This article reviews the policy advancements on digital taxation, the individual initiatives that some developed countries have enacted, and considers some recommendations for developing countries to address future changes. It also contains a brief analysis of the Ecuadorian VAT reform for digital services and other possible options that need to be considered by the country.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
The aim of this contribution is to suggest some courses of action for Latin America and the Caribbean (hereinafter, LAC) in relation to the taxation of the digital economy. For this purpose, after a brief description of the international background on direct and indirect taxation, I refer to the state of play in the LAC region, making a few preliminary considerations and presenting some generalities on the measures that have been adopted. Finally, I will share some thoughts and recommendations.
The primary objective of this post is to highlight the importance and gravity of the existing tax evasion in Latin America and the Caribbean today. A study conducted by Santiago Diaz de Sarralde Miguez reports that Latin America and the Caribbean are characterized by a relatively low tax burden, which averages 22.8% of GDP. That is 11.5% less than the OECD (2015). While it is true that there are large differences between countries, as the tax burden varies from 12.4% in Guatemala to 38.6% in Cuba.
Evidence from Nigeria’s 2017 NVR indicates that the strategic framework for operationalising the SDG goals are far from localised. This top-down approach for designing SDG policies in Nigeria does not encourage SNGs to ‘foster actual ownership of the goals and embody their vision of the future in concrete actions and initiatives. Localising the SDGs is not a magic bullet solution to development problems in Nigeria; however, the involvement of SNGs as collaborators and co-designers of rules is crucial to the successful attainment of the SDGs. Especially, as funding is a significant impediment to the actualisation of the SDG goals, the federal government and SNGs must work in tandem to create innovative solutions.
Developing countries are currently disadvantaged in the international tax regime. The control of the developed countries in the tax regime is evidenced in their influence in the creation of the major model tax treaties that are used as the starting point for nearly all bilateral tax treaties today. With the rise of multilateral tax instruments and an awareness of the dubious flow of tax revenue out of already disadvantaged countries, developing countries should consider renegotiating their bilateral tax treaties to ensure a more balanced international tax system that is designed for their benefit.