by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | November 01, 2007

Ongoing changes in VAT (value added tax) legislation by several countries have resulted in a slew of new rules and regulations. Among the most significant in recent years are the following (also see “Speaking of VAT”).

* On July 1, 2006, Canada reduced its version of VAT -- or GST, a general consumption tax on goods and services -- from 7 percent to 6 percent.

* As of Sept. 1, 2006, hotel invoices in Norway are subject to a VAT of 8 percent.

* As of this past Jan. 1, Germany’s VAT increased from 16 to 19 percent. In addition, the new law, part of the 2007 Tax Act, states that all non-German exhibitors, regardless of their VAT registration status in Germany, are required to pay VAT on all services received in connection with a trade show or conference held in Germany by a foreign organizer.

* On July 1, Ireland enacted the Finance Act of 2007, which provides that a business delegate attending a qualifying conference -- an event catering to 50 or more attendees at a venue designed for same -- is entitled to reclaim the VAT paid on accommodations, which currently is 13.5 percent.