Tax Executives Institute, Inc. (TEI) has submitted comments in response to OECD’s discussion draft on BEPS Action 1: Address the Tax Challenges of the Digital Economy. The link for the submission is provided for reference:
Some of the key comments include:
- TEI agrees that ring-fencing the digital economy as a separate sector with unique tax rules would be neither appropriate nor feasible.
- Technology companies face similar challenges as other businesses in moving assets and people, a view not assumed in the Discussion Draft.
- TEI opposes options set forth in Section VII, including modifications to the PE exemptions, a new nexus standard based on significant digital presence, a virtual PE, and creation of a withholding tax regime on digital transactions. These options are all generally unworkable.
- The options set forth above are not aligned with G20’s statement that profits should be taxed where they are located.
- Other measures noted in the Discussion Draft would aim to restore taxation in both the market country and the country of the ultimate multinational parent. TEI notes that many of the issues that these measures are designed to address are the result of deliberate tax policy of the OECD’s Member States. It is these policies that create the low effective tax rates.
The comments provide thoughtful and practical business considerations that should be considered when formulating principles for international tax policy. The digital economy issue is very complex, challenging and should be monitored to address proposals by the OECD, Member States and other countries for transformation.