World VAT/GST News - May 2019

Costa Rica

From 1 July 2019, Costa Rica is introducing VAT at 13% on the provision of electronic services by non-resident companies.

At present, foreign businesses providing digital services in Costa Rica do not have to charge VAT on their sales. However, in an effort to remove the unfair advantage that this gives to non-resident companies over Costa Rican resident providers, the Costa Rican government is proposing to implement VAT at 13% on these types of transactions.

This new tax will apply to a range of electronic services including streaming games, music, apps, films, e-books, e-journals and internet services.



From July 2019, Iceland will drop the obligation for non-resident businesses trading in the country to appoint a fiscal representative. It means that from this date foreign businesses selling to Icelandic consumers will be able to register and declare local VAT via a general registration or through a new simplified registration scheme (which will only be used for sales of e-services, printed books or newspapers and tourism services).

A fiscal representative is a resident business that normally acts as the VAT agent, is responsible for the VAT records / filings / VAT payments and is jointly and severally liable for any unpaid VAT due in the country of sale.



Kuwait has recently announced that it will finally introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) at 5% from 1 April 2021.

Kuwait is part of the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) and all of these countries have agreed to implement a harmonised VAT regime of 5% by 2018. The GCC countries consist of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. Kuwait’s VAT launch is set for 1 April 2021.


South Africa

From 1 April 2019, South Africa increased the VAT registration threshold for foreign providers of electronic services to consumers from ZAR 50,000 to ZAR 1 million.

This threshold is calculated on a rolling 12-month calendar basis.

The above information was kindly provided by Fiscal Solutions (UK),; contact:


USA - Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt case


Link to the Vertex’ article on this case:

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News from the Board

IVA Meeting with the Portuguese Tax Authorities

The International VAT Association (IVA), represented by its President, Stephen Dale, and Board Member, Fátima Gouveia, met with the representatives of the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tax Affairs and of the Portuguese VAT Authority on the 9th of July 2019, in Lisbon. The IVA thanked the authorities for meeting with us at short notice.

Download the full Communique soon available.

News from IVA members

Mexico proposes the implementation of VAT on e-commerce supplies

The Mexican senate is proposing to levy VAT at 16%, on digital e-commerce supplies provided to consumers by non-resident online platforms...

Read more ...

News from EC

News from EU - August 2019

Cross-border rulings (pilot project) – Update July 2019

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Disclaimer:  The information contained in the present page is general and does not constitute legal advice. Before taking any decision or action on the above information you should take the appropriate professional advice.