OECD publishes report on digital taxation

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched a report on tax challenges arising from digitalisation, in which countries agree to review the current international tax system in the context of the digital economy, working towards achieving consensus by 2020. Yet, the report acknowledges the disparity of positions among countries that will need to be bridged, especially considering the requirement for companies to have a physical presence in a country to be liable for taxation. In the absence of solutions, several countries and regions have started to develop their own proposals, in particular the European Union, which is preparing a proposal for a 3% tax on the revenues of big tech companies. The OECD report shows criticism towards the EU proposal, as it ‘jumps ahead of OECD’s timeline’ to strike an agreement that includes countries as the United States and Japan. In its report, the OECD warns that such measures are ‘likely to generate some economic distortions, double taxation, increased uncertainty and complexity, and associated compliance costs for businesses operating cross-border and, in some cases, may potentially conflict with some existing bilateral tax treaties.’