VAT invoice lottery is the way to go

“When Jozef Lazarcik, a 35-year-old factory worker, heard his number called on national television here recently, he pumped his fists, hardly believing his luck.

He had registered only nine receipts with Slovakia’s new tax lottery, and yet he had just won a new car. “It’s a heavenly feeling,” he said before leaving the studio, ready to encourage all of his friends to register their receipts, too — which is exactly what Slovakian officials were hoping for.”

Love it! Whether it is a fa piao in China and Taiwan, or the invoice lottery in Slovakia, this is how countries make the fight against tax fraud popular. It’s cheap and entertaining!

See more in today’s NY Times here: (subscription may be required)

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Bloomberg BNA webinar: Sales tax and VAT

Another BNA webinar is coming up for April 29, 12-1pm Eastern.

During this live webinar, Fruchtman and Houtzager will cover:

  • Sales Tax and VAT – what are the main similarities and differences; how does VAT work, and how do indirect taxes affect a global organization’s tax structure
  • Tax Presence Issues: “nexus” vs. “permanent establishment” – direct vs. indirect tax presence; when is a VAT registration required or optional; what are the consequences of registering for state sales taxes; what are the impacts on the company’s tax footprint and tax accounting
  • Taxable base: taxable and non-taxable sales of goods and services; characterization planning; input tax credit in VAT, VAT exemptions vs. zero-rates

Register here:

State Sales Taxes and Foreign Value Added Taxes: Common Issues and Planning Considerations | Bloomberg BNA.

Tips and tricks for registering:

You have a promotion code MHDF01 that generates a $100 savings off the $249 price of attending the webinar.  Plus additional registrants within a firm can register on the same form as the initial registrant and pay just $49 each and earn CE credit.  But they must all register on the same registration form on

Here’s how it works:

1.       Go to

2.       Click on the Continuing Education and Training tab at the top of the page

3.       Click on the Tax and Accounting View All Programs link

4.       Click on Webinars under View Programs to Date

5.       Click on the webinar name and complete the Registration form.  You will be prompted for a promocode while registering.

6.       Enter the promocode MHDF01.  This will reduce the cost of the webinar from $249 to $149 in the shopping basket.

7.       Information for joining the webinar will be provided in a follow-up email

If up to 10 people in the same firm want to watch from their own computers (and thereby earn CE credit), then the first registrant pays $149 (after the application of the promocode) and each additional registrant will pay just $49.

State Sales Taxes and Foreign Value Added Taxes: Common Issues and Planning Considerations | Bloomberg BNA.

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Italy – Web Tax, but not for VAT.

Michaela Merz is PWC’s Global VAT leader, and I recommend that you bookmark her blog – see

Michaela writes about the new (and very odd) “Web Tax” legislation in Italy. I wrote about this plan earlier here.

No one has been able to explain this law in a comprehensive way, and Michaela smartly quotes Luca Lavazza from PWC Italy. From what I understand, the gist of the new law is that companies that sell of online advertising to Italian businesses must be VAT registered in Italy.

But the most recent development, Luca writes, is that this VAT part of the proposed law is repealed. That makes total sense to me, as there is nothing in the VAT part of this proposal that meets the requirements of the EU VAT Directive. This Directive – a set of European VAT rules – applies to all 28 EU member states, including Italy.

It seems that the corporate income tax element of the Web Tax law is still alive. This relates to transfer pricing and payments methods. Have a look at the blog posting here, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Luca directly if you need more info.


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Global VAT guides for 2014

Spring is in the air here on the US East Coast, and that means that the big accounting firms are publishing their global VAT reference guides. These popular guides are the most-clicked through VAT blog postings!

Thus far I received guides from EY and Grant Thornton – see below. If I receive more, I will add them to the blog.


Download (PDF, 3.94MB)

Grant Thornton:

Download (PDF, 61KB)

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I’m back…

.. from a grand three weeks world tour: New York – Amsterdam – Singapore – Hong Kong – Amsterdam – New York. It was a very inspiring almost-all-business trip, and I hope that this tick bite on my arm that I acquired in Singapore’s Gardens At The Bay won’t turn into something worse.

Also, it was great to catch up with old and new friends in industry and Big 4. Jeez – some of them are about to retire. Then I must be getting old as well…

Look out for a couple of new posts on the VAT blog, as I have to catch up on three weeks of absence.

Image: the Saturday market in Leiden

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Good to be back in Singapore

I spent the past week in Singapore on client’s business – as some of you know, I lived here from 1999 – 2001. It was good to catch up with old and new friends!

Now on my way to Hong Kong and later this week on to Amsterdam.

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Travelin’ Man

I will be out of town for a while for client meetings. The first week of March in the Netherlands for an extended stopover on my way to Hong Kong and Singapore.

Back in Amsterdam on March 18 – back stateside on the 24th.

If you are in the Netherlands, Hong Kong or Singapore and want to catch up – please drop me a line at and I will make it work.

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