Digitalization. Making the Best out of International Taxation’s Disrupters

International taxation is undergoing the most tremendous overhaul of the last 100 years. New standards have been identified at international level, bilateral tax treaties are re-negotiated in a multilateral context, discussions are ongoing on the next changes.

The outburst of the transformation is usually identified about five years ago, when the OECD launched its Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in 2013. However, the change had in fact started much earlier, when new technologies began revolutionizing our every-day lives. Distances shortened. Time intensified. A new world order arose, where virtuality is the new reality and ideas the new gold.

Published in: Finance&Gestion - n. 363 - October 2018

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Bitcoin and Virtual Currencies Are Real: Are Regulators Still Virtual?

It is already ten years that the bitcoin is on the market; and twenty years from the primary conception by Wei Dan of a currency exploiting cryptography. Yet, only today is the bitcoin on the main headlines of daily newspapers and TV newscasts all around the world and its value fluctuations closely monitored on a number of websites. If a couple of years ago virtual currencies were a topic for policy-making elites, nowadays they have reached all classes, irrespective of profession and interests.

The virtual currency market is evolving with the speed of light. This should not be a surprise though, taking into account the parallel ongoing development of digital economy. Both, virtual currencies and digital economy provoke concerns, mainly due to the lack of information, while they also contain the promise of an infinite and innovative potential. The technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain or digital ledger technology, is in fact expected to overhaul the way transactions are performed and records are kept.

Published in: INTERTAX, Volume 46, Issue 6 & 7

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Mandatory Electronic Invoicing: Are You Ready?

The Italian Revenue Agency has provided clarifications and practical guidance on the issuance, receipt and preservation of electronic invoices through various rulings.

The Italian Budget Law 2018 provided that both companies and individuals liable to VAT must issue and receive electronic invoices when they supply goods or services to Italian tax residents. The obligation enters into force on January 1 2019. However, it already applies to the supply of gas and petrol as motor fuel as of July 1 2018.

Published in: TP Week - 2 August 2018

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Au fil des années, la CFE est devenue un interlocuteur privilégié au sein des institutions européennes

L'IEC est membre d'un certain nombre d'organisations internationales qui lui permettent de représenter les intérêts de ses membres au niveau international et au sein de différentes institutions, mais aussi d'échanger de nombreuses informations et de se préparer ensemble à l'avenir. L'IEC est membre de la CFE spécifiquement pour les conseils fiscaux, car elle est l'organisation européenne défendant ces professionnels. Le président de la CFE a accepté de répondre à nos questions pour nous en dire un peu plus sur la CFE, comment elle défend la profession et pourquoi il est important pour nous conseils fiscaux d'être membres.

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Transfer Pricing and Double Taxation: Italy’s Downward Adjustment Procedure

Published in: TP Week - 6 June 2018

The new rules (regulation - Provvedimento 108954/2018) were issued on 30 May 2018, following a public consultation launched in February 2018. The new regulation follows the amendments introduced in 2017 for Italian transfer pricing rules. Such amendments provided for an extended taxpayer’s right to request downward adjustment in connection with the correct application of the arm’s-length principle.

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Italy Refines Transfer Pricing Methodology

Published on: TP Week - 24 May 2018

On May 14 2018, the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance issued a decree providing guidelines for the application of the Italian transfer pricing provisions, following relevant public consultation (the decree).

The Italian transfer pricing provisions, art. 110 para. 7 of the Italian Income Tax Code, had been amended in 2017 in line with the OECD Guidelines, as updated in July 2017 following the BEPS project.
The decree is composed of nine articles and in line with the OECD Guidelines on transfer pricing – these have been explicitly taken into account, according to the preamble. Further implementing provisions are expected to be issued by the Italian Revenue Agency, in particular with regards to updates of the OECD Guidelines.

In more detail, concerning the concept of control, the decree confirms the approach of the tax administration requiring verification of legal as well as economic control for the application of transfer pricing regulations.
The decree also adopts the notion of comparability as provided in the OECD Guidelines. For the assessment of comparability, it affirms the need to proceed with the analysis of the economically significant characteristics of the transactions (contractual terms, functional analysis, characteristics of goods and services, economic circumstances, company strategies).

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The Italian Web Tax from a National and International Perspective

Published in: IBFD Europe an Taxation - May 2018

To ensure taxation of digital business profits, Italy has introduced a web tax on digital transactions relating to a supply of services, sparking debate both domestically and internationally, since proposals are expected from the OECD and the European Union for coordinated solutions to the issue.
This article provides an overview of questions that the Italian web tax has generated, concluding that Italy’s actions have set off alarm bells that should promote prompt cooperation internationally.

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Digital Revolution. Tax Revolution?

Published in: Bulletin for International Taxation IBFD, 2018 (Volume 72), No. 4a/Special Issue

What seemed like science fiction a few years ago is now science fact. This is referred to as the “Digital Revolution”. And this is evident in the next generation of high technology, which is no longer developing intelligent computers and cyborgs, but is seeking to surpass human beings by creating genuine artificial intelligence (AI).

The Digital Revolution has given rise to new ways of doing business. Taxation and law, in general, cannot remain unaffected. New rules are vital to regulate the new realities and to ensure smooth coexistence in new environments. With regard to international taxation, a significant worldwide effort has been, and is being, made to deal with the extent and nature of the implications of the aforementioned scenario and to provide appropriate responses.

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Italy Holds Public Consultation on New Transfer Pricing Rules

Published in: TP Week

On April 24 2017, the Italian provision on transfer pricing, article 110 paragraph 7 of the Italian Income Tax Code, was amended to clearly and definitively define and establish the principle of open-market conditions.
According to the amended provision, profit from transactions between Italian enterprises and related foreign enterprises shall be estimated “by reference to the conditions and prices that would have been agreed between subjects operating in open market conditions under comparable circumstances”.

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EU Black List, a New Perspective on Tax Havens

Published in: IAFEI Quarterly 39th Issue, January 2018

The European Union recently took one more step in the worldwide fight against tax avoidance and evasion with the release of the common EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
The EU black list – the first such list at EU level – includes seventeen off shore countries: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macao SAR, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates.

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Spirit of Tax Law and Tax (Non-)Compliance: Reflections on Form and Substance

Published in: IBFD European Taxation January 2018

In complying with their tax duties, multinationals need to align their conduct with both the letter and spirit of the law. The latter requires identifying legislative intent, which is challenging in a rapidly evolving business and tax environment that is increasingly globalized and digitalized. In addition, tax avoidance legislation is increasingly being employed against aspects of non-compliance with the spirit of the law. The need for clear legislative drafting arises, therefore, as a necessary guarantee to prevent abusive interpretations.

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Italy’s Tax Police Publishes Manual against Tax Evasion and Fraud

Published in: TP Week

On December 4 2017, the Italian Financial Guard (Tax Police), updated its practical guidelines regarding performance of tax audits with the release of the Operational Manual against evasion and tax fraud – Circular n. 1/2018 (circular).
The circular was updated on December 1 2017 and entered into effect on 1 January 1 2018.
Transfer pricing is one of the subjects detailed in the circular. Following specification of the applicable rules and recent OECD developments, the circular illustrates the practical procedures for transfer pricing audits.

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A European Taxpayers’ Code

Published in: Journal - Intertax 45-12

The European Commission published ‘Guidelines for a Model for A European Taxpayer’s Code’. The Guidelines seek to clarify taxpayers’ fundamental rights and obligations in the EU while proposing best practices for their enhancement. The European initiative follows several international ones to the same end. Their comparison reveals the Guidelines’ rather restricted scope. Although they constitute a step forward, they fall short of their potential, demanding further steps to ensure due protection of taxpayers’ rights.

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Italy Turns Up the Heat on EU with Digital Sales Tax

Published in: TPWeek

Italy is hoping its proposed digital sales tax will send a message to the EU and accelerate the process of finding consensus on digital economy taxation. However, the proposal interferes with the EU’s plans and could create double taxation scenarios.

Italy hopes to curb tax avoidance by digital companies with a proposal for a new digital sales tax that, if approved, would apply from January 1 2019. The proposal would impose a 6% tax on digital transactions made through electronic means to Italian tax residents with business income, and to Italian permanent establishments (PE) of non-tax residents. This will work out as the buyer paying the service provider 94% of the amount, while withholding 6% for the Italian Treasury.

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CbCR Obligations for Italian Entity Members of US Groups

Published in: TPWeek

An agreement for the automatic exchange of country-by-country reports (CbCR) between Italy and the US (Agreement) came into effect on September 27 2017, as announced by the Italian minister for economy and finance.
The above agreement derives its legal basis from Art. 26 of the Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation in effect between the US and Italy.

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