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.
Value Added Tax
On August 23, 2018, Sebastián Piñera, president of Chile, with the general support of all political actors, sent to the Congress a Bill proposing a new tax, on the supply of digital services rendered by digital platforms. This Bill was introduced with a general objective, included in its title, to “modernize the Chilean tax system, intending to incorporate the best practices observed at the international level, as well as taking care of the challenges and particularities that technological advances imply, such as the digital and collaborative economy”.
The COVID19 pandemic has shown that, while physical presence-based commerce was suffering the consequences of social isolation, with many businesses going into bankruptcy, the e-commerce increased. With millions of new customers - lots of those who had never bought anything on the internet before - the sector experienced unprecedented growth, despite the Pandemic, despite the crisis.
Adopting an electronic version of the euro and granting it the legal tender status would certainly allow States to adopt more stringent policies for fighting AML and tax evasion. Even though most of the references and examples in this contribution were focusing on the EU context, similar conclusions can be drawn for other parts of the world. While new technologies such as a CBDC could represent an additional tool at disposal of tax authorities to fight tax evasion and fraud, issues concerning the digital divide and privacy shall be addressed while the debate over the design of a CBDC is still ongoing.
While the desire to tax digital platforms is legitimate, the strategy taken by the country may be too costly. It is likely that this law may face future amendments to include factors such as thresholds so that the tax administration aspect is cost effective. For example, the law provides that this amount shall be due at the time the amount is paid to the service provider for the service, it is unclear how this is supposed to be remitted. If you compare this to rental income tax which is due by the 20th of each month, one is able to consolidate the income and make the necessary payments without incurring any unnecessary transaction charges from the intermediary financial institutions.
In the modern world, new questions arise since due to the new technologies, the criteria described before may not be enough to determine if certain operations should be taxed or not in certain jurisdictions. In the following lines we will presenting the situation of digital economy taxation in Peru and where possible, offer solutions where necessary.
With regards to the granting of taxing rights, in line with the destination principle Chilean VAT generally levies services provided or utilized in Chile. The destination principle is designed to ensure that tax on cross-border supplies is ultimately levied only in the jurisdiction where the final consumption occurs, thereby maintaining neutrality within the VAT system as it applies to international trade.
This symposium organized by the AfronomicsLaw with the assistance of Monica Victor focuses on the synergies between taxation and the digital economy in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Enforcement of socio-economic rights in Kenya, with minimal success rate, has proven quite problematic. In almost all petitions on socio-economic rights, the government always pleads progressive realization, inadequate resources and the doctrine of separation of powers. Enforcement of socio-economic rights such as the right to adequate housing requires allocation of resources for their realization.
As the Covid-19 disrupts life as we know it globally and nationally, it will test to the core the ability of the state to defend its citizens from experiencing the most holistic crisis we have ever faced as a country. Kenya has lived through curfews, food shortages, economic difficulties but all at different stages and periods. With growth prospects reduced, lower than expected tax revenues, and Kenya’s debt to GDP levels is already in the doldrums.