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Indirect tax increases on the rise

21 November 2012

Salman Shaheen - ITR

With little sign of economic recovery, governments are increasingly turning to VAT. But there are signs things could change.

A Thompson Reuters report has revealed that globally the number of indirect tax changes in the third quarter of 2012 increased 62% from the same period last year.

"We are seeing an increase in both the number of taxes and the complexity of tax laws outside of the US, which is making it more difficult for global companies to keep up with changing tax rates and regulations," said Carla Yrjanson, vice president of tax research and content at Thomson Reuters. "As a result, many global companies are putting best practices and technology in place to ensure they achieve compliance in a cost effective manner."

The leading trend from these changes fits the pattern of the last few years: more countries are establishing VAT/GST systems and those with established systems are increasing rates.

The third quarter of 2012 has seen the Canary Islands increase its standard VAT rate from 5%...

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