Idealex – COVID-19 and international trade

international-trade-covid-19-andrea-moya-idealex

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DATE: 15-05-2020

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

-Andrea Moya

MEDIA: Idealex

The world is facing a health, human and economic crisis without precedent. The measures taken to reduce the effects of the pandemic, such as isolations and social distancing, have direct impacts on the supply and demand. The suspension of commercial and productive activities generates a global recession and higher unemployment.

In 2019, the global economy recorded its worst performance since 2009, with a grow rate of 2.5% and with global GDP grow projections for 2020 revised downwards. In 2019, the volume of world trade goods fell by 0.4% against 2018 and it is projected that in 2020 it would contract even more. COVID-19 appeared in this scenario.

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), COVID-19 is affecting the region for the following reasons:

  1. The decline in the economic activity of the region’s main trading partners.
  2. The drop in commodity prices.
  3. The interruption of global value chains.
  4. Lower demand for tourism services.
  5. Greater risk aversion and worsening global financial conditions.

According with ECLAC, the value of Latin America and the Caribbean exports will fall at least 10.7% by 2020 due to lower prices by 8.2% and volume in 2.5%.

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In the case of Ecuador, given that its main commercial partners China and the United States are the countries with the most infections, it is foreseeable that the value of non-oil exports reduces. This fact added to the fall of the oil prices will generate a significant fall on the value of Ecuadorian exports.

Under these circumstances, the country’s trade policy must facilitate a prompt answer to this crisis. The reduction of non-tariff barriers to import and exports, especial procedures for the release and clearance of goods, simplified mechanisms for the reimbursement of taxes and payment facilities for taxes on foreign trade are measures that would allow companies to overcome the challenges derived from the pandemic.

The Ecuadorian Customs Authority has made and efficient work in order to facilitate foreign trade operations during the state of emergency, it has maintained its services in all customs districts through electronic channels, it has implements specific procedures for the inspection of goods and it has suspended the terms applicable for the abandonment of good through the duration of the emergency.

However, the following measures are needed urgently:

  1. The Law for Simplification and Tax Progressivity issued on December 31, 2019 amended the Production, Commerce and Investment Code adding article 157.1. This article establishes a simplified procedure for reimbursing any taxes applicable to foreign trade (drawback). The amount of the reimbursement is equal to a percentage of the FOB value of the export and must be done automatically after the export customs forms are definitive. This process must be put into place in an effective and immediate manner.
  2. The Law for Tax Equity establishes that the foreign exchange tax (ISD) paid on the import of raw materials, capital goods and other goods to be incorporated in production processes may be regarded as tax credit for the payment of the importer’s income tax within the following five years. The importer is able to request a reimbursement of the foreign exchange tax that has not been credited against its income tax. However, the reimbursement request procedure is slow and bureaucratic. It is necessary to adopt simplified reimbursement processes that are effective and resolved on a timely manner.
  3. Article 116 of the Production, Commerce and Investment Code establishes that the importers are able to request payment facilities on foreign trade taxes derived from the import of capital goods. This benefit must by applicable to the payment of foreign trade taxes on the import of raw material and similar goods.
  4. The third general provision of the Law for the Development of Production, Investment Attraction, Employment Generation and Fiscal Stability establishes that the investment incentives included in such law will be applicable for 24 months, this deadline expires in August 21, 2020. The President is able to extend this deadline for 24 additional months. It is importer to extend this deadline in order to stimulate local and foreign investment which may generate employment. It is also important to simplify the processes needed to access certain benefits such as the exemption of tariffs and foreign exchange tax on the import of raw material and capital goods needed for the development of investment projects.

These measures will contribute to protect the cash flow of the taxpayers which is a fundamental issue in order to keep companies’ operating and avoid, to the extent possible, its closure and the subsequent loss of jobs and default with its creditors.

This crisis has worsened the country’s fragile economy, particularly for the fiscal imbalance that has been occurring for several years, and the lack of contingency funds to be injected in an economic recession. The alternative is not the “deglobalization”, but an international cooperation policy that allows each country to develop its best capacities. Ecuador urgently requires structural changes in the labor and tax areas, along with a clear foreign trade policy.

If you want to read this article in Spanish, click here


Table’s source: Special Report COVID-19 issued by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) – https://repositorio.cepal.org/bitstream/handle/11362/45351/1/S2000263_en.pdf

Teleamazonas – Annual and/or monthly taxes apply from January 1st

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FECHA: 2-01-2020

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS:: 

-Andrea Moya

DATE: Teleamazonas

Our Partner, Andrea Moya, has been interviewed by the Teleamazonas news to explain the tax amendments introduced by the “Tax Simplification and Progressivity Law” and the date on which the amendments come into force.

“When taxes must be paid on an annual or monthly basis, the amendments entry into force from the first day of the following month. All amendments, in general, are effective as of January 1, with certain exceptions. The first exception is the distribution of dividends. This amendments entry into force on December 31,” Andrea Moya said in the interview.

Another of the points analyzed by our Partner was the amendment to the sub capitalization limit. “Previously, in credits between related parties you had a sub capitalization rule. Now this limit for interest expense changed to 20% of the profit. This should only affect contracts signed as of this date,” she explained. However, this has not been clarified in the law.

Another of the reforms that will come into force in 180 days, is the VAT for digital services, such as Uber or Netflix. “All the concepts that the law does not regulate specifically, the Tax Authority will have to issue a regulation” Andrea Moya points out during her interview.

All these changes could mean an amount of 600 million US dollars in revenue for the Government.

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Gestión Digital – Draft Law for Fiscal Transparency

fiscal-transparency-gestion-digital-Andrea-Moya

DETAILS

DATE: 7-11-19

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

-Andrea Moya

The following is a summary of the main amendments proposed in the draft of the “Draft Law for Fiscal Transparency, Optimization of Tax Expenditure, Encouragement of Job Creation, Strengthening of the Monetary and Financial Systems and Responsible Management of Public Finance”

Income tax

Dividends:

  • The taxable income will be 40% of the dividend effectively distributed. The concept of global dividend is eliminated (dividend distributed plus taxes paid by the company) and consequently the tax credit for taxes paid by the company.
  • The exemption for dividends paid to companies and for individuals residing abroad is eliminated. The applicable withholding percentage will be 25%.
  • In the case of dividends distributed in favor of individuals residing in Ecuador, the Tax Authority will establish the withholding percentage.
  • If the company that distributes the dividends fails to report its corporate structure, the withholding percentage applicable to the dividend paid abroad will be 35%.
  • It is ratified that the capital increase with retained earnings (stock dividend) will not be taxed.

Deductions:

  • Interest paid on loans granted by related or independent parties may not exceed 20% of the entity’s profit. Interest paid in excess of this ratio will be considered non-deductible.
  • Indirect expenses allocated from abroad by related parties will be considered non-deductible expenses.
  • The following additional deductions are reduced from 100 to 50%: (i) net increase in employment, (ii) medical insurance and / or prepaid medicine expenses granted to employees; (iii) depreciation of assets that reduce the environmental impact; and, (iv) certain expenses incurred by micro, small and medium businesses, such as: research and development expenses, expenses to improve productivity, and travel and promotion expenses for accessing international markets.
  • The deductibility of advertising and promotion costs and expenses will not be limited.

Others:

  • Payment of the advance income tax is no longer mandatory.
  • The reduction of the income tax rate for exporting entities that reinvest their profits goes from 10 to 8 percentage points.
  • Income obtained abroad that has been subject to tax in the country of origin will no longer be exempted from paying income tax in Ecuador. The tax paid abroad will be considered as tax credit.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

  1. The following goods will be subject to 0%VAT:
    • Flowers.
    • Test strips for glucose.
    • Newsprint.
  1. Digital services:

Digital services will be subject to 12% VAT. Digital services are those provided and / or contracted through the Internet that are automated and require minimal human intervention.

In the case of import of digital services, VAT will be paid by the importer of the service. Credit card issuing entities will withhold the VAT when the digital service provider is not registered in Ecuador.

Excise Tax

  1. Taxable base: The presumptive minimum profit margin to be applied on the ex-customs or ex-factory price is increased from 25 to 30% based.
  2. Taxed goods: The following goods are taxed at the rates described below:
    • Liquids containing nicotine to be administered through nicotine administration systems (electronic cigarettes): 50%
    • Soft drinks with sugar content less than or equal to 25 grams per liter and energy drinks: 11%
    • Soft drinks with sugar content greater than 25 grams per liter: US$0.20 per 100 grams of sugar.
    • Vehicles: the calculation formula is modified according to the sale price of the vehicle to avoid leaps in the rates.
    • Post-paid mobile phone service provided to individuals: 10%
    • Craft beer: The rate is reduced from US $ 2.00 per liter to US $ 1.5 per liter.
    • Industrial beer: The rate is increased according to market share.
    • Plastic bags: US$ 0.10 per bag

Currency Exit Tax

Exemptions:

  • Loans granted abroad: (i) there is no longer required that term of the credit is at least 360 days, and, (ii) the loan may be used to invest in shares issued by Ecuadorian entites.
  • Dividends: Dividends paid to entities or individuals residing in tax havens is exempted.

The tax rate applicable to the import of raw materials and capital goods, is reduced from 5 to 2.5%; however, the right to tax credit for such imports is eliminated.

Single and Temporary Tax

Who are obliged to pay? Companies whose gross income in fiscal year 2018 exceeded one million dollars.

How much should be paid? The amount to be paid is shown in the following table. The amount shall not exceed 25% of the generated, declared or determined income tax of fiscal year 2018.

Gross taxable income from (USD $) Gross taxable income up to (USD $) Rate
1,000,000 5,000,000 0.10%
5,000,001 10,000,000 0.15%
10,000,001 Onwards 0.20%

When should it be paid? Until March 31 of fiscal years 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Capital Repatriation Regime

The tax residents of Ecuador can benefit from this regime if as of December 31, 2018:

  • They have maintained abroad revenues subject to income tax in Ecuador or, have made monetary transactions subject to outflow tax (ISD), which have not been declared or if the tax has not been paid.
  • Have kept assets abroad which have been acquired with these revenues and, that have not been registered in the equity declaration.

If taxpayers decide to repatriate and invest the income in Ecuador, they will be subject to the following rules:

  • If the income is declared until March 31, 2020, it will be subject to pay a tax rate equal to 1%;
  • If the income is declared from April 1, 2020 until June 30, 2020, it will be subject to pay a tax rate equal to 2%; and
  • If the income is declared from July 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020, it will be subject to pay a tax rate equal to 4%
  • If taxpayers decide to declare their income, assets or investments abroad, but not repatriate and reinvest in Ecuador, it will be subject to pay a tax rate equal to 8%.

The income will be regarded as invested in Ecuador if it remains in Ecuador for a minimum period of 12 consecutive months counted from the date on which the investment is made and if it’s purpose is one of those established in the law, such as: investments and financial products provided by financial institutions, stock exchanges and stock brokerage houses, acquisition of real estate and other assets necessary to carry out economic activities in the country or, investments destined to research and development of technology.

If you want to read de article in Gestión Digital, click here