HLB International has recently signed a new member in ISLE OF MAN - Affinity Management Limited - Based in Douglas
Energy Consulting is a principal member firm of HLB Russian Group and one of the leading independent audit and consulting practices in Russia. The company ranks in TOP-10 largest audit and consulting groups in Russia since 2006.
Energy Consulting provides a wide range of professional services in audit under Russian and international standards, financial, legal and management consulting, IT consulting.Read more
- Orange Business Club: the era of letterbox companies in the Netherlands is over Orange Business Club, an informal group of Russian top managers and business owners having interests in the Netherlands, on 16 November in Moscow held a meeting of its members to discuss the upcoming tax policy for holdings in the Netherland and its effects on international companies.
- Orange Business Club invites to the business breakfast “The Upcoming Tax Policy for Holdings in the Netherland and its Effects on Russian Companies” Orange Business Club invites top managers and decision makers of Russian companies with a business entity in Holland to the business breakfast “The Upcoming Tax Policy for Holdings in the Netherland and its Effects on Russian Companies”, which will take place on 16 November in Moscow.
- Welcome HLB Eurasia! The new body within HLB International is to improve cross border business in Eurasia and focus on China.
ISLE OF MAN - Affinity Management Limited - Based in Douglas
CAMEROON - Audit Consult Plus - Based in Douala
HLB International has recently signed a new member in CAMEROON - Audit Consult Plus - Based in Douala
CONGO, D.R. - Audit Consult Plus - Based in Lubumbashi
HLB International has recently signed a new member in CONGO, D.R. - Audit Consult Plus - Based in Lubumbashi
OMAN - Chartered Accountants Group - Based in Muscat
HLB International has recently signed a new member in OMAN - Chartered Accountants Group - Based in Muscat
ANGOLA - AngoContas Ltd - Based in Luanda
HLB International has recently signed a new member in ANGOLA - AngoContas Ltd - Based in Luanda
ETHIOPIA - TMS Plus PLC - Based in Addis Ababa
HLB International has recently signed a new member in ETHIOPIA - TMS Plus PLC - Based in Addis Ababa
CAYMAN ISLANDS - Berman Fisher - Based in George Town
HLB International has recently signed a new member in CAYMAN ISLANDS - Berman Fisher - Based in George Town
PALESTINIAN RULED TERRITORIES - Palestia - Based in Ramallah
HLB International has recently signed a new member in PALESTINIAN RULED TERRITORIES - Palestia - Based in Ramallah
China - Hexin LLP - Based in Jinan
HLB International has recently signed a new member in China - Hexin LLP - Based in Jinan
HLB International has recently signed a new member in CHINA - CAC CPA LLP - Based in Beijing
HLB International has recently signed a new member in CHINA - CAC CPA LLP - Based in Beijing
Why Invest in Serbia
Serbia serves as a manufacturing hub that enables duty-free exports to a market of more than 1 billion people.
Many world-renowned companies have recognized Serbia’s potential and decided to locate operations in Serbia. For some of them, Serbia serves as a manufacturing hub that enables duty-free exports to a market of more than 1 billion people. Others are attracted by our country’s adept level of English language proficiency, highly skilled and easily trained workforce and generous tax and incentives environment. Regardless of the reason for their initial interest, businesses that decide to set up operations or conduct trade in Serbia encounter a reliable and dynamic country that affords them a much greater opportunity than they initially perceived.
WHY INVEST IN SERBIA?
1) The educated labor force available at competitive prices;
2) Incentives for employers/businesses that create employment;
3) Favorable tax system with one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in Europe of 15%;
4) Duty-free exports to a market of more than 1 billion people that includes the EU, the Russian Federation, USA, Kazakhstan, Turkey, SEE, EFTA and CEFTA countries, and Belarus;
5) Extremely favorable geographical location in the centre of the Southeast Europe, which provides beneficial conditions for the production and export of merchandise to developed markets, such as Russia, Turkey, Belarus, etc. as well as for export to the countries of former Yugoslavia by virtue of signed free trade agreements.
Business Environment in Estonia
Estonia is one of the highest rated liberal market based economies in the world.
Estonia is one of the highest rated liberal market based economies in the world. It is the first economy having a flat rate income tax system, a friendly environment for foreign investment and no tax policy on reinvested corporate profits. Estonia consistently ranks as one of the most open, competitive and transparent economies in the world. As a full EU- and Eurozone member with a competitive economy, Estonia increasingly serves as a base for pan-European activity. Estonia ranks 12 by ease of doing business in the world by The World Bank analyses.
-Unique location and culture combining Nordic roots and Eastern influences.
-Highly progressive environment that offers an efficient way of doing business.
-Highly developed infrastructure that supports business development.
-Multilingual workers with world class skills. In the Industrial sector we excel in engineering and electronics while in IT we are recognized leaders in software development, high-tech systems and cyber security.
-Ultra-high IT usage across the economy, significant efficiencies, real-time data and flexible, scalable business models. Two-decade commitment to IT, Estonia is the world’s most advanced digital society and recognized leader in digital skills, infrastructure and legislation.
-E-residency system allows You to have control of Your business finances from wherever in the world
Reasons for investing in Estonia:
-Great opportunities in various business sectors
-Relatively easy and low cost establishing a company fully online and only in a few hours
-Relatively simple and stable tax system, 0% income tax on retained and reinvested profits
-Banking and lot of other services and possibilities for doing business easy and online, 99% of banking transactions are made online, Annual accounts are usually prepared and presented online, tax declarations and transactions are prepared and presented online.
For more information please visit:
Article by Arvo Lepik, Parter at HLB Expertus, member of HLB's Euroasia Group. Contact Arvo on email@example.com
UK Tax on property acquisition
Tax on property acquisition in local market, inc residential and non-residential properties; reliefs for builders and property developers
Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) is charged on purchases of freehold and leasehold land and property in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The charge is normally based on the price paid for the property, but can also apply where land and property is acquired in exchange for non-cash payment, for example for the transfer of a mortgage or other debt, or in exchange for services etc.
An SDLT return must be filed and the tax must be paid within 30 days of the property acquisition completion date. This process is normally managed by a solicitor or conveyancer, who will usually file the form and pay the tax on the purchaser’s behalf and add the cost to their fees.
Different SDLT rates apply, depending on the price of the property and whether it is residential or non-residential.
The SDLT rates for the purchase of residential property are as follows:
*Transactions for no more than £40,000 are excluded from the surcharge.
The lower rates apply to individuals who replace their only or main residence within three years of selling an existing main residence. Where an existing main residence is not sold at the date of acquiring the new main residence, the higher SDLT rates must be paid, but it may be possible to claim a refund of the additional 3%, if the previous main residence is sold within three years.
The higher rates apply to all companies and to any individuals acquiring share in a second home or an investment property, even where all other properties are overseas.
Where a leasehold property is acquired, SDLT is paid on the lease premium and on the net present value of the rentals payable over the life of the lease.
Properties acquired by certain non-natural persons
SDLT is charged at 15% on residential properties costing £500,000 or more if they are acquired by non-natural persons who fall within the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (“ATED”) regime, unless they are entitled to claim an exemption. Further information on the ATED regime can be found below.
Multiple dwellings relief
Where a purchaser acquires more than one residential property in a single or in linked transactions, it is possible to make a claim for multiple dwellings relief, if this is beneficial. If relief is claimed, the total amount paid for the properties is divided by the number of properties, SDLT is then calculated at the usual rates on this figure and the resulting amount is multiplied by the number of properties.
The minimum SDLT charge under this method is 1% of the total purchase price, so if the calculations produce a lower charge, the amount payable is increased to 1%.
Acquisitions of six or more residential properties
Where six or more residential properties are acquired in the same transaction, the lower, non-residential rates of SDLT apply.
Non-residential property includes commercial property such as shops and offices, agricultural land, forests and any other land that or property which is not used as a residence. It also includes mixed use property, i.e. property that has both residential and non-residential elements.
As mentioned above, purchases of six or more residential properties in the same transaction also fall to be treated as non-residential.
The SDLT rates for acquisitions of non-residential property are as follows:
Price or transfer value, including lease premium
Up to £150,000
The next £100,000 (the portion from £150,001 to £250,000)
The remaining amount (the portion above £250,000)
Net present value of rental payments under lease
Over £150,000 but not more than £5 million
Over £5 million
Reliefs for builders and property developers
Builders and property developers are generally subject to SDLT like any other purchaser. However relief may be available in the following limited circumstances.
Part exchange on new homes
Where a builder acquires a home from an individual in part exchange for a new home that the builder is building for them, the builder may be exempt from SDLT on the purchase of the old home if certain conditions are met.
In order for the builder to qualify for exemption, the individual must have lived in the old property as their main residence at some time within the two years before the part exchange, they must buy a new home from the builder and they must intend to live in the new home as their main residence. There is also a restriction on the size of the land that the builder can acquire with the property. This is normally 0.5 hectares.
Developers subject to planning obligations
In exchange for granting planning permission, planning authorities may require developers to provide community amenities such as community buildings. These buildings are usually transferred to the local authority once completed and this can give rise to a double charge to SDLT; once on the acquisition of land by the developer and again on the transfer of the building to the local authority. In these cases the developer can claim relief from SDLT on the first purchase.
Other reliefs from SDLT are available, for example on certain transactions between group companies and on some acquisitions of property by charities. The rules can be complex and professional advice should always be sought.
First time buyers
Individuals buying their first home and paying £300,000 or less for a resident ial property are exempt from SDLT. A first time buyer paying between £300,000 and £500,000 pays SDLT at 5% on the amount of the purchase price in excess of £300,000. However If the purchase price is more than £500,000, no relief is due and SDLT is payable in accordance with the normal rates.
A first t ime buyer is defined as an individual or individuals who have never owned an interest in a resident ial property in the United Kingdom or anywhere else in the world and who intends to occupy the property as their main residence.
Article by Ralph Mitchison, Parter at Menzies, member of HLB's Real Estate Group. Contact Ralph on firstname.lastname@example.org
Apples and new agricultural producers
Insight from HLB Agriculture Group.
Over the last few years China has grown to dominate the apple juice export market. Domestic producers of apples are unable to compete with imported apple juice concentrate and have changed the products that they market. As the world production of apple juice concentrate has increased the world price has dropped. This has occurred when many local producers are facing increased production costs.
In order to maintain their profitability, producers are focusing on the products that they produce and have moved away from apple juice concentrate to newer types of apples. The Ontario Apple Growers are working with researchers to develop products that consumers desire through a selective breeding process. Apples that consumers desire can be sold for a premium price and by staying ahead of consumer preferences and even guiding them with the introduction and re-introduction of types of apples, producers can find new markets even as old markets are no longer available.
With continued globalization of trade it is becoming increasingly more important for businesses to determine how they want to operate. Do they want to compete with the production of a commoditized product such as apple juice or with a premium product such as Honeycrisp or Ambrosia apples.
Article by Simon Salole, Partner at Millards, member of HLB's Agriculture Group. Contact Simon on email@example.com
Potential For a More Friendly Investment Environment in Zimbabwe
Article by Clement M. Ruzengwe, Partner at HLB Zimbabwe, member of HLB's English African Group.
The second president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa came into power on November 24, 2017, replacing Mr Robert Mugabe who had been in power for thirty seven years. I n his inauguration speech, he announced a whole new vision of running the economy, which reflected a shift of the country towards economic development.
This vision is Investor friendly, as he welcomed Investors from across the divide- from both the West and East. Traditionally, investment in Zimbabwe was dominated by companies from Britain and the United States of America. This new direction was reiterated in the National Budget Statement presented by on 7 December 2017, by the newly reappointed Minister of Finance, Mr Patrick Chinamasa. The Budget Statement was aptly themed “Towards a New Economic Order”.
The issue of bringing into effect an Investor friendly environment was underscored through several measures which were announced. There are many favourable factors in investing in Zimbabwe, the most important one being the assurances made by the President guaranteeing the security of investments coming into the country. This security will be achieved by the adoption of consistent and transparent policies that make our economy a conducive and competitive investment destination, embracing the need for the participation of foreign private investment in the domestic economy. The Budget Statement also clearly highlighted the new Government’s commitment to honour existing Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs). Where there have been violations, the Government has undertaken to engage the respective parties to reach an amicable position including paying appropriate compensation in the case of land which had been acquired under BIPPA arrangements. The Government’s willingness to apply the principles of good Corporate Governance provides further reassurance of the security of investments.
The virtual scrapping of the Indigenisation laws, which dictated that foreign investors could only have a 49% stake on local companies, has opened up the market favourably. However, Diamond and Platinum mining continue to be covered under the old law. Although there is a reserved sector, reserved for locals, this restriction can still be relaxed where the proposed investment meets certain criteria, such as employment creation.
One of the thrusts espoused by the Minister of Finance when presenting the National Budget was the expansion and acceleration of the “Ease of Doing Business” reforms which have been under way, coupled with a commitment to make them more practical and relevant. An undertaking was also made to fast track the amendment of certain laws to address ease of doing business concerns, and these include the Deeds Amendment Bill, Shop Licencing Amendment Bill, and Public Sector Governance Bill.
An important recognition by the Minister of Finance was the uncompetitive cost structure of the local industry in comparison with the Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) region. The Government intends to analyse the cost structure and bring it into line with the region with a view making the country’s exports more competitive.
For years Zimbabwe has suffered from international isolation due to inability to service its international debts. The President undertook, and the Minister of Finance stressed need, to engage the international financial institutions to resolve this issue.
The Government is also committed to enhancing the effectiveness of its One Stop Shop Investment Centre by introducing on-line services.
Public Sector Enterprises have been the bane of the economy and a huge drain on scarce resources. Going forward, public sector enterprise reforms will be prioritised. Corruption has also been an albatross around the economy’s neck. The President has made it very clear that it will go all out to stamp out corruption and to date high profile arrests have been made in this regard. A three month moratorium has been announced for those who illegally externalised cash and other assets to make arrangements to return these. Thereafter, those who do not comply will be prosecuted. A tax amnesty running from 1 January to 30 June 2018 has also been announced to encourage compliance.
Recently the country introduced Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which attract certain investment incentives, to promote economic development. With the assistance of interested development partners the Government now intends to move ahead and develop the required basic infrastructure to operationalize these SEZs.
On the taxation front, a number of incentives were announced by the Minister of Finance in his budget speech and are being considered by Parliament to finalise them for implementation. These include:
•A price discount on diamonds sold to domestic companies engaged in beneficiation activities and a reduction in ground rental fees from $3 000 to $225 per hectare for diamond mining companies;
•Duty rebates on a number of industries and certain importations. These include cement manufacturing, and the furniture, dairy, textile and clothing industries, soap manufacturing and the tourism sector.
•A 5 year tax holiday for investments in power generation and income tax rate of 15% thereafter.
In addition to the above, there are a number of tax treaties which are in place to prevent double taxation and provide for preferential tax rates, and have been ratified. These are the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, South Africa, Bulgaria, Poland, Malaysia, Canada and Mauritius. A few more have been negotiated but are yet to come into force.
Zimbabwe is ready for foreign investment. Although the infrastructure is run down, it is worth noting that it is in place and all that is required is to upgrade it. There is also a large, literate workforce which is yearning to be productive. Zimbabwe abounds with vast quantities of untapped resources and thus offers a plethora of opportunities in mining, infrastructure development, tourism and agriculture, to name just a few. This, combined with the investor friendly pronunciations and budget statement, provides foreign investors with virtually unlimited options.
Article by Clement M. Ruzengwe, Partner at HLB Zimbabwe, member of HLB's English African Group. Contact Clement on firstname.lastname@example.org