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Serbia Introduces VAT Proxy

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Serbia Introduces VAT Proxy

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Recent changes made by the Serbian parliament introduce a new gateway to the Serbian market for foreign businesses.

Previously in order to buy and sell goods in Serbia a local entity had to be established, which could be a costly affair. The government will now allow a VAT proxy or VAT representative, which means foreign businesses have the opportunity to buy and sell goods without establishing in Serbia. Removal of this obligation is likely to entice foreign investors to look for business opportunities in Serbia.

TMF Group’s VAT expert Jacek Szufan says: “Relatively low production costs combined with the simplification introduced by the new VAT rules are likely to catch attention of foreign investors who may start to bring goods into Serbia in order for these to be processed and sold out of Serbia to other destinations in the EU and elsewhere.

“It will also be interesting to see if any deferment of import VAT is likely to be introduced in order to further attract foreign investment. The ability to not pay import VAT at the border, but account for it in the VAT return, is very popular in countries like Czech Republic and Belgium. A solution like this in Serbia could be another way of giving the local economy a boost.”

Below we highlight the most important changes introduced by the latest VAT Law Amendments adopted by the Serbian Parliament on 28 September 28 2015 and published by the “Official Gazette RS” No. 83/2015 on 3 October.

Registration of foreign entities for VAT

Foreign entities are allowed to register for VAT in Serbia by appointing a VAT proxy.

The VAT proxy executes all obligations related to VAT in the name and for the account of the foreign entity, including payment of VAT. Also, the VAT proxy is jointly responsible for all VAT liabilities of the foreign entity.

Moment of VAT charging on certain services

In regards to services of assignment, transfer and granting of authorship and related rights, patents, licenses, trademarks, and other rights of intellectual property, liability of charging VAT arises as at the day of supply of service, date when the advance payment was received or date of issuing of invoice, whichever occurs sooner.

VAT calculation breakdown filing

VAT calculation breakdown is to be submitted along with the VAT tax return. The form and scope of VAT calculation breakdown shall be prescribed by the rulebook to be adopted.

Deadline for quarterly VAT returns filing changed

The deadline for both monthly and quarterly tax returns is, as per adopted amendments, to be the same, that is 15 days from tax period end.

Application of the VAT Law Amendments

VAT Law Amendments should come into force on 15 October 2015, with the exemption of the following provisions:

  • Provisions regulating filing the request for the tax proxy and approval of the authorities for the tax proxy shall come into force on 1 October 2015
  • New deadline for filing quarterly tax returns shall come into force on 1 January 2016
  • Provisions regulating VAT calculation breakdown which is to be submitted along with tax returns shall come into force on 1 January 2017

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