Thinking beyond borders.
The income tax legislation is undeveloped, comprising of a mere 12 pages. As a result, it often creates more questions than it answers, and interpretation of the legislation can be a challenge. Such uncertainty creates risk, and whilst it is sometimes possible to get a ruling from the Tax Department on a position, this does not set a binding precedent, so cannot always be relied upon. Different tax inspectors can (and do), provide a different answer to the same question.
A person’s liability to Mongolian individual income tax is determined by residence status for taxation purposes and the source of income derived by the individual. Income tax is currently levied at a flat tax rate of 10%. The tax year is the calendar year.
Personal taxpayers in Mongolia are classified as resident and non-resident taxpayers. A resident taxpayer of Mongolia is a taxpayer who has either:
The 183 days period shall be calculated based on the number of days of a calendar year from the day of entry into Mongolia and in case of multiple entries, it shall be determined based on the total days of taxpayer’s stays in Mongolia. A resident taxpayer is required to pay taxes in Mongolia on both their taxable income earned in Mongolia and overseas income (i.e. their worldwide income).
Non-residents are subject to tax on certain categories of income from Mongolian sources under the concept of limited tax liability. If the income from employment is subject to personal income tax withholding, the tax obligations are fulfilled with the withholdings and no Mongolian tax return needs to be filed.
An individual will be tax-resident in Mongolia if he/she resides in Mongolia for 183 or more days in a tax year. The 183 days period shall be calculated based on the number of days of a calendar year from the day of entry into Mongolia and in case of multiple entries, it shall be determined based on the total days of taxpayer’s stays in Mongolia.
Generally, the following remunerations and benefits are considered as employment income:
Other taxable income includes:
A tax credit of MNT 84,000 is deductible from Mongolian personal income tax of residents and non-residents who receives employment income. In addition, certain income is tax exempt under the Personal Tax Law, including
Personal income tax rate is currently a flat 10% for both resident and non-resident individuals, except where it is exempt or subject to final withholding tax. The following income is subject to specific personal income tax on a gross basis and is subject to final withholding tax:
Also the following income is subject to final withholding tax:
For income subject to final withholding tax, personal income tax is withheld by the person who is providing income to individuals.
The Mongolian Social Security System provides pension, health, disability and unemployment, amongst others. Participation in Social Security is mandatory for all Mongolian nationals, foreigners and stateless persons who are employed within the territory of Mongolia.
Both employers and employees are required to pay social security contributions, at rates which are established by the Social Insurance Law of Mongolia. Employer contribution rates currently vary from 11% to 13%, depending on the industry. Employee contribution rates are currently 10% (from salary and similar income). However, employee monthly contributions are capped at the minimum wage (currently MNT 240,000).
Personal income tax returns for the preceding calendar year must be filed with the local tax office by 15 February. A further filing extension is not available. The tax payment is due at the same day.
The penalty for late payment is currently 0.1% of the outstanding balance per day. The penalty for concealing taxable income through negligence or fraud (where criminal charges are not brought) is 30% of the tax payable.
Personal income tax payments for employees are withheld, filed and remitted to Mongolian Tax Authority by employer by due dates. Quarterly personal income tax filing by employer is due within 20th of the first month of the following quarter, and annual filing by employer is due within 15th of February of the following year. However personal income tax should be paid on monthly basis.
Employers are also responsible for withholding social security contributions and transferring them to relevant authorities. Social insurance return should be filed within 5th of the following month and payment should be remitted within the month.
Generally, foreigners are required to have a Mongolian visa to enter the country.
Foreigners visiting Mongolia for more than thirty days are required to register with their local Office of Immigration, Naturalization and Foreigners Registration (Immigration Office) within seven days of arrival. Failure to register may result in fines or penalties. If a foreigner is invited to visit Mongolia, the citizen, business entity or organization inviting the foreigner is responsible for registering them with the Immigration Office. Foreigners who wish to reside in Mongolia may apply for a residence permit. Residence permits are valid for up to five years and can be extended for an additional three years.
A business entity, organization or citizen can employ workers and specialists from abroad for occupations and professions requiring high professional skills. Work permits are granted for up to one year and can be extended based on a written request from the employer.
Quotas have been established for the number of foreign workers that can be hired in a given year. Depending on the economic sector and the size of the organization hiring the foreigner, foreigners can comprise as much as 75% or as little as 5% of the total workforce of an organization.
Generally, organizations operating in the mining and construction industries can hire a higher percentage of foreign employees. Quotas are updated and approved on an annual basis by the Government.
Bilateral measures for the avoidance of double Taxation Mongolia has approved tax treaties with several countries.
For the avoidance of double taxation, Mongolia proposes to use the credit method. The amount of foreign tax paid is allowed as a credit against the Mongolian tax payable on the same income or capital. However the amount of such tax credit shall not exceed the amount of tax payable on the same amount of income in Mongolia.
When an organization wishes to establish a presence in Mongolia, ultimately for the purposes of making a profit, operating via a Mongolian subsidiary is the only possibility. Whilst the concept of PE exists, there are no practical examples. Also, operating through a branch structure is only permitted for Mongolian resident companies. Since a Representative Office is prohibited from engaging in business activities, it would not be appropriate either.
Under the VAT Law, a VAT payer is defined as a legal entity, an individual or a PE of a foreign entity, who sells goods, services and works subject to VAT.
The threshold to be registered as a VAT withholding agent is MNT 50.0 million; for this purpose, revenue from the sale of fixed assets shall not be counted. An entity that meets the threshold shall submit its application to register as a VAT withholding agent to a relevant tax authority within 10 working days.
A person or legal entity, whose sales revenues from primary production, work and service subject to VAT has reached MNT 10.0 million can be registered voluntarily.
VAT is imposed on goods imported into and exported out of Mongolia and goods produced or sold, work performed or services provided in Mongolia. Goods and services sold or provided in Mongolia are taxed at a rate of 10%. Exported goods, works and services are zero rated for VAT.
Input VAT paid on purchases of goods, services and works provided for the purposes of production and services, and VAT paid for goods, works or services directly imported for the purpose of sale, production and providing services can be credited against Output VAT.
Income earned by non-resident entities is subject to 10% WHT VAT in Mongolia. The WHT VAT is not creditable for Mongolian entities which are receiving the services or goods from the non-resident entities.
Transactions between related parties must be fair value for tax purposes. Where the tax authority does not consider that a transaction has been undertaken at fair value, the tax authority has the power to determine appropriate fair values, using a benchmarking methodology approved by the Government.
Where the related party rules apply then a “benchmark price” applies. The benchmark pricing methodology follows the OECD approach to transfer pricing. Under the CIT law, entities will be considered ‘related parties’ for tax purposes where any of the following criteria is met:
According to General Tax Law of Mongolia “related parties” refers to entities authorized to directly and indirectly participate in management, control and property rights of any foreign and Mongolian legal entities.
All business transactions in Mongolia are legislatively required to be settled in MNT. However, it is not unusual for prices to be quoted in other currencies (predominantly USD), particularly in international trade and the tourism industry.
Currency regulation shall apply on transactions between two resident companies. The currency law clearly states that the “price of goods, work and service shall be expressed and settlement shall be conducted only in national currency within territory of Mongolia, and it is prohibited to set price, carry out settlement and run advertisement in foreign currencies or settlement units without official approval from Bank of Mongolia”.
None. General principles stated above apply for assignees too.
As businesses become global, few organizations seem to understand the risks that business travel may bring.