Japan: Is registeration required?

Japan sales tax is called Japan Consumption tax (JCT) and applies to all sales. The registration threshold is 10M Yen of taxable sales in the last two full years. For associations holding a one-off event in Japan, this means that registration isn't required. Only if you hold events in multiple calendar years, would registration be required.

Australia: Sponsorship

Due to recent changes in the Australian tax laws, sponsorship sold by a non established entity holding an event in Australia is now outside the scope of GST. In other words, you will not be required to charge GST on the sale of sponsorship and sponsorship packages connected to your event in Australia. 

Spain: Lots of red tape

Spain is a very popular destination for meetings and for good reason. Spain has beautiful cities, friendly people and warm weather. The tax laws are, however, more complex than other EU countries:

1. Registration requires various documents to be certified by either an Apostille or by the local Spanish consulate. This can usually take a few weeks.

2. Refunds are technically not possible for non-established entities. This means that care must be given to avoid a refund position when the activities have ceased.

In short, it's very important to be able to reply on a reputable and knowledgeable firm in Spain (a local agent is mandatory). This will avoid a headache down the road.

South Africa: VAT rate increase

For the first time since 1993, the VAT rate in South Africa will increase from 14% to 15% effective April 1st 2018. VAT vendors are advised to start implementing the necessary changes in its accounting system to ensure that the correct rate is applied effectively from this date.

Switzerland: VAT registration threshold

As of January 1st 2018, the VAT registration threshold of 100,000 CHF in Switzerland is now based on wordwide income. This effectively means that most business doing business in Switzerland will need to register. Previously, only income generated in Switzerland counted towards the 100k threshold.

ITALY: one more thing...

The Italian authorities have further clarified the deduction rights of VAT on expenses. Expenses paid in 2017 must be claimed by April  of the following year, but an exception is now granted for 2017 expenses that the invoice is received in the following year. For example, if an expense invoice is received 2018 you will have until the end of 2018 to claim the expense even though the expense is relevant to 2017. This obviously applies to very few transactions but could be useful in certain cases.


Italy: Deductible VAT on expenses

Due to a recent changed in Italian tax law, there is a new dealine to reclaim VAT paid out on expenses. From now on, VAT paid out during a calendar year will need to be claimed back before April of the next year. This nearl custs the deadline in half.

Italy 2018: No Change

Authorities in Italy recently postponed the law that would have raised the VAT to 25%. The VAT increase is tied to the performance of the Italian economy. A VAT increase is still possible for 2019 and beyond.

Switzerland VAT rate decrease

As of January 1, 2018, the VAT rate is Switzerland will decrease to 7.7% and 3.7% for the reduced rate. Even if your event is scheduled to take place in 2018, sales until the end of 2017 will be subject to the current 8% VAT rate.

Confusion about the requirement to register

Over the years, I've heard this many times: "Why should I have to register for VAT in Germany for our annual congress? The revenue is collected in a bank account in the USA and we are a US-based association."

To answer, I always give a very simple example. Let's say I go to Japan and purchase a ticket to go see the recent Sky tree tower observatory. When the invoice shows the local consumption tax, I can't say: But I am based in the USA, I'm not liable for Japanese sales tax.”

The reality is that the service sold to me is rendered in Japan so Japanese sales tax will apply no matter who is purchasing the service.

Obviously, each country has its own set of rules on what else triggers the requirement to register or not for the local sales tax regimes. Some countries have a set threshold of yearly taxable sales, some don't even allow non-established entities to register and claim back any sales taxes.|

But to assume that your association's headquarters geographical location or where the revenue is deposited dictates the requirement to register or not, is simply false.