Tax experts at the on-going IMF/World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Bali urged Nigeria and other countries to issue appropriate taxation regulations and tax rates to suit e-commerce businesses in their countries.
This was a consensus reached during a panel discussion on Wednesday in Bali, Indonesia, titled “Fair and Transparent Taxation in a Digital Age”. The experts agreed that technology and the increased role that intellectual property plays in the global economy was affecting approaches to taxation.
Mr Akhilesh Ranjan, the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, India said that his country had introduced the Equalisation Levy to ensure that e-commerce pay their fair share of tax. He said that due to the nature of e-commerce, the country focused on e-advertising on foreign-based digital services, like Facebook which could easily be monitored.
“We collect 6 per cent levy on advertising services by an Indian company on any website. “The company is expected to make the deductions before paying to the website. “Since 2016 when we started, it has been very easy tax for us to collect. Many people don’t agree with it, but they still pay,” he said.
Also, Mr Alvin Mosioma, the Executive Director, Tax Justice Network, Africa, said that many tax bodies lacked the capacity to duly tax internet-based businesses because they refused to advance with digitalisation. He warned that inadequate taxation in the digital space, could increase the level of Illicit Financial Flows by Multinational Corporations especially in Africa.
He said that more international cooperation was needed to tackle the increasing issues of tax evasion, as the world transforms into a digital economy. Also, Mr Suahasil Nazara, the Head, Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia said that governments should create a fair tax system for e-commerce, if not businesses would close shop and move online.