Taxing the digital economy has been on the international tax agenda for almost 30 years, revolving about how to tax an industry increasingly based on intangibles, scale effect, and market reach without a physical presence. But following Crawford and Joler’s concept of extractivism (2020; 2021), the digital economy is not only about BATX or GAFAM, but also about material resources, human labor, and data. The article analyses those long-forgotten elements of the Digital Economy’s true value chain, and, as the most recent two-pillar-based reform of the Inclusive Framework does actively exclude them, how those elements could be considered in the reform process.
Attracting foreign investment while holding transnational corporations to account for any human rights transgressions is by no means an easy feat. It will require that a careful balance be struck between the interests of the host State and its people, and that of private actors expecting good risk-return ratios in pursuit of the bottom line. Although international mechanisms such as the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have long endorsed accountability for transnational corporations, a zero draft international convention to regulate this issue has only recently been developed.