In a 2018 paper, Casella and Formenti rely on work undertaken by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to illustrate the differences between the FDI patterns observed among large multinational enterprises (MNEs) depending on their ‘internet intensity’. They map UNCTAD’s digital framework into a conceptual matrix positioning digital categories on the basis of their internet intensity (the internet intensity matrix or IIM), along two dimensions: production and operations, on the one hand, and commercialization and sales, on the other. The IIM distinguishes between purely digital multinational enterprises, non-digital MNEs and a group of ‘mixed model’ MNEs which falls somewhere between the two extremes. Their subsequent analysis and findings is where things get interesting: as it turns out, digital MNEs have a share of foreign sales that is more than 2.5 times the share of foreign assets compared to traditional, non-digital MNEs. In other words, digital firms do not tend to invest a great deal in markets abroad in order to secure foreign sales. This is despite the fact that many of the world’s largest digital MNEs often make in excess of half of their sales abroad.
Critique comes cheaply, one may retort, but the current state of affairs is not better. Rogue countries (ironically again, led by the purported leaders of the OECD, such as the United Kingdom and France) were able to capture a share of what they believe they “deserve” in the form of taxation of the large tech MNE in various forms of “new” taxes that are supposedly external to the international tax regime and therefore not viewed as its violation.
Returning to a global vision of the analyzed matter, it should be noticed that in its long path to becoming an OECD member, Peru closely follows the discussion progress towards a global solution to tax challenges arising from digitalization. Nevertheless, Peru has not stablished yet unilateral tax measures to levy high digitalized services especially in the context of B2C services, but the intention is present according to a later comment.
The post-COVID-19 era is likely to provide an interesting setting for the regulation of digital taxation given fiscal pressures and the eccentric existing unilateral application of digital taxation, as the world seeks to move towards a global consensus. In the meantime, revenue authorities, especially in developing countries, should approach unilateral measures carefully, to safeguard the success and continued growth of the digital services sector in their respective jurisdictions.
Owing to the combination of new data sources, evolving profit measurement and distribution norms, and multilateral cooperation, a GEP tax coordinated at the international level would have vastly larger prospects for building a new social contract for a post-pandemic world than any strictly domestic effort would.
Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) are one of several impediments to achieving sustainable development in developing countries across the world. While there is no globally accepted definition of IFFs, there is global acceptance that IFFs undermine the efforts of developing countries to generate domestic revenues to finance their national development agendas. According to the United Nations (UN), developing countries face an estimated annual funding gap of $2.5 trillion to deliver on Agenda 2030. In Africa, the continent loses approximately $100 billion annually through IFFs that are generated in and moved from the continent to tax havens.