indirect taxes, starting with Mauritius, where the authorities are seeking to ease the compliance process for taxpayers via the implementation of a new electronic registration process.

The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) announced that "... a new facility has been developed jointly by the MRA and the Corporate and Business Registration Department (CBRD) for online VAT Registration of a company on incorporation under a single process."

"While making an online application to the CBRD for incorporation of a company, the applicant will, henceforth, be required to provide details relating to VAT registration and will be registered by the MRA for VAT purposes, where applicable."

"Immediately after its registration as a company by the CBRD, the MRA will inform the company of its VAT registration status and the assigned VAT Registration Number."

In Cyprus, meanwhile, the Government announced plans to introduce legislation in parliament to waive penalties for certain taxpayers with overdue value-added tax liabilities.

The Ministry of Finance explained that: "As part of measures to support companies facing liquidity problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Finance announces that it intends to immediately submit a bill to the House of Representatives, which will include arrangements for not imposing any penalties or interest on taxable persons for VAT payable on May 10, June 10, and July 10, 2021."

These amounts would be payable instead on August 10, September 10, and October 10, respectively, it said.

To benefit from the concessions, monthly value-added tax returns must be filed by the existing deadlines, and the measure will cover only those entities engaged in economic activities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions.

And last but not least, Afghanistan has begun accepting applications from businesses to register for the country's new value-added tax regime, which is to be implemented from December 22, 2021.

Under approved legislation for the regime, VAT will be levied on goods and services at a single, 10 percent rate. It will replace Afghanistan's existing cascading sales tax system.

The country began accepting applications for registration on May 1, 2021. Once VAT is introduced, registration will be required within 15 days of the threshold being met. The General Department of Revenue has released the form that should be completed to register for VAT on its website. Non-residents will be required to register for VAT by appointing a VAT representative.

Until next week!


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About the Author


Kitty Miv, Editor

Kitty was born in Argentina in 1960 to a Scottish cattle rancher and his Argentine wife. Educated in Edinburgh and at Princeton, Kitty worked for the World Bank as an economist, where she met and married an emigre Iranian banker. During her time with the Bank, Kitty worked in a number of emerging markets, including a spell in the ex-USSR as a Transition Economies Team Leader. Kitty is now a consultant in Brussels and has free-lance writing relationships with a number of prominent economic publications. kitty@lowtax.net

 

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