The Serbian competition authority, i.e. Commission for Protection of Competition has conditionally approved the acquisition of the Serbian cable operator IKOM by SBB, being the leading private telecom operator, provider of digital and analogue cable television, broadband Internet and fixed telephony.
In its ruling, the Commission noted that it granted approval subject to certain conditions on the basis that the strengthening of a dominant position would only occur in the retail market of media content distribution services. In line with the Commissions’ decision SBB is to sell secondary network infrastructure in Belgrade where there are overlaps with IKOM, and it must offer current IKOM’s customers options to change their subscriptions.
Finally, for two years following the acquisition, SBB shall provide regular reporting to the Commission on potential changes in retail prices for media content services provided by its basic package.
At the end of 2016, the Serbian Parliament adopted changes to Serbian tax laws, introducing a number of important changes in the area of VAT, excise duties and to the general tax procedure.
Most of the amendments to the Law on VAT came into force on January 1, 2017 except the provisions regulating the place of supply of goods and services, which apply as of April 1, 2017 and the provision prescribing that VAT calculation breakdown shall be submitted together with VAT return, which shall apply as of January 1, 2018.
The main changes to the Law on VAT concern:
clarification of tax payer and tax debtor in specific cases;
obligation to register for VAT if the service is supplied to a taxable person, whereby the place of supply is the place where the recipient of the service is established;
place of supply of services, whereby it is a general rule that if the service is supplied to a taxable person the place of supply is the place where the recipient of the service is established, with a number of exceptions prescribed for specific types of services;
clarification on the supply date regarding the supply of electricity, natural gas and heating / cooling energy.
Amendments to the Law on Tax Procedure Law came into force on January 1, 2017 except for the amendments regarding the authority competent to decide in second-degree procedures, which shall apply from July 1, 2017.
Novelties to the Law on Tax Procedure and Tax Administration relate to:
clarification that tax proceedings will be conducted based on provisions of the law governing inspection supervision
the appeal process shall be shifted from the Tax Administration to the Ministry of Finance and
the obligation of the Tax Authorities to render a decision in all cases of termination of tax liability.