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  • VAT Sales tax

    VAT, sales taxes, and consumption taxes are a thorn in everybody’s side but they still have to be paid.

    They also vary wildly in different territories throughout the world, so let us put you in touch with a local expert who can take care of them for you.

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    VAT and Sales Taxes: An introduction

    Value Added Tax (VAT) and consumption and sales taxes are imposed on all goods and services. VAT is a tax on the value added at each stage of the supply chain, while sales tax and consumption tax are levies applied to the final sale of goods and services.

    So what, you may ask?

    These types of tax are collected by businesses on behalf of governments around the world to raise revenue and are typically calculated as a percentage of the sale price. While they may not seem so significant if all you’re purchasing is a bar of chocolate, it’s a big deal if you’re buying and selling property, investing your life savings or conducting regular large-scale business.

    These taxes can be a significant cost for businesses that operate in multiple jurisdictions, and understanding the rules and regulations around VAT and sales tax is important if you want to ensure compliance and optimise your tax position. Let’s dig a little further and find out why tax specialists are so in demand for this particular area of taxation.

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    International expertise

    Consumption taxes and sales taxes

    Consumption taxes and sales taxes are forms of taxation that are applied to the purchase of goods and services. While they share similarities, such as the fact that they are paid by consumers, the main difference lies in how they are calculated and applied. Sales taxes are typically a percentage of the final sale price of a product or service, while consumption taxes are added to the value of a product at each stage of production and distribution.

    The rates of these taxes can vary significantly between countries, with some nations relying more heavily on one type of taxation over the other. How these taxes are implemented can also vary, with some countries having multiple levels of taxation for different goods and services, or different tax rates for different regions within a country.

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    Real examples of how sales taxes vary from country to country

    In Australia, the national sales tax is known as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and it is currently set at a rate of 10%. Some items, such as basic groceries, education services, and healthcare services, are exempt from the GST. In addition to the GST, some states and territories in Australia also impose their own additional taxes on certain goods and services.

    In contrast, sales taxes are imposed at the state and local levels in the US and can vary widely depending on the location. The average state-level sales tax rate is currently around 6%, but rates can range from 0% in some states to over 10% in others. In some cases, local governments may also impose their own additional sales taxes on top of the state-level tax.

    If all this is too much for your to want to bother with, get in touch with our team and they’ll match you up with an appropriate tax expert in your neck of the woods to deal with it for you.

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    Local tax advisors to solve your
    international tax issues.

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    VAT compliance

    VAT compliance is the process of ensuring that a business adheres to the regulations and requirements set by governments in relation to VAT, and there are several things that businesses need to consider:

    1. Registration

    Businesses must register for VAT if their turnover exceeds the registration threshold and they must ensure that they are registered for VAT with the appropriate tax authority in their jurisdiction.

    2. Returns

    Registered businesses are required to file VAT returns – usually on a quarterly basis – to report their VAT liability and reclaim any VAT that they are entitled to. The VAT returns must be submitted within the deadline set by the local tax authority.

    3. Payments

    VAT payments must be made within the deadline set by the tax authority. Failure to pay VAT on time can result in severe penalties and interest charges.

    4. Invoices

    Companies must issue VAT invoices to their customers for any taxable goods or services supplied. The invoices must include certain information, such as the VAT registration number of the business and the amount of VAT charged.

    5. Records

    Traders must keep records of all their VAT transactions, including invoices, receipts, and VAT returns. These records must be kept for a set period of time, usually six years.

    6. Compliance Reviews

    Tax authorities can carry out reviews of businesses’ VAT compliance. During these reviews, they will examine the business’s records and transactions to ensure that they are complying with the VAT regulations.

    7. Audits

    In some cases, tax authorities may conduct VAT audits to investigate potential non-compliance or fraud. During an audit, the tax authority will examine the business’s records and transactions in detail to ensure that they are accurate and comply with the VAT regulations.

    This complex nature of VAT compliance is a huge reason why many companies, sole traders and individuals seek out the advice of a tax advisor. Their VAT advice is not only invaluable but it can save you a lot of time with the authorities if your books are up to scratch. For more information on where to speak to reputable tax experts in your chosen part of the world, speak to the Tax Native team today.

    International VAT compliance

    As we’ve seen already, International VAT compliance can be vastly complicated due to the differences in VAT regulations and requirements between countries. Here are some of the main key complications:

    • VAT Rates: These vary widely between countries, and some countries have multiple different VAT rates. This means that businesses must be aware of the correct rate to charge in each country where they are supplying goods or services.
    • VAT Registration: Businesses must register for VAT in each country where they have a taxable presence. This can be a complex process for the same reasons mentioned above.
    • VAT Returns: The deadlines and requirements for filing VAT returns will vary between countries. Companies must ensure that they are meeting the requirements in each country where they are registered for VAT.
    • VAT Invoices: Businesses must ensure that they are including all the required information on their invoices to comply with the regulations in each country. Severe penalties can be administered if they fail to do this.
    • VAT Refunds: Businesses that incur VAT in a foreign country may be entitled to claim a VAT refund. However, the process for claiming a refund can be complex and time-consuming, and, you guessed it, the rules for eligibility vary between countries.
    • Language Barriers: You must be able to communicate with tax authorities in their local language – needless to say, if you operate in multiple countries that could throw up some serious barriers.
    • VAT Compliance Reviews and Audits: Tax authorities in different countries may carry out compliance reviews or audits, and if your businesses operate across multiple jurisdictions that could lead to complications.

    What do you say? Fancy tackling all of that on your own? No, thought not! International VAT compliance requires a good understanding of the rules and regulations in every country that a business operates in. That’s why it’s so important to seek advice from tax experts who have experience in dealing with international VAT issues – and we have a network of the very best.

    Why Tax Natives?

    Think of us as a tax dating service (stay with us on this). We swipe through our network of international tax consultants and find one that’s a perfect match for your unique tax situation.

    Whether you’re of retirement age and are looking to invest your pension, a property magnate expanding your portfolio into new countries, or a stakeholder in a business that is opening up a satellite in a new location, our international tax advisors can help you with the tricky business of abiding by local tax laws.

    We’ll strip away all the jargon and make the world of international tax feel much more intimate. A match made in international tax heaven, if you will. Find out more about your tax destinations and jurisdictions using the map below.

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    Why you might need an advisor for VAT and sales tax returns

    You’re probably convinced by now about the importance of an international VAT and sales tax expert, but just in case you need more persuading, here are some of the other reasons why you need to seriously consider employing the services of an advisor for VAT and sales tax reasons:

    • Expertise: VAT and sales tax rules and regulations can be complex and constantly changing. A tax advisor who specialises in VAT and sales tax can provide expert advice on how to comply with the regulations, minimise tax liabilities, and optimise VAT and sales tax recovery.
    • Compliance: A tax advisor can help ensure that your business is fully compliant with VAT and sales tax regulations in each jurisdiction where you operate. This can help you avoid penalties, interest charges, and legal issues.
    • Planning: They can also help you to plan your business activities in a tax-efficient manner. For example, they can advise on the VAT and sales tax implications of expanding into new markets or selling certain products or services.
    • Audits: If your business is subject to a VAT or sales tax audit, a tax advisor will help you navigate the audit process, gather the necessary information, and respond to any issues that may arise.
    • Refunds: If you’ve overpaid on your VAT or sales tax contributions and are entitled to a refund, then a tax advisor can take care of this for you. This can involve everything from analysing your business activities to identifying areas where VAT or sales tax has been overpaid and preparing and submitting refund claims.
    • Time-Saving: By outsourcing your VAT and sales tax compliance to a tax advisor, you can free up time and resources to focus on other areas of your business.

    Overall, a tax advisor with expertise in VAT and sales tax can provide valuable guidance, help you manage your tax obligations, optimise your tax position, and save you a fortune, time and legal headaches. Speak to the Tax Natives team today to be put in touch with an expert in your territory.

    MEMBERSHIP LEVELS —

    What are the membership types available?

    Curator Native

    FREE

    The Curator is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    The Curator is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    However, the Curator has additional responsibilities. They are tasked with the responsibility of managing and updating one of the jurisdiction pages. There is only one Curator membership available for each jurisdiction.

    Where a Curator fulfils their commitments then they receive a 100% discount against their monthly membership fee.

    A Curator can also provide articles if they wish.

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    Creator Native

    FREE

    The Creator is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    The Creator is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    However, the Creator has additional responsibilities. They commit to their other Natives that they will produce at least one piece of quality content each quarter – whether an article, video or other valuable content.

    There are multiple Creator memberships available for each jurisdiction. Where a Curator fulfils their commitments then they receive a 100% discount against their monthly membership fee.

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    Adviser Native

    £65 / month

    The Adviser is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    The Adviser is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    The Adviser Native is a care-free soul and has made no other commitments to his fellow Tax Natives to generate content or curate a jurisdictional page. That’s cool.

    However, the Adviser will be eligible to pay the full monthly membership fee.

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    Become a curator

    TAX NATIVES: CURATOR

    Curator

    The Curator is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    The Curator is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    However, the Curator has additional responsibilities. They are tasked with the responsibility of managing and updating one of the jurisdiction pages.

    There is only one Curator membership available for each jurisdiction.

    Where a Curator fulfils their commitments then they receive a 100% discount against their monthly membership fee.

    READ MORE
    Become a creator

    TAX NATIVES: CREATOR

    Creator

    The Creator is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    However, the Creator has additional responsibilities. They commit to their other Natives that they will produce at least one piece of quality content each quarter – whether an article, video or other valuable content.

    There are multiple Creator memberships available for each jurisdiction. Where a Curator fulfils their commitments then they receive a 100% discount against their monthly membership fee.

    Become an adviser

    TAX NATIVES: ADVISOR

    Adviser

    The Adviser is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team.

    As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    The Adviser Native is a care-free soul and has made no other commitments to his fellow Tax Natives to generate content or curate a jurisdictional page.

    That's cool.

    However, the Adviser will be eligible to pay the full monthly membership fee.

    Initial admin fee £250 Free £250 Free £250 Free
    Minimum membership term 12 months 12 months 12 months
    Article contentCreator and Curators must create at least one piece of original, quality-approved content each quarter.
    No
    YesCreator and Curators must create at least one piece of original, quality-approved content each quarter.
    No
    Managing and updating your
    jurisdiction page
    Yes
    No
    No

    NATIVE

    FREE

    Read more

    TAX NATIVES: CURATOR

    Curator

    The Curator is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    However, the Curator has additional responsibilities. They are tasked with the responsibility of managing and updating one of the jurisdiction pages.

    There is only one Curator membership available for each jurisdiction.

    Where a Curator fulfils their commitments then they receive a 100% discount against their monthly membership fee.

    Initial admin fee £250 Free
    Minimum membership term 12 months
    Article contentCreator and Curators must create at least one piece of original, quality-approved content each quarter.
    No
    Managing and updating your jurisdiction page Yes

    FREE

    Read more

    TAX NATIVES: CREATOR

    Creator

    The Creator is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team. As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    However, the Creator has additional responsibilities. They commit to their other Natives that they will produce at least one piece of quality content each quarter – whether an article, video or other valuable content.

    There are multiple Creator memberships available for each jurisdiction. Where a Curator fulfils their commitments then they receive a 100% discount against their monthly membership fee.

    Initial admin fee £250 Free
    Minimum membership term 12 months
    Content creationCreator and Curators must create at least one piece of original, quality-approved content each quarter.
    YesCreator and Curators must create at least one piece of original, quality-approved content each quarter.
    Managing and updating your jurisdiction page No

    £65 / month

    Read more

    TAX NATIVES: ADVISOR

    Adviser

    The Adviser is a fully-fledged member of the Tax Natives team.

    As such, they are capable of making introductions to other Tax Natives and are also able to take leads from their fellow Natives.

    The Adviser Native is a care-free soul and has made no other commitments to his fellow Tax Natives to generate content or curate a jurisdictional page.

    That's cool.

    However, the Adviser will be eligible to pay the full monthly membership fee.

    Initial admin fee £250 Free
    Minimum membership term 12 months
    Content creationCreator and Curators must create at least one piece of original, quality-approved content each quarter.
    No
    Managing and updating your jurisdiction page No

    Contact us

    If you want to know more about Tax Natives membership, you’re having problems with your account, or if you’d like to give a virtual high-five to a Tax Native, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.

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    OUR PEOPLE —

    Andy Wood

    Founder & Director

    Andy joined the bar in 2019 after learning his ‘trade’ in large, international accountancy firms including the Big 4.

    Over a decade ago (2011 to be precise), hoping that some of the magic dust from these entrepreneurial clients had rubbed off on him, he established his own tax advisery business.

    His clients, as well as the aforementioned entrepreneurs, also include high-net-worth individuals, sports persons and entertainers and private companies.

    He decided to establish Tax Natives due to his first hand experience of regularly having to quickly find reliable and knowledgeable tax advisers around the globe to assist his clients.

    He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (“STEP”).

    Having grown up in Castleford, West Yorkshire, Andy has rugby league in his DNA. He is also a Yorkshire cricket fan and long-suffering Everton supporter.

    His guitar playing ambition exceeds his proficiency.

    OUR PEOPLE —

    Stuart Stobie

    Founder & Director

    Stuart has accumulated 25 years of experience in the trust and fiduciary business sector. His journey commenced in Hong Kong alongside Grant Thornton, and subsequently, he became an integral part of Sovereign, driving business growth across Asia and being appointed Managing Director, before transitioning to Gibraltar.

    After a successful tenure as the Managing Director of Sovereign’s Gibraltar head-office, Stuart’s path led him to Zurich, where he became associated with Coutts Bank. There, he served as a private banker on their Asia desk. Eventually, he returned to the United Kingdom, where he contributed his expertise to a venture capital enterprise. In 2018, he reconnected with Sovereign, this time stationed at the Wirral office which has recently relocated to Chester’s Coachworks. As Managing Director of Sovereign Corporate and Trustee Services Ltd, his responsibilities centre around business development in the North, with a particular focus on corporate and trust work.

    Stuart’s professional journey has afforded him membership in STEP. His diverse background in the financial and fiduciary domain equips him to tackle a wide array of challenges and devise solutions for his clients and collaborators.

    OUR MISSION —

    To provide expert local tax knowledge on a worldwide scale

    Tax Natives is an international tax network that connects taxpayer clients with qualified and regulated tax advisers, from one jurisdiction to another. But we’ll let Andy explain – he’s good at this stuff.

    Bring your knowledge to the world.

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    SPOTLIGHT ARTICLE

    Angola amends VAT System: Reintroduces the Special CEOC

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    How Tax Natives works.

    Tax Natives is an international tax network that connects Explorers (taxpayer clients) with Natives (qualified and regulated tax advisers) from one jurisdiction to another.

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    STEP ONE

    Select the ‘Ask a question button located on the top of each page and follow through the process to compose your question

    STEP TWO

    Once your question is confirmed and your account is set up, navigate to your user dashboard to view the message exchange between you and your Tax Native.

    STEP THREE

    Each Tax Native has to accept a question from an Explorer before a conversation can begin. Once the Tax Native has accepted your question, a quote will be submitted for approval through the messaging portal.