Taxable profit is determined by adjusting the accounting profit as stated in the profit and loss statement (determined in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards [IFRS] and local accounting and audit legislation) and in accordance with the provisions of the CIT Law.
For taxpayers who, according to local legislation, are not obligated to apply IFRS, taxable profit is determined according to the special guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Finance.
Cost of materials and the purchase value of merchandise are tax deductible up to an amount calculated by applying the average weighted cost method or the first in first out (FIFO) method. If another method is used, an adjustment for tax purposes should be made.
Capital gains are generated by the sale or other transfer of real estate, rights related to intellectual property, as well as shares, stocks, securities, certain bonds, and investment units. A capital gain is determined as the difference between the sale and purchase price of the asset concerned, determined in accordance with the provisions of the Law. If the amount is negative, a capital loss is realised.
Capital gains and operational profit are disclosed in the same tax return, but they are taxed separately. Consequently, capital gains/losses cannot be used to offset business losses/gains.
However, capital gains can be offset with capital losses occurring in the same period. A capital loss can be carried forward for five years.
The capital gains tax rate is 15%.
However, the rate applicable for capital gains incurred by non-residents is 20%, unless envisaged otherwise by a relevant DTT (see the Other taxes section for more information).
Dividends received by a Serbian company from another Serbian company are not subject to CIT.
Dividends received from a non-resident will be treated as taxable income of a Serbian company and subject to 15% CIT. However, a Serbian entity will have the right to decrease its tax liability by taking a tax credit for the WHT and underlying CIT paid in a subsidiary's country, provided that the taxpayer holds at least 10% of the shares in the subsidiary. If the taxpayer holds less than 10% of the shares in the subsidiary, the tax credit should not exceed the amount of tax that would be paid in Serbia on that income, where the tax basis represents 40% of the received gross income (see the Tax credits and incentives section for more information).
Interest income will be included in accounting profit determined in accordance with IFRS and will be taxable at the CIT rate of 15%. A Serbian resident has the right to decrease its CIT liability for WHT on interest paid abroad. The amount of the tax credit should not exceed the amount of CIT that would be paid in Serbia on that income, where the tax basis represents 40% of the received gross income.
Royalty income will be treated as business income and subject to the general CIT rate.
A resident taxpayer also has the right to decrease its CIT liability for WHT on royalties paid abroad. The amount of the tax credit should not exceed the amount of CIT that would be paid in Serbia on that income, where the tax basis represents 40% of the received gross income.
Unrealised currency exchange gains
Unrealised currency exchange gains will be included in accounting profits under IFRS rules. Serbian legislation does not provide any exception of taxation of this income.
Companies resident in Serbia are taxed on their worldwide income.
When profit generated in another country is taxed in the foreign country, a company has the right to decrease its tax liability by claiming a tax credit from the tax authorities in Serbia (see the Tax credits and incentives section for more information).
There are no provisions that provide for the possibility that taxation of income earned abroad may be deferred.