Presentation on theme: "Waan Wada Hadli Karnaa We Can Talk Together UN and GoSL Forum on Working Together within Legal Frameworks UN Privileges, Immunities and Responsibilities:"— Presentation transcript:
Waan Wada Hadli Karnaa We Can Talk Together UN and GoSL Forum on Working Together within Legal Frameworks UN Privileges, Immunities and Responsibilities: taxation, imports, premises, assets, documents, visas (1946 Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the UN)
The UN and taxation - I International law guarantees that the UN has a minimal tax burden: The UN is exempt from all direct taxes. Direct tax = UN pays $ to authorities but gets no direct services in return. But UN will not claim exemption from taxes that are, in fact, no more than charges for public utility services. – Gas, electricity, water charges (UN pays) – Airport landing and port fees (UN only pays for actual services) 2
3 The UN and taxation - II Indirect taxes → UN entitled to exemption or reimbursement for all taxes above a very modest threshold. Indirect tax = taxes that form part of the price paid for goods or services, e.g., VAT. For the UN some authorities exempt or reimburse all VAT. The UN is exempt from customs duties.
The UN and taxation - III All UN officials are immune from taxation of their UN salary and emoluments. All international and national UN staff members working in Somaliland are UN officials → all are exempt from taxation of their UN salary and emoluments. 4
The UN and taxation - IV UN officials are not exempt from tax on non-UN income. – Example: income as a landlord of premises or from other investments. UN Staff Regulations state that UN officials’ limited privileges and immunities are no excuse for non- performance of their private legal obligations. The UN has established procedures to follow up credible information that staff members are not meeting their private legal obligations, including child support, alimony, bank loans and taxation on non-UN income. 5
The UN and taxation - V The immunity from taxation under the 1946 Convention does not apply to UN consultants (non-staff members), who must normally declare and pay taxes in accordance with applicable laws. But bilateral agreements (e.g., UNDP) may extend taxation immunity to some international consultants and other persons performing services on behalf of a UN agency. Tax imposed on a party to a contract or lease with the UN does not involve the UN → payment is a matter between the contractor and the local authorities.
How can we work together on taxation? May be possible: – Tax on payments to persons on UN service contracts (unless bilateral agreements provide otherwise) – Tax on non-UN income of UN staff members (unless bilateral agreements provide otherwise) – Lists of UN staff members to authorities – UN may provides details of awarded contracts over $100,000 (depends on Agency information disclosure policy) – UN may require proof of corporate/tax registration by contractors during procurement process
How can we work together on taxation? Not possible: Tax on UN salaries and emoluments of UN staff members UN collects taxes payable by contractors and consultants and pays to authorities UN provides to authorities copies of contracts with third parties UN pays employer contributions to local social security scheme. UN pays payroll tax based on number and earnings of staff members and non-UN staff.
UN imports and exports The UN is exempt from customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports in respect of articles imported or exported by the UN for its official use. Includes imported articles to be used for UN administrative purposes and use in UN programmes. Examples: – UN import of goods made by a particular State = prohibition → not permitted. – No clearance of UN shipment until UN provides staff lists to authorities = restriction → not permitted.
UN property and assets UN property and assets, “wherever located and by whomsoever held” are immune from search and confiscation, amongst other things. Let UN security know if there is a suspicion.
UN premises UN premises are inviolable → entry onto UN premises by a third party must be by consent of the UN.
UN documents UN archives and documents belonging to or held by it are inviolable → may only be released with the consent of the UN. Information and documents may only be released in accordance with the 1946 Convention, and established UN policies on information disclosure, procurement, etc.
Visas and residence permits UN officials are immune from immigration restrictions. UN staff members may be required to possess a visa or a residence permit so long as such visa or permit is: – no more than a friendly formality; and – is granted without charge or restriction. For holders of a UN laissez-passer (UN officials) or a UN certificate: – Visa applications (where required) must be dealt with “as speedily as possible”. – Must be granted facilities for speedy travel.