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.
Developed and developing countries have committed to implement global standards as developed by the OECD with the political mandate of the G20 including standards that provide for exchange of information among tax administrations. Some of the reasons for this exchange to take place, is the need to provide tax administrations with the relevant information on taxpayer’s activities/assets abroad, as well as to ensure that taxpayers including multinationals pay their fair share of taxation. Exchange of information is the key instrument for tax administrations in order to prevent tax evasion, tax fraud, and aggressive tax planning.
Today, the influence of technology on the economy is not platitudinous and it has been deepened through the current Covid-19 crisis. In the same way, the tax administrations (TAs) of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have not been oblivious of this trend and have sought to adapt technological changes to the tax collection process. Within the world there are different levels of progress in the incorporation of digital services in TAs however, it is important to note that there is no universal solution for all countries, as there is also influence of the country's own conditions, for example, levels of evasion and informality, technological infrastructure, the behaviour of taxpayers, institutional capacity, etc.
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.
Technological progress and trade liberalization dramatically increased electronic trade and opened new chapter for the businesses to remotely supply services and intangibles to the customers anywhere around the world. Such rise of e-trade and emergence of global economy created new challenges for the policy makers in applying goods and services tax (GST) on cross-border business to consumer (“B2C”) transactions.
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.
The Post-COVID19 path to economic recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean will demand both Domestic Revenue Mobilization measures and the promotion of domestic and foreign investment. Amid all the controversy surrounding the concession of tax incentives, the COVID-19 pandemic taught us a lesson: nothing is a sole economic issue. Public policies should address other concerns such as employment, health, environment, and education. A well-designed package of governmental measures may be a balanced proposal that includes diverse public interests to achieve optimal delivery of public goods. This post will focus on the granting of tax incentives for the digital economy in accordance with the GATT, the GATS, and the OECD’s recommendations on harmful tax competition.
Brazil has been a challenging environment for businesses, in great part, due to the complexity and inefficiency of its tax system. Despite some controversy about the necessity of a wide and structural tax reform, the topic has been treated as a priority by the President and Congressional leaders, but the bills that currently address the tax reform have struggled to make significant progress in the Brazilian Congress. Besides, uncertainties remain as the Federal Administration may present and endorse a proposal, which could include the creation of a Digital Services Tax (“DST”).
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.