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  • Standard & Poor’s confirms FYR Macedonia’s BB-/BB credit rating and stable outlook
    S&P has confirmed FYR Macedonia’s BB's credit rating, with a stable outlook. The report contests that the political crisis has been overcome with the formation of the new government and expects policy continuity. It also plans for improved confidence and intensification of economic growth. The economic growth for 2017 was revised to 1%, due to the negative GDP trends in...
  • FYR Macedonian minimum salary increased; incentives introduced
    The FYR Macedonian Parliament adopted the amended Law on Minimum Salary on September 18, 2017. The previously-valid net minimum salary of MKD 10,080 has been increased to MKD 12,000. The amounts apply to full time employment. The amendment affects a number of companies whose employees have been receiving the bare minimum salary. For the purpose of easier transition in the...
  • Montenegro hikes VAT rate; amends excise duties
    Montenegro has recently sharpened its focus on fiscal consolidation with a target to achieve budget surplus and to establish a declining trend in the level of public debt from 2019. On the revenue side, additional measures will be aimed at further harmonization of the excise policy with the one of the EU. Additionally, the Government is set to increase the...
  • Ukrainians eyeing foreign citizenships in wake of automatic exchange of information
    Ukraine has recently announced the plan to start an automatic exchange of information on financial accounts under the international Common Reporting Standard as of 2020, pertaining to data relating to 2019. This decision will affect businessmen wishing to protect their confidential data. Applying for a residence permit or citizenship in another county during the current year will ensure the tax...
  • Ukraine officially announces intention to join automatic exchange of information
    Ukraine is planning to commence with an automatic exchange of information on financial accounts of non-residents under the international Common Reporting Standard as early as 2020, according to statements of the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine following the meeting of Finance Minister Alexander Danilyuk with OECD representatives on September 27, 2017. The first exchange of tax...
  • Cyprus’ income tax exemptions: What you need to know!
    On 24 July 2017, the Cyprus Tax Department issued Interpretative Circular 2017/4 in relation to income tax exemptions, sections 8(21) and 8(23) of the Income Tax Law 118 (I)/02. The specific criteria of sections 8(21) and 8(23) are listed below: Exemption of section 8 (21):  Employees are exempt from income tax on 20% of their remuneration or €8,550 (whichever amount...
  • Bulgaria implements CbC reporting into legislation
    CbC reporting was implemented in the Bulgarian Legislation via its introduction in the Act to Amend and Supplement the Tax and Social Security Procedure Code (TSSPC), published in issue 63 of the State Gazette on 04.08.2017. Bulgarian tax authorities are trying to implement stricter rules to combat tax avoidance. Through the introduction of the CbC report in the Bulgarian legislation...
  • Cyprus: Introducing the new VAT appeal procedure
    The Cyprus VAT Act has been amended in relation to the procedure to be followed for an appeal against an assessment issued by the Tax Department. This amendment has come into force as of 7 July 2017. Specifically, the appeals should be submitted to the Tax Tribunal first and then to the Administrative Court, instead of to the Minister of...
  • Serbia ranked world leader in job creation
    Serbia has been ranked world leader in the number of new jobs created in 2016 - as a proportion of the population size - and therefore the best place to invest, according to the Global Location Trends report by the US technology company IBM. Also, based on the criterion of the number of created jobs compared to the number of...
  • Signature of the first double tax treaty between Luxembourg and Cyprus
    What will the impact be on cross border structuring? Introduction and background On 8 May 2017, Luxembourg and Cyprus signed their first double tax treaty (“Lux/Cyprus DTT”). Through this tax treaty, both countries aim to strengthen their economic and commercial relationship. While Cyprus broadens its tax treaty network as Luxembourg was one of the few EU countries with which it...
  • Temporary Employment Services in Serbia
    The concept of staff leasing has existed for years in Serbia and enables companies to flexibly employ workers through agencies specialized in this type of service. Nevertheless, what constitutes a challenge is the lack of a clear and comprehensive legal framework related to the provision of such services.  Serbia ratified the International Labor Organization’s Convention 181 (C181 on Private Employment...
  • Cyprus Government to finance the implementation of Environmental Management Systems
    Within the framework of the State Grants Scheme for the year 2017 and as a result of the general framework of Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, the Cyprus Government announced a program of financial support to the organizations which will implement an Environmental Management System (EMAS). The Ministry responsible for the management and support of this particular project is the Ministry...
  • Cyprus rated safest country for young people
    According to the global youth mortality rates based on the World Health Organisation’s (“WHO”) data for 2015, Cyprus has been analysed to be the safest of 184 countries for young people, among a list of jurisdictions including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany and many other respectable countries. The most dangerous country is considered to be Sierra Leone, where one youth...
  • Serbia will allow foreigners to purchase agricultural land
    In 2008, the Serbian Government signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, adopting a timeframe for the gradual removal of trade barriers. Nine years later, during 2017, the Government drafted a law authorizing foreign ownership of up to two hectares of agricultural land, provided that a 10-year citizenship of the buyer has preceded the purchase and that the...
  • Croatia simplifies registry of employees and working hours
    A New Ordinance on the content and method of maintenance of employees’ registry (NN 73/2017) is to enter into force on September 1, 2017, aiming at the simplification of the employer’s obligation to keep records of its own employees as foreseen by art. 5 of the Croatian Labor Act. It is important to remember that employers who fail to act...
  • Croatian authorities warn against European Business Number (EBN) scam
    Many Croatian entrepreneurs have recently received a letter urging them to apply for a so-called EBN (European Business Number). The letter contains a form with a fictitious deadline and was sent to a large number of recipients to multiple countries, this time particularly targeting Dutch companies. It is not the first time that the Hamburg-based company DAD Deutscher Adressdienst GmbH...
  • Croatian local taxes: what is new in 2017?
    The Local Taxes Act (“Act“), as a part of the 2017 Croatian Tax Reform, entered into force on January 1, 2017. The main change includes the introduction of the new Real Estate Tax (not to be confused with the Real Estate Transfer Tax) and the abolishing of the Company Name Tax. Aside from the Real Estate Tax, no further taxes...
  • The Amended Cyprus ip box regime – Hebrew
    חוק מיסוי הקניין הרוחני המתוקן של קפריסין   03/11/2016 בהמשך למאמרנו האחרון בנושא התיקון הצפוי לחוק מיסוי הקניין הרוחני של קפריסין (Cyprus IP Box Regime), ב-14 באוקטובר 2016, הצביע בית הנציגים של קפריסין על תיקון לחוק מיסוי הקניין הרוחני של קפריסין. חוק מיסוי הקניין הרוחני החדש מגדיר מהם נכסים בלתי מוחשיים מוכרים, רווחים/הכנסות מוכרים, הכנסה כוללת והוצאות מוכרות, וכן קווים...
  • Iran’s GDP marks 11.1% growth
    According to Fars news, Iran’s non-oil GDP has grown 6.4 percent in the past year. Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, Iran’s Government Spokesman, has stated that the country’s GDP growth of gross domestic product (including the oil sector) stands at 11.1% for the previous year. Previously, the Central Bank of Iran had announced that the country’s GDP growth was 12.5% in the...
  • Moldova publishes clarification on nil VAT rate for technical assistance projects
    The Moldavian tax office announced that for services performed by subcontractors for the beneficiaries of technical assistance projects a nil VAT rate shall be applied. The State Tax Service published a written clarification on 22 June 2017 with details on the specific application that is to be prepared. Based on article 104 (c1) of the Tax Code (TC), the State...
  • Kyrgyzstan introduces tax incentives
    The Kyrgyzstan Parliament adopted a draft of a new law that provides for tax incentives for companies with a preferential scope of business. Legal entities with a scope of business that falls under the description of preferential activities (except mining and mineral processing activities) are now subject to nil corporate income tax rate. Moreover, the competent tax authority may provide...
  • Croatia implements Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs)
    APAs were recently implemented in the Croatian tax legislation. Our Transfer Pricing team briefly presents the main points of the Croatian legislation related to an APA. Transfer pricing legislation was introduced in Croatia by way of the Corporate Income Tax Act (CIT) on 1 January 2005. However, the Croatian tax authorities have only recently recognized its importance. The implementation of...
  • 10 reasons a Cyprus citizenship can change your life
    No more Work Visa headaches Having a Cyprus citizenship broadens your professional opportunities and career growth, as only EU citizens have the freedom to move to an EU country and be easily employed without a work permit. Access to medical benefits, including free healthcare A European Health Insurance Card is free of charge for any EU citizen and allows one...
  • Georgia’s GDP shows higher growth rate than initially expected
    Since 2003, Georgia has embarked on a journey of continuous reforms towards liberalization of the economy. As a result, in recent years Georgia’s economy has been steadily growing. The country’s most important economic sectors include agriculture, mining (manganese and copper) and manufacturing.  In the past decade Georgia has also been heavily investing in energy independence by focusing on hydropower. The...
  • Kyrgyzstan ratifies double tax treaty with Georgia
    On 22 June 2017, the parliament of Kyrgyzstan approved the bill ratifying the tax treaty signed with Georgia on 13 October 2016. Currently, the ratification from Georgian side is still pending, and in order to become law and to be ratified, the bill still needs to be signed by the Presidents. The 2016-signed treaty covers taxes on income and profit...
  • Foreign Direct Investment in Romania on the rise
    Romania is one of the largest markets in Central and Eastern Europe with over 21 million people. Attractively located between the EU, Balkans and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent states), Romania also has a maritime door via the port of Constanta on the Black Sea, providing access to the Southeast European markets. Romania’s resources are varied and plentiful; skilled labor force,...
  • Amendments to Air Protection Law in Republic of Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina
    The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska (RS) adopted the amendments to the Air Protection Law (the Law) on 27 April 2017. With the amendments, the new Law is now harmonized with the European Union acquis communautaire. “In order to prevent, reduce and to a possible extent, stop the pollution caused by the industrial activities and follow the principles...
  • IPA between Albania and United Arab Emirates enters into force
    During the visit to Albania of the United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy In October 2015, the two countries signed an Investment Protection Agreement. This Agreement was published in the Albanian Official Gazette in December 2015. Article 20 of the agreement provided that the entry in force of the agreement would depend on the domestic constitutional provisions of each signatory...
  • Agreement on Social Security between Montenegro and Slovakia
    Montenegro and Slovakia have enjoyed friendly relations and close cooperation in many areas of mutual importance, which is confirmed by the continuous high-level political dialogue. There is a mutual interest in fostering collaboration in various areas. The relations between the two countries have been further strengthened by the participation in various multilateral forums and organizations while intensive cooperation has also...
  • Montenegro and United States sign an Intergovernmental Agreement to implement FATCA provisions
    Montenegro has shown its commitment to improving compliance with international tax standards. The FATCA Agreement is yet another example of a set of steps taken towards broadening the cooperation between the US and Montenegro and following the international standards of cross-border tax assistance. The US Ambassador, Margaret Ann Uyehara and Montenegrin Finance Minister, Darko Radunovic, signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA)...
  • What makes Cyprus your future forever home?
    Cyprus is an undeniably attractive location for both business and pleasure. Recently, it was listed as one of the best places to relocate among a total of 23 countries worldwide. It ranked fifth on the Knight Frank Global Lifestyle Review. Cyprus was also ranked as 32nd place in the Forbes list for best destinations for business in 2017. Forbes evaluated...
  • New FYR Macedonia Finance Minister focuses on public debt and borrowing costs
    FYR Macedonia’s new Finance Minister, Dragan Tevdovski, has stated his intention to undertake actions to resolve the growing problem of public debt by lowering the costs of borrowing despite the need to continue borrowing. In a statement during a press conference, Tevdovski has said that most of the borrowing will continue to take place predominantly in the domestic market at...
  • Cyprus releases long-awaited Transfer Pricing guidelines on intra-group financing
    As of 1st July 2017, the tax treatment of intra-group financing arrangements has been amended in Cyprus.  Intra-group financing transactions refers to finance activities between related parties (as defined in Section 33 of the Income Tax Law), including permanent establishments in Cyprus. Based on the Interpretative Circular issued by the Cyprus Tax Department, intra-group financing arrangements must be taxed from...
  • Albania approves Law on remission of unpaid tax and custom duties
    With Law no.33/2017, which was approved on the 21st of April 2017 and entered into force on the 7th of May 2017, the Albanian Parliament relieved businesses from old unpaid tax and custom duties. The Law completely dismissed tax and custom duties arising before 2010 irrespective of their type and origin, whether liabilities or fines. For the period between January...
  • To Petya or NotPetya; this is how to protect yourself!
    A new ransomware has risen and is spreading across Europe like wild fire. This new malware is creating chaos across businesses, from supermarkets to shipping ports, ad agencies and law firms. The new ransomware - code named “NotPateya” - shares some very similar characteristics to a very recent malware “Wannacry”. About NotPateya NotPateya gets its name from an older malware...