Exemption of Financial Intermediation Services from Value Added Tax
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Publication date: 2012-02-29
GNPJE 2012;253(1-2):117-133
The article looks at why financial intermediation services are exempt from value added tax (VAT) and discusses the implications of this situation. Financial intermediation services are exempt from value added tax although they are a significant part of the economy, the author says. There are several reasons why this exemption is justified, according to Bernal. Experts differ on whether or not financial intermediation services generate value added. If they do, the question is how this value should be calculated, the author observes. A number of factors influence the interest rate, which is the main category in financial intermediation services, but not all these factors contribute to value added. Alongside difficulties in determining taxable income, there is a problem with defining what exactly should be subject to taxation. The article highlights the implications of the exemption for both intermediaries and their customers. The exemption for intermediaries may influence the proportion of factors of production used, and whether intermediation services are provided on an in-house basis or are outsourced. The exemption may also have an impact on cooperation between companies active in the sector, and on the choice of customer groups (corporations vs. individuals). Moreover, the exemption may influence the choice of the venue from which goods are delivered, and the location of the head office and organizational structure of the service provider. The exemption of financial intermediation services from VAT also influences intermediaries’ customers, for example with regard to the choice of the structure of capital, the choice of risk management tools, and the choice of the consumption model, as well as the international competitiveness of businesspeople taking advantage of financial intermediation services. The article discusses examples of how financial intermediation services are approached in different countries worldwide.
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