OECD against new taxes on internet services

Subject: OECD against new taxes on internet services
From: Emanuella Giavarra (ecup.secr@dial.pipex.com)
Date: ke 14 loka   1998 - 15:47:51 EEST

Ministerial Meeting Creates E-Commerce Blueprint
By Mo Krochmal, TechWeb
Oct 9, 1998 (5:45 PM)
URL: http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB19981009S0028

Ottawa -- Representatives from 40 countries have agreed that business
should lead the way in the development of e-commerce and regulate itself
within a framework of support provided by government.

At the Organization For Economic Cooperation and Development Ministerial
Conference, which concluded here Friday, government representatives
approved and released a series of documents, declarations of consensus
in areas where government regulation directly affects the growth of

The declarations compose a blueprint for taxation, a model for countries
to follow.

The group adopted a tax framework based on the premise that existing
principles of taxation can work for e-commerce. It advised against the
creation of new taxes that would discriminate against e-commerce, and
recommended that any taxation take place at the point of consumption.

"The path we are not going down is a 'bit tax' on digitized information
per se," said John Manley, Canada's minister of industry, who hosted the

The group agreed digitized products should not be treated as a good.
Thus, software will not be taxed on the value of the diskette it is
stored on, but rather the value of the content, said Jeffrey Owens,
chief of fiscal affairs for the OECD.

Owens said the group will address issues like permanent presence -- for
instance, whether the location of a server or website implies permanent
presence at that location for purposes of taxation -- during the next

"This is a big deal for Internet commerce, said Michael Putnam of
Forrester Research. "To set these proposals for Internet
taxation is remarkable. It is one of the biggest issues facing Internet

The conference papers can be found at:

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