Peter Scheller
Berater für Wirtschaftsprüfer, Rechtsanwälte, Steuer- und Unternehmensberater

„Wenn es knifflig wird.“

IAPA meeting 2017 in Warsaw

von Peter Scheller

IAPA meeting 2017 in Warsaw

This year’s general meeting of the IAPA International Association of Professional Advisers took place on the 29 and 30 September 2017 in Warsaw. Main topics of this year’s conference were the new EU-regulation on data protection, taxation of expatriates living and working in EU-member states and country updates in Europe.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Main topic of this year’s conference was the introduction of the regulation on data protection by the European Union. This regulation will enter into force on 25 May 2018. The regulation will affect all business entities and institutions in the Union. The delegates discussed the effects on professions such as Chartered Accountants or Tax Advisers and their clients.

For the regulation see here.

Taxation of Expatriates in Europe

The number of individuals living and working abroad is constantly increasing. Expatriates have to be aware of issues such as legal, tax and social security regulations in the chosen country. For professional advisers in the EU this requires not only a profound knowledge of their domestic tax and social security law but also on Double Taxation and Social Security Treaties and EU law.

Important is also a basic knowledge of the cultural and legal background of the expatriate’s home country and the special demands of expatriates. The delegates discussed this in the case of US-expatriates who choose to live and work in Europe. The following list is an example of special questions which may occur:

  • Can an expatriate remain in the US health system (Medicare)?
  • Is it advisable to continue a US pension plan (e.g. 401k plan)?
  • Is there a risk of being liable to US and German social security contributions or taxes?
  • What tax consequences occur if a US citizen is
    • Shareholder of an S Corporation or an LLC
    • Beneficiary of a US trust
    • Heir of an estate (Inheritance tax)
    • Member of the US forces or the diplomatic service
  • Which forms and formalities have to be used/observed to secure tax credits?
  • Which customs obligations have to be observed if the expatriate imports household goods or cars in Germany?
  • Which child benefits can an expatriate use?

Country updates

Delegates did a short update about changes of tax regulations in their respective countries:

Spain: Main issues was the introduction of the electronic transfer of VAT relevant data to the tax authorities. The new systems is destined to match details of invoices of suppliers/service providers and their customers.

Germany: There were no major changes because of recent general elections.

New regulation of money laundering are in place.

Sweden: There are no fundamental changes in tax law since the minority government is not able to pass new laws of importance through the parliament.

France: The election of Macron changed the political landscape in France. Major changes are the cut of wealth tax and the reduction of taxes on capital gains. Important is also the reform of labour law.

The Netherlands: There are no major changes because of upcoming general elections.

Austria: There are no major changes because of upcoming elections on 15 October.

Turkey: The tax system is stable but changes are made constantly.

Switzerland: On 1 January 2017 Switzerland has revised rules for the brand “Made in Switzerland”. The new rules require that 80% of productions costs on food products and 60% of industrial products have to be of Swiss origin.

Bank secrecy has ended for EU citizens and citizens of 9 other countries.

Another major change is that volunteer fire fighters are allowed to drink beer again.

From 1 January 2018 VAT obligation have to be fulfilled by foreign business entities if their worldwide sales exceed 100,000 SFR. Up to now a VAT registration in Switzerland was only obligatory if sales in Switzerland exceeded 100,000 SFR. VAT rates will decrease slightly.

Poland: The new system of electronical transfer of VAT relevant data to tax authorities did not work properly in the beginning. However, issues have been solved. Here are new regulations for registration and deregistration for VAT purposes. Another change is the extension of the reverse charge system on subcontractors.

Bildquelle: www.fotalia.com

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