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Consumption taxation in a digital world: A primer

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  • Ligthart, J.E.

    (Tilburg University)

Abstract

The paper reviews the economic and administrative issues that arise in the taxation of electronic commerce; addresses how best to meet the criteria of an ideal tax system; and examines recent policy developments.It is argued that destination-based taxation-is presently the norm for goods taxation is technically more complex for digital products and intangible services sold over the Internet, reflecting the difficulty of determining the location of the buyer and seller.Most of the potential solutions to this problem require a great deal of administrative cooperation between national tax authorities.Case studies of several countries show that policy responses to electronic commerce have di.ered, with the European Union taking the lead on implementing a system of destination-based registration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University in its series Open Access publications from Tilburg University with number urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-140922.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Publication status: Published in Canadian Tax Journal (2004) v.52, p.1076-1101
Handle: RePEc:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-140922

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Web page: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/

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  1. Schuknecht, L. & Perez-Esteve, R., 1999. "A Quantitative Assessment of Electronic Commerce," Papers 99-01, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  2. Freund, Caroline L. & Weinhold, Diana, 2004. "The effect of the Internet on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 171-189, January.
  3. Michael Keen, 2000. "VIVAT, CVAT, and All That - New Forms of Value-Added Tax for Federal Systems," IMF Working Papers 00/83, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Murray, Matthew N., 1997. "Would Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance Undermine a National Retail Sales Tax?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(1), pages 167-82, March.
  5. Keen, Michael & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2002. "Coordinating tariff reduction and domestic tax reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 489-507, March.
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  7. Austan Goolsbee, 1998. "In a World Without Borders: The Impact of Taxes on Internet Commerce," NBER Working Papers 6863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard Bird & Pierre-Pascal Gendron, 2000. "CVAT, VIVAT, and Dual VAT: Vertical ``Sharing'' and Interstate Trade," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(6), pages 753-761, December.
  9. Lockwood, Ben, 2001. "Tax competition and tax co-ordination under destination and origin principles: a synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 279-319, August.
  10. Fox, William F. & Murray, Matthew N., 1997. "The Sales Tax and Electronic Commerce: So What's New?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(3), pages 573-92, September.
  11. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-78, June.
  12. Soete,Luc & Weel,Bas, 1998. "Globalization, Tax Erosion and the Internet," Research Memorandum 022, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  13. McLure, Charles E, Jr, 2003. "The Value Added Tax on Electronic Commerce in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 753-62, November.
  14. Dixit, Avinash, 1985. "Tax policy in open economies," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 313-374 Elsevier.
  15. Whalley, John, 1979. "Uniform domestic tax rates, trade distortions and economic integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 213-221, March.
  16. Austan Goolsbee & Peter J. Klenow, 1999. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," NBER Working Papers 7329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Peha, Jon M. & Strauss, Robert P., 1997. "A Primer on Changing Information Technology and the Fisc," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(3), pages 607-21, September.
  18. Zodrow, George R, 2003. "Network Externalities and Indirect Tax Preferences for Electronic Commerce," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 79-97, January.
  19. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
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