Perspectives of taxing an income from digital goods and services’ sales in Ukraine

Olesia V. Viietska

Abstract


The traditional system of corporate income taxation does not match the growing digital goods and services market, as well as the characteristics of new digital business processes and business models. This necessitates the creation of new system of taxing an income from digital goods and services’ sales.To date, a number of factors that should be taken into account, when building a new system of taxation of income from digital goods and services’ sales have emerged: 1) there is no precise definition of digital goods and services, clear boundaries between digital, partially digital and non-digital goods and services, as well as business processes, business models and companies; 2) it is important to create and accumulate experience in taxation of income from digital goods andservices’ sales prior the wide spread of digital business processes and business models; 3) there is the likelihood of emerging a “stateless income” when selling digital goods and services; 4) the introduction of new business processes and business models leads to the rise of new views on value formation of digital goods and services, which should be taken into account when taxing income from their implementation; 5) in the context of globalization and digitalization the difference between the price of digital goods within countries can distort the decisions of companies and consumers, and the difference between the price of physical and digital goods can affect potential tax revenues; 6) there are alternative views on whether the real effective tax rate of digital companies is higher than the real effective tax rate of traditional companies; 7) the emergence of digital business models contributes to the formation of new or transformation of old approaches to settlements, for example, advertising barter.All activities, aimed at creating a system of taxing an income from digital goods and services’ sales can be divided into the following groups: discussions of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; initiatives of the European Commission; national decisions. Considering the vector of Ukraine towards membership in the European Union, as well as the possibility of transforming the corporate income tax into a withdrawn capital tax, there are five main alternatives for taxing an income from digital goods and services’ sales: 1) abandonment to tax an income from digital goods and services’ sales; 2) a comprehensive definition of digital goods and services and their inclusion in the general system of corporate income taxation; 3) a total cancellation from corporate income tax and transition to withdrawn capital tax; 4) introduction of a tax on income from digital services’ sales - Digital Services Tax (DST) 5) creation of a new tax system, based on the modern blockchain technologies. Taking into account advantages and disadvantages of each of the presented alternatives, recommendations on improving the system of taxing an income from digital goods and services’ sales were developed. In particular, in the paper is calculated that, in case of DST introduction, the state budget of Ukraine will receive annually from 10 to 15 million US dollars by 2021.

Keywords


digital goods and services; taxing an income from digital goods and services’ sales; income tax; tax on income from digital services’ sales; Digital Services Tax (DST)

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15407/econindustry2019.02.30

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