UAE “surprised and disappointed” to be included in EU list of non-compliant tax jurisdictions

Dubai skyline (Shutterstock)
Updated 07 December 2017
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UAE “surprised and disappointed” to be included in EU list of non-compliant tax jurisdictions

DUBAI: The UAE says it is surprised and disappointed that it has been included in a European Union list of non-compliant tax jurisdictions, state news agency WAM reported.
In the statement, the UAE highlighted its full commitment to maintaining the highest international standards of financial oversight and tax regulation, saying it would continue to work with international partners to deliver this.
The UAE’s Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Younis Hajji Al-Khouri, said: “The UAE has worked to meet the European Union’s requirements in terms of exchanging tax-related information.”
“We have committed to a reform process which will be finalized by October 2018, and we are absolutely confident this will ensure the UAE is swiftly removed from the list… We look forward to moving into the next phase of cooperation with our EU partners on the important issue of tax regulation.”
The statement added: “Since early 2017, the UAE has worked transparently with European Union counterparts to ensure that we meet the criteria laid down by European Union Member States. As the European Union has itself noted, the UAE has addressed each and every issue the EU has raised. The UAE has drafted, legislated and implemented significant reforms to ensure that we remain in lock-step with our OECD partners and international best practice.”
It continued: “The sole outstanding issue is the implementation of the base erosion and profit shifting, BEPS, Minimum Standard, which we have committed to finalize by October 2018 and ratify by March 2019 – giving our federal structure sufficient time to allow for ratification across the seven Emirates. We stand by this realistic timeline.”
“The UAE will continue to work with international partners on this issue, and is confident that it will be recognized as an internationally compliant partner at the EU’s next review,” the statement concluded.


India cuts sales tax across sectors to ease pain of traders and consumers

Updated 21 July 2018
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India cuts sales tax across sectors to ease pain of traders and consumers

MUMBAI: India slashed the sales tax rate on over 50 products on Saturday in a move aimed at appealing to traders and the middle classes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government eyes next year’s elections.
Modi is seeking a second term in 2019 amid voter frustration over the abrupt implementation of a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) a year ago that has hit businesses and general public hard.
The GST council, headed by interim finance minister Piyush Goyal, agreed to lower the indirect tax slab on products such as paints, leather goods, bamboo flooring, stoves, televisions and washing machines from the highest rate of 28 percent to mostly 18 percent.
“The exercise was to ensure simplification and rationalization of GST and extend relief to the common man,” Goyal told a news conference in New Delhi on Saturday evening.
The tax rate on ethanol blended with petrol, footwear costing up to 1,000 rupees and fertilizer grade phosphoric acid has been cut to from 12 to 5 percent, Goyal said.
The council cut taxes on sanitary pads and fortified baby milk to zero, Goyal said.
In a boost to mobile phone manufacturing and electric vehicles, the tax rate on lithium ion batteries was cut from 28 percent to 18 percent.
“The decision taken today will increase compliance and the revenue impact on total tax collections will be marginal,” said Goyal.
The revised tax rates will be applicable from July 27.
Revenue collections from GST are a crucial pillar of government’s plan to cut its fiscal deficit in the current year. India’s GST collection for the fiscal 2017/18 was 98 percent of the budgeted target.
“The broad level reductions in rates could lead to lower tax collections,” said M S Mani, partner at consulting firm Deloitte India.
However, the tax cut will lead to higher sales which could offset revenue losses, Mani added.
($1 = 68.7300 Indian rupees)