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India and the Digital Economy – The Emerging P.E. and Attribution Issues

India and the Digital Economy – The Emerging P.E. and Attribution Issues

The exponential expansion of information and communication technology has made it possible for businesses to be conducted in ways that did not exist 15 years ago.  It has given rise to new business models that rely almost exclusively on digital and telecommunication networks, do not require physical presence, and derive substantial value from data collected and transmitted through digital networks.  So how and where should these companies be taxed?  Sunil Agarwal, an advocate and senior tax partner of AZB & Partners New Delhi, evaluates proposals already enacted in India and the U.K. and those under consideration at the level of the European Commission and E.U. member countries Italy, France, and Austria.  Should the digital tax be a consumption tax passed on to the final consumer or a minimum income tax based on global profits or substantial economic presence?  At this point, consensus does not exist.

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O.E.C.D. on Digital Business – Seriously?!

O.E.C.D. on Digital Business – Seriously?!

On February 13, 2019, the O.E.C.D. issued a discussion draft addressing the tax challenges of the dig- italization of the economy and asked for feedback in a shockingly brief time- frame. Is the discussion draft – which, in many respects, mimics G.I.L.T.I.provisions and highlights the value of a market as a key determiner of profitallocation – a move away from value of functions? In a stealth way, it may be a precursor to a global B.E.A.T. Christian Shoppe of Deloitte Deutschland, Frankfurt, cautions that the ultimate destination of B.E.P.S. may be added complexity in tax laws and expanded opportunity for double taxation. Bad news for taxpayers; more work for tax advisers.

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The U.K. Digital Sales Tax – It Could Be You

The U.K. Digital Sales Tax – It Could Be You

On November 7, 2018, the U.K. government confirmed that it will proceed with the introduction of a digital services tax ("D.S.T.") on large businesses. The tax will be charged beginning April 2020. It will apply to three key areas, which the government has concluded derive a huge value from the participation of U.K. users and are largely untaxed. Eloise Walker of Pinsent Masons, London, provides an overview of the D.S.T., cautioning that problems exist in identifying both the revenue to which the D.S.T. will apply and the hallmarks of jurisdiction that must exist in order for the tax to be imposed.

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O.E.C.D. and European Commission Unveil Proposals on Taxation of the Digital Economy

O.E.C.D. and European Commission Unveil Proposals on Taxation of the Digital Economy

Following the release of the O.E.C.D.’s B.E.P.S. Action Plan and the E.U.’s approval of the Anti-Tax Avoidance Package, the taxation of the digital economy continues to be unfinished business in the international tax arena.   New O.E.C.D. and the European Commission documents mark a milestone, especially the latter, which include two different approaches.  They also highlight the difficulties in achieving a consensus, which seems desirable when implementing measures that increase the tax burden of digital activities.  José Luis Gaudier of Cuatrecasas, Barcelona, delves into the O.E.C.D. and the European Commission approaches to taxing the digital economy.

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The Sharing Economy Part 2: Governments Strike Back

The Sharing Economy Part 2: Governments Strike Back

The sharing economy uses digital platforms to connect suppliers willing to provide services or use of assets with consumers.  Think of Uber and Airbnb.  These multinationals are structured to channel profits to low-tax jurisdictions.  As with Google and Microsoft, tax authorities have begun to challenge these business models.  In part two of this series, Fanny Karaman and Beate Erwin explain how these business models are being challenged.

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