Swiss Canton Cuts Tax Rates, EU to Give VAT Refunds via 13th Directive, France Social Levy Effective
from July 2012: Updates from Europe
The canton of Lucerne, as part of tax law revisions announced in 2011, cut the corporate income tax rate
from 3% to 1.5% with effect from January 1, 2012. The steep reduction in tax rate results in a statutory
communal and cantonal tax burden of 4.3% to 6.5%. The canton of Lucerne is now offering the lowest
corporate income tax of all Swiss cantons making it amongst the most attractive for national and
European Union: Companies from Non-EU Countries Could Reclaim VAT Incurred in EU via 13th
Companies registered in non-EU countries have until June 30, 2012 to file applications to reclaim Value
Added Tax (VAT) incurred in the EU using the 13th Directive. The application entitles them to seek
refunds on VAT incurred up to December 30, 2011. The June 30, 2012 deadline is for most EU countries
and it is imperative companies begin collecting relevant data immediately as EU member states are not
flexible on the deadline and may not accept late claims.
Companies must also ensure they have all necessary documents collected and reviewed prior to
submission. Documentation requirements vary by country but the below items are mandatory for all:
Valid VAT invoices
Certificate of taxable status from the tax authorities where the non EU business is a resident
France Social Levy: Effective Date is July 1, 2012
Finance Amendment Law provides for an increase in the social levy (contribution sociale) on passive
income, from 3.4% to 5.4%, with effect from July 1, 2012. It was earlier reported the effective date is
October 1, 2012.
Belgium: VAT Refunds
In Belgium, Notaries and bailiff's were exempt from charging VAT until January 1, 2012 when this
exemption was abolished. As per transitional rules, it is not required to pay VAT over to the VAT
authorities until later in the year. New rules, however, apply to the recovery of VAT paid in cases where
a VAT exemption is abolished. In such situations normal refund processes for VAT do not apply, instead
the payer must offset the amount paid in the periodic EU VAT return against VAT payable on future
Germany: Intrastat Reporting Thresholds for 2012 Increased
Reminder to all companies that intrastate reporting thresholds in 2012, for both dispatches and arrivals,
are increased to 500,000.
UK: Returns must be filed electronically
Reminder to all companies that all mandatory electronic filing of returns and electronic payments are in
effect for all accounting periods beginning on or after April 1, 2012.
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