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Introduction

27 June 2017

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Methodology

Indirect Tax Leaders is a list of the leading indirect tax advisers in the world.

Inclusion in the guide is based on a minimum number of nominations received. Besides the required number of nominations, entrants must also receive consistently positive feedback from peers and clients. Firms and individuals cannot pay to be recommended in the Indirect Tax Leaders guide.

Indirect tax continues to be a key consideration for countries around the world, as more and more countries roll out national VAT and GST regimes. Many nations see it as a 'cure' through which theycan boost budgets to allow for extra spending or tax cuts elsewhere. By the time this guide is published, India – with its 1.3 billion inhabitants making it the world's second-largest country – will have joined the list of countries with a national indirect tax, which is due to be implemented on July 1.

Six months later, in January 2018, the countries which make up the Gulf Cooperation Council – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – are due to implement VAT. International Tax Review has regularly reported on how businesses are unprepared for the change.

Beyond the headline introductions of GST in India and VAT in the GCC, another key theme has been the shift towards destination-based indirect tax systems. Russia introduced its system on January 1 2017, which is largely similar to systems already in place in Japan, South Africa and South Korea.

Meanwhile the EU and its member states, pioneers in destination-based taxation for e-services, are planning to further develop legislation to tax business-to-business supplies of goods under the destination principle.

A key case in the Court of Justice of the European Union on the VAT status of e-books also reached its climax, allowing new questions to arise on the VATability of new technology. Should 3D printed goods be taxed where they are printed? Or are designs sent from abroad intellectual property, making 3D printed items a service? More and more, VAT systems will need to be adaptable.

To an even greater extent, companies need to be proactive as well as reactive, making top-quality advice on indirect tax issues more important than ever.

Therefore, I am pleased to present the sixth edition of the Indirect Tax Leaders guide. We received a record number of nominations this year and have added advisers from several new jurisdictions. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Joe Stanley-Smith,
International Tax Review deputy editor






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