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Japan: Alcohol Regulation Tentatively Eased for Disinfectant Production due to COVID-19 Pandemic

(June 15, 2020) Between the middle of March and the beginning of May 2020, government agencies in Japan instituted regulations to ease restrictions on the production, storage, sale, and use of alcohol to make more disinfectants available for medical institutions and general consumers because of the COVID-19 health emergency. Background In January 2020, Japan began […]

Egypt: Authorities Adopt Preventive and Relief Measures Aimed at COVID-19 Outbreak

(Apr. 3, 2020) With the number of people in Egypt infected with the coronavirus nearing 1,000 during the month of March 2020, the prime minister of Egypt, Mostafa Madbouly, held a press conference on March 24 to announce a number of preventive measures effective for a period of 15 days to curb the outbreak of […]

Mexico: Constitutional Amendment on Tax Forgiveness Passed

(Mar. 26, 2020) On February 25, 2020, Mexico’s Congress passed a constitutional amendment generally prohibiting tax forgiveness except in a limited number of cases determined by statutory law. Background Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador proposed this amendment in 2019, arguing that tax forgiveness powers had been exercised excessively and baselessly by previous administrations. Specifically, […]

Turkey: Parliament Passes Amendments to New “Valuable Real Estate Tax”

(Feb. 28, 2020) On February 14, 2020, Turkey’s Parliament adopted Law No. 7221, which, among other things, amends several provisions of the Real Estate Tax Law (Law No. 1319). The provisions in question were only recently introduced last December by Law No. 7194. The provisions of Law No. 7194 had introduced an annual “Valuable Real […]

Turkey: Digital Services, Accommodations, and Valuable Real Estate Taxes Introduced

(Jan. 14, 2020) On December 5, 2019, Turkey’s parliament passed Law No. 7194, which, among other things, introduced three new taxes. The Law, which was published in the Official Gazette on December 7, provides for a “digital services tax,” an “accommodations tax,” and a “valuable real estate tax.” Digital Services Tax This tax is assessed […]

Germany: Tax Rate for Female Sanitary Products Reduced

(Jan. 3, 2020) On January 1, 2020, a new reduced tax rate of 7% for female sanitary products went into effect in Germany. The tax reduction was enacted as part of the Annual Tax Act. (Annual Tax Act art. 12, no. 21.) Background to the Tax Reduction The German Value-Added Tax Act (VAT Act) charges either a […]

China: Law on Resource Tax Passed

(Nov. 22, 2019) On August 26, 2019, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) adopted the PRC Resource Tax Law. The Law subjects 164 natural resources, including salt, crude oil, natural gas, coal, and other minerals, to the resource tax and prescribes their respective […]

England and Wales: Owner of Company Making Unsolicited Telemarketing Calls Banned from Running Businesses for Five Years

(Sept. 26, 2019) On August 20, 2019 business owner Jonathan De Sousa, whose UK registered company Xternal Property Renovations Ltd made almost 110,000 unsolicited phone calls for the purposes of direct marketing during a three-month period in 2015, was disqualified from owning, forming, or running a company for five years by the government’s Insolvency Service. […]

New Zealand: Tax Authority Rules That Salaries Paid in Cryptoassets Are Subject to Tax

(Sept. 5, 2019) On June 27, 2019, New Zealand’s tax authority, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), issued a binding public ruling (BR Pub 19/01) applicable to the payment of remuneration to employees using “crypto-assets.” A further ruling (BR Pub 19/02) relates to the use of crypto-assets to pay employee bonuses. The rulings were to come […]