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We are pleased to share with you the August 2020 issue of the Global VAT/GST Newsletter, a publication of Baker McKenzie’s Tax Practice Group. We hope that this issue finds you, your families, and colleagues in good health.

As countries continue the journey to recovery and businesses steadily adapt and rebuild towards the new normal, we continue to see tax authorities all over the world establish guidelines in response to the effects of the pandemic, particularly in the areas of e-commerce and digital services. In this issue, we review Russia’s radical reduction in corporate tax for IT companies and also Saudi Arabia’s increase in the VAT rate. We also cover some of the the latest development in digital services taxation, particularly in Asia in the case of the Philippines’ proposed Digital Economy Taxation Act of 2020 and Indonesia’s MoF Regulation 48.

We would also like to share with you Baker McKenzie’s Beyond COVID-19 Resource Center, an update to the Resilience, Recovery & Renewal resource center that aims to provide companies with high-level guidance on the various legal issues throughout the phases of their pandemic response.

As always, we also encourage you to reach out to your Baker McKenzie contact(s) for any specific questions or legal concern you may have, as well as to contact our newsletter editors Jochen Meyer-Burow and Martin Morawski, or any of the authors listed throughout the newsletter, if you have any comments or questions.

In this issue:

      • OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has reacted to recent statements and exchanges regarding the ongoing negotiations to address the tax challenges of the digitalization of the economy
      • VAT Action Plan
      • EU: VAT highlights of the European Commission’s Tax Action Plan
      • EU: Entry into force of new VAT e-commerce legislation postponed to 1 July 2021
      • EU: European Commission VAT committee updates
      • EU: COVID-19: European Commission waiving VAT and customs duties on vital medical equipment
      • Africa: Baker McKenzie Africa Tax Newsletter
      • Africa: VAT exemption and duties rebate for essential goods in South Africa
      • Brazil: Brazilian IRS authorizes additional PIS and COFINS credits
      • Brazil: The Brazilian Supreme Court issues a binding precedent on tax immunity over transactions with e-books and e-readers
      • China: Dalian case — an offshore company fulfills its VAT obligation and payment when transferring shares in the open market
      • Germany: Coronavirus-related tax relief
      • Germany: German Federal Tax Court on holding a company’s right to deduct input VAT
      • Germany: New decision of the highest German tax court regarding the VAT treatment of share deals (XI R 33/18, dated 18 September 2019)
      • Germany: The German Federal Tax Court has requested two preliminary rulings from the European Court of Justice regarding the implementation of VAT grouping rules in Germany
      • Germany: VAT in times of COVID-19 — fast-track reduction of VAT
      • Indonesia: New regulation on VAT obligations related to transactions through electronic system
      • Mexico: Crediting of non‑withheld VAT — Rule 4.1.11 of the miscellaneous tax rules to be repealed
      • Philippines: Proposed Digital Economy Taxation Act of 2020
      • Philippines: Bureau of Internal Revenue authorizes the issuance and use of electronic copies of VAT certificates and VAT identification
      • Russia: Radical tax reform in the IT industry
      • Saudi Arabia triples VAT rate to 15%
      • Spain: VAT developments from the Spanish Supreme Court and Directorate of Taxes
      • Spain: Central Economic Administrative Court — new judgment considers a Spanish branch and headquarters separate VAT taxpayers
      • United Kingdom: New post-Brexit VAT rules for online sales of goods
      • United States: Texas Comptroller’s Office implements new sourcing rule for internet sales and announces end of internet access tax
      • Venezuela: National Executive issued decree extending the exemption from the payment of the Value Added Tax, Import Tax and Rate for Determination of the Customs Regime until 31 December 2020
      • Venezuela: Tax exemption for the import of goods that prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID‑19)
      • Venezuela: Exclusion of the tax exemption on the final consumption items determined by the Ministries of Economy and Finance and Productive Agriculture and Lands
      • The Venezuelan Government exempted imports and domestic sales of fuels derived from hydrocarbons from VAT, custom duties and customs fee
      • European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement
      • Vietnam: New circular to implement the EVFTA’s rules of origin
      • Vietnam: EVFTA – Opportunities for trade in goods



Jochen Meyer-Burow is a German attorney at law with a Master degree in German Tax Law, and an LL.M. in Indirect Taxation and Information Technology Law of the University of London. Mr. Meyer-Burow frequently authors legal articles and comments on current VAT matters in domestic and international publications. He is a regular contributor of the VAT advisor journal in Germany (UStB) and a commentator in the upcoming HDS-commentary for German value added taxes. Mr. Meyer-Burow is a Member of the firms European VAT Steering Committee and was an active member of Baker McKenzie’s European Indirect Tax Practice which received the first European Indirect Tax Firm of the Year Award. He has been listed among leading Indirect Tax Experts for several years (International Tax Review). Together with Baker McKenzie’s German Tax Practice Group, he was nominated for several Juve Awards, contributing one of his larger retail-related cases he shared in the European Media & Entertainment Tax Team of the Year Award for Baker McKenzie in 2012 (ITR). Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Meyer-Burow worked as a VAT attorney with PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG in Germany, and as legal counsel in New York and London.


Martin Morawski is a Legal Director in Baker McKenzie's Amsterdam office.