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MAY 2013 |


ROUND UP | 59 Taxes, immigration etc

There are recurring themes in this column. Taxes and immigration are two of them and, sure enough, they feature here. However, this month see how the Spanish are getting hot under the collar about heating, how the Thais are blowing bubbles and how one Russian real estate law has been cancelled - after just three days

What’s it about?

This is a regular feature of OPP magazine. Lawyers and accountants around the world have agreed to keep us informed about any new developments in the law that they think will be of particular interest to the overseas property industry. If you know of any interesting changes to the law or taxation in the country where you liveor do business, contact Alternatively, if you know of a good, reliable lawyer or accountant who might be prepared to help, please do the same.

The most important of this month’s legal news from our correspondents around the world. More legal news is available in the News section at

Energy certifi cate obligatory in Spain from 1st June 2013 The Spanish cabinet of Ministers has approved an energy certifi cate that will be obligatory for any property owner who wants to sell or rent (for more than four months) his/her property from 1 June 2013. This certifi cate, along with the energy rating of the building, should include objective information on the building’s energy performance. For

“Spain: compulsory energy certifi cate if you want to sell or rent your property”

existing buildings it will be necessary to have a list of recommendations to improve the energy effi ciency of the building. To smooth the issuing process, the Ministry of Industry Energy and Tourism has developed a plan to train technicians and has created software (ce3 and ce3x) to assist the production of the certifi cates. [Reported by Cesar Garzon, Spanish Lawyer – Email:]

Spanish National Housing Plan (2013-2016)

The Spanish cabinet of ministers has approved the National Housing Plan for 2013 to 2016. Its main objective is to promote the rental of properties. The plan includes a programme of subsidies for rentals that will help more than 133,000 benefi ciaries. It

is split into seven categories: loan and rental subsidies, rental help, promotion of public properties, building rehabilitation, promotion of urban regeneration, promotion of sustainable cities and promotion of buildings energy performance reports. The plan, with a €2,311 million budget, aims to create 105 jobs.

[Reported by Cesar Garzon, Spanish Lawyer – Email: c.garzon@]

Brazil will use sports events to expand business links

and the FIFA World Cup ™ in 2014. The agency may take different actions in each stadium in order to promote the image of Brazil as an innovative and sustainable country, focusing on one or more sectors of the economy which are highlighted in the cities and regions where the games will be played. The initiative with FIFA aims to strength relationships between Brazilian businessmen and potential foreign buyers and also to provide immediate, short and medium-term business. Actions to attract foreign direct investment to the country will also be promoted. [Reported by Daniela Antunes at Maxwell Alves Solicitors – Email:]

Taiwan passes review of Income Tax amendments The fi nancial committee of the Legislative Yuan of Republic of China has passed the preliminary review for the changes to the Income Tax Act. Controlled Foreign Corporation (CFC) rules and Place of Effective Management (PEM) will be incorporated into the act to meet the international trend in the current tax regulations. The amendment will be effective for taxable years beginning in

“Moroccan residents receiving a pension from overseas can have 80% reduction in tax”

The Brazilian Agency for Export and Investment Promotion (Apex-Brazil) will take the opportunity of future sports events in Brazil to further expand business links between Brazilian companies and foreign investors. A local agreement signed with the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) will enable Apex- Brazil to perform actions in all matches of the Confederations Cup in 2013

2015. After the amendment is legally passed, the Taiwanese parent companies will be required to recognise as taxable income the profi ts of CFCs that fall under the specifi c criteria. In terms of the PEM, if the foreign company’s place of effective management is in Taiwan, the foreign company will be treated as if its head offi ce is in Taiwan and its worldwide income will be taxable under the Taiwanese Income Tax Act.

[Reported by Amanda Tseng at Maxwell Alves Solicitors – Email:]

Morocco: Financial Law 2013 A social solidarity contribution tax is now applicable on private individuals

and companies, including the renting of properties. This new tax is only applicable on annual income exceeding 360,000 MAD, with a starting rate of 2% and a maximum rate of 6% on incomes exceeding 840,000 MAD. It has been introduced on a temporary basis and will be applicable on incomes gained from 1 January 2013 until 31 December 2015. The new fi nancial law has also increased the abatement of income taxes from 40% to 55% on pensions. Moroccan residents who receive a pension from overseas can also benefi t from an 80% reduction of the tax on their pensions under conditions. Furthermore, the minimum period to benefi t from exoneration of capital gains tax related to the sale of residence has been reduced to six years. [Reported by Loic Raboteau at Kobalt Law - Email:]

Thailand’s banks prepare for possible credit bubble

The Bank of Thailand is closely watching for signs of a possible credit bubble in the market, and has urged local banks to monitor signs of speculation in Southeast Asia’s second largest economy. Media reports in the kingdom had suggested a shift in loan-to-value ratios, with buyers being asked to come up with higher deposits from second and subsequent properties. Many of the country’s leading private lenders say they are not worried about a property bubble, but concede there is a possible excess supply of condominiums along Bangkok’s mass transit routes. It is not possible for a foreigner to obtain a loan in his/ her name for buying property from a Thailand bank. [Reported by Andrew Batt at PropertyGuru Group - Email: andrew@]

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