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OECD consults on digital economy

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The OECD is seeking comments by 13 October 2017 on some key issues related to the tax challenges raised by the digital economy, based on measures outlined in the BEPS Action 1 report. The OECD’s task force on the digital economy will deliver its interim report to G20 finance ministers in April 2018. The OECD will also hold a public consultation on 1 November 2017 at the University of California, Berkeley.

The ‘request for input’ contains a series of questions under the broad headings:

  • digitalisation, business models and value creation;
  • challenges and opportunities for tax systems;
  • implementation of the BEPS package; and
  • options to address broader direct tax policy challenges.

In contrast to the European Commission’s latest digital economy proposals, the OECD’s Action 1 report acknowledged that it would be ‘difficult, if not impossible, to “ring-fence” the digital economy from the rest of the economy for tax purposes because of the increasingly pervasive nature of digitalisation’.

Through its consultation, the OECD hopes to address the ‘lack of a global consensus’ and implementation of ‘unilateral and uncoordinated domestic measures’ by a number of countries. In particular, it asks for comments on some specific issues raised in, although not necessarily recommended by, the Action 1 report:

  • the concept of ‘significant economic presence’;
  • withholding tax on certain types of digital transactions; and
  • digital equalisation levy.


Issue: 1370
Categories: News , International taxes