Taxing Electronic Commerce: The End of the Beginning?
This paper discusses what the growth of e-commerce means for tax policy and administration, both within countries and between them. Although the fiscal implications of such commerce as yet remain limited, the future may be different and the issues are important. The issues are first discussed with respect to consumption taxes, noting some differences in the situations facing the United States (US) on one hand, the European Union (EU) on the other, and Canada, which in some ways combines characteristics of both. When it comes to income taxes, however, everybody seems to be in more or less the same boat, although the new technology may offer solutions as well as problems for those in the tax business. The paper concludes that, while of course the future remains unknown, when it comes to taking action to deal with the potential implications of e-commerce for taxation, we are by no means at the beginning of the end, but we may, perhaps, be at the end of the beginning.
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