Flash News offers the latest information on current tax, accounting, legal and other business issues.
The administrative courts occasionally hear disputes between the State Revenue Service (SRS) and associations either over their obligation to pay tax because it turns out that the overt or covert purpose of forming an association was to make profits or capital gains for its members, or over breaches allowing the SRS to delist the association as a public-benefit organisation. In either case the bone of contention is a business the association conducts in addition to its core activity, which the SRS assesses differently and perceives as an irregularity.
Moving towards a more environmentally friendly and energy-independent urban development in Riga, in October 2022 the Riga City Council passed amendments to Binding Rule No. 109, Procedures for granting real estate tax relief in Riga, which set up a new category of real estate tax (RET) relief – a 50% relief for energy-efficient buildings to be delivered for occupancy after 2023.
Accountants working for Latvian service providers tend to feel confused when they find out that their foreign business partner has a VAT registration number not only in his country of establishment but also in Latvia. What does a foreign trader get a Latvian VAT number for? And how does that affect service providers in Latvia? Read on to find out more.
We have analysed the CIT treatment of doing business with companies on the blacklist of uncooperative tax havens earlier. This article explores new changes to the list and how they affect transfer pricing (TP).
The autumn months have been prolific with tax changes, yet some of the tax aspects, including temporary ones, might remain unchanged. The Finance Ministry has proposed many amendments to the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act, including an extension of the special tax scheme for royalty recipients who are not registered as economic operators. This article explores the proposed extension of the transitional royalty scheme and how this will affect its users.
The Finance Ministry has come up with a number of proposals for amending the VAT Act from 2024. The goals are to improve the VAT rules by exempting VAT on services that are closely linked to sports, to minimise the administrative burden, to encourage improvements to the business environment, and to revise the conditions for how registered taxable persons can adjust input tax paid on bad debts. The proposals must be approved in their second reading by Parliament before they can take effect. This article explores what we see as key changes to the VAT Act.
We have informed our MindLink subscribers that in late 2022 the European Commission (EC) published proposals for amending the VAT directive (2006/112/EC) and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 282/2011 to upgrade the EU VAT system and increase its resistance to fraud. Known as ‘VAT in the Digital Age’ (ViDA), the EU VAT reform aims to modernise and simplify the VAT rules for platform economy members by introducing mandatory real-time digital reporting and e-invoicing for all intra-Community B2B transactions. This article explores the latest developments and the potential reforms, focusing on e-invoicing practices.
Under the Civil Code, a gift is a legal transaction whereby someone gives an asset to another person for free out of generosity. While a gift is mainly associated with something pleasant, there may be risks and questions – read on to find out more.
The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) require organisations governed by the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive to carry out a dual materiality assessment aimed at identifying environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas that are material to them. Unlike the previous practice, which had these areas identified according to the impact made by an organisation, the new methodology adds a further level of analysis assessing the financial impact ESG areas have on the organisation in terms of risks and opportunities.
Today a lot of attention is being paid to protecting wildlife and improving the environment. Natural resource tax (NRT) is one of the instruments that helps protect the environment. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved and passed to Parliament for review a set of proposals for amending the NRT Act aimed at promoting economical and efficient use of natural resources and limiting environmental pollution. According to available information, some of the amendments are to come into force on 1 January and the rest on 1 July 2024. We informed our MindLink.lv subscribers about some of the proposals on 5 May 2023. This article explores how the NRT Act is to change.
To embed sustainability aspects in its core business, an organisation should be aware of effects it has on the environment and on its stakeholders, as well as how the environment and stakeholders affect its business. Embedding sustainability aspects in business is a process that encourages the organisation to revise its business model and overall strategy, as well as gathering and analysing data for use in decision-making to identify and mitigate risks affecting it. This article offers a brief overview of the sustainability or ESG framework, focusing on “G” for governance. We are zooming in on tax governance as a sustainability aspect that we encourage organisations to embed in their core business.
The Ministry of Finance has suggested how tax legislation should be amended from 2024. This article explores proposals for amending the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Act and the VAT Act relating to luxury executive vehicles (LEVs).
The Competition Council has started monitoring retail markets in the wake of the recent high-inflation episode. Analysing this information provides insights into the relationship between retailers and suppliers and how this affects the market. The Competition Council is soon expected to publish the data and findings derived from this monitoring, with more attention being paid to breaches of fair trade practices and prohibitions that buyers and retailers have to observe. While it’s difficult to predict what this monitoring will yield, political pressure may lead to significant changes in this sector.
In our article of 11 July 2023 “Commerce Act amended” we informed our MindLink subscribers about the extensive amendments of 16 June 2022 to the Commerce Act that came into force on 1 July 2023. In that article we looked at some of the amended clauses of the Commerce Act. This article explores the Act’s rules for paying up a company’s share capital and relevant changes that came into force in the summer.
It’s been quite a while since Latvia adopted new transfer pricing (TP) rules, yet the State Revenue Service (SRS) did not issue guidelines on charging fines for breaches of requirements for duly submitting or preparing TP files until late September 2023 (approved by SRS order No. 201 of 11 September 2023). This article explores the new guidelines.
Since 2020, companies have been under pressure to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape, which keeps serving up a variety of disruptions. It’s become clear that the ability to effectively respond to the changing conditions is crucial for any company.
In September 2023, the EU VAT Committee published guidelines on how to assess the VAT treatment of fuel card transactions, which had been dealt with earlier by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in its ruling C-235/18 Vega International. The CJEU ruled that the Austrian company’s transaction of issuing fuel cards to other companies for fuel purchases, which was invoiced as a supply of fuel, qualifies as a service of granting credit that is exempt from VAT.
There is much talk of various sustainability aspects within and outside the European Green Deal. Sustainability has become a daily routine in the more conscientious companies, as they devise sustainability strategies and report on sustainability goals they have achieved. There are also some companies that seek to exploit this situation by advertising themselves as well as their products and services as green, environmentally friendly or sustainable, because this may give them advantages on the market. This approach is not always seen as honest, and it can mislead consumers or even affect competition.
It’s usual for sellers (and service providers) to make offers such as “buy a product, get another one for free” or “each buyer gets a gift”. For VAT purposes, sellers are not usually concerned about the concept of a gift as long as it’s up to EUR 15, but they do become more careful if gifts exceed this threshold. The restriction on low-value gifts in the Latvian VAT Act is per individual and per year, placing a certain burden on the taxable person to identify the recipient and keep such a record. However, the Act’s definition of a low-value gift contains a disclaimer that this does not apply to goods or services made available free of charge if their costs qualify as advertising or “representation” expenses. The State Revenue Service does not tend to evaluate the seller’s advertising slogans literally but will assess a supply according to its economic substance. This article explores the latest ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on how to assess gifts for VAT purposes.
Following the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, aka the Paris Agreement, the European Parliament signed the resolution on the European Green Deal on 15 January 2020 and urged the member states to carry out the required transition to a climate-neutral society by 2050 at the latest. The Green Deal involves making a variety of important changes. One of such changes is Regulation (EU) 2023/851 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 April 2023 amending Regulation (EU) 2019/631 as regards strengthening the CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and new light commercial vehicles in line with the Union’s increased climate ambition. What this Regulation provides for is nothing new in substance, as CO2 emission requirements for vehicles have been adopted earlier, but it does introduce some fairly ambitious goals. This article explores some of its requirements.
To pick up where we left off last week about the Finance Ministry’s proposals for amending the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act, this article looks at the proposed procedures for computing, reporting and paying PIT.
On 12 September 2023 the European Commission published its proposal for a transfer pricing (TP) directive to align TP requirements across the EU. While most of the member states, including Latvia, are to some extent applying recommendations made by the OECD TP guidelines, the European Commission is proposing the directive and calling on the member states to adopt the same TP standards in order to secure a level playing field. If the new rules are approved in their current version, they will be passed into the member states’ national law by 31 December 2025 and applicable from 1 January 2026.
Directive 2023/970 on equal pay came into force in June 2023. The courts have been hearing equal pay disputes for a long time, yet the number of such lawsuits is likely to grow as more information becomes available under the directive. This article looks at equal pay litigation in Latvia and objective grounds for pay gaps.
For most companies the financial year coincides with the calendar year, so the end of the calendar year means they need to do tasks relevant to preparation of financial statements, including an inventory of account balances and a reconciliation of debtor and creditor balances at the balance sheet date.
The end of September has been productive for farmers and ministries alike. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has come up with proposals for amending the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Act, packaged into two bills. In this article we look at new additions to the basket of allowable expenses, as well as discussing remote work compensations and other classes of exempt income with an increased exemption threshold provisionally coming into force on 1 January 2024.
We have written before about the directive on the multinational enterprise (MNE) group’s public country-by-country report (CbCR) and how this is being passed into the national laws of EU member states. In this article we will look at Latvia’s progress in passing the directive and find out what aspects Latvian taxpayers need to consider and what issues and challenges they may face.
The rise of sustainability, a dynamic and fast-growing part of business, is significantly driven by EU climate and social goals and the subsequent legislation. This legislation mainly lays down requirements for disclosing information on a company’s key sustainability impact areas and relevant performance. However, these requirements are gradually expanding beyond the company’s direct impacts.
A directive requiring multinational enterprise (MNE) groups to prepare public country-by-country reports (“CbCR”) was published in the EU Official Journal in December 2021. The member states had until 22 June 2023 to pass the directive into their national laws. In this series of articles we will look at the progress made by Latvia and other member states and will explore the directive’s history, goals, potential benefits and taxpayer challenges.
Transfer pricing (TP) experts of the State Revenue Service (SRS) have agreed to meet up with Latvian TP consultants on several occasions in late September to debate some pressing TP concerns and to set out the SRS opinion on how to solve current and future TP problems. In this article we will outline SRS comments on TP validation and look at some of the topics and questions put up for debate with the SRS.