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Digital services tax (Cebreiro-Gómez et al.)

Digital services tax: country practice and technical challenges by Ana Cebreiro-Gómez, Colin Clavey, Marcello Estevão, Jonathan Leigh-Pemberton, and Benjamin Stewart published by The World Bank (2021).

Several countries have introduced, or are considering introducing, digital services taxes (DSTs). They seek to tax either income or profit of online digital platform owners and/or online service providers. This paper describes and compares the main features of these rules as well as implementation mechanisms. The international tax policy context in which the rules are introduced is presented as part of an assessment of DST’s policy objectives, theoretical underpinnings, and limitations. The paper does not seek to either recommend or advise against the adoption of DSTs but explores their role as taxes on service provision by non-residents. It is instructive to analyze their policy objectives, and relationship with existing principles of international taxation, in that framework.

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