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Brave New Digital World

KPE Lasok QC and Ian Hutton Monckton Chambers describe the current state of play with regards to VAT and E-commerce
Tt is predicted that in 2004 worldwide e-commerce revenues will total $2.7 trillion.1 Business to customer sales giving rise to that total are still predominantly 'indirect' purchases (that is the electronic ordering of tangible goods). Such trade is in principle similar to the traditional mail order industry and creates few new tax problems. The same is not true of 'direct' e-commerce (the electronic ordering and delivery of services) which encourages new forms of cross-border transactions and as a result generates novel challenges to the tax system.
The European Commission has noted that 'The global markets that are emerging will no longer be...

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