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Jakarta Post

Import duties can be alternative way to tax digital economy: Experts

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
JAKARTA   /   Wed, October 9, 2019   /  02:09 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati (center) talks to a legislator after presenting fiscal policy principles as part of the 2020 state budget in Jakarta on Sept. 24. The Finance Ministry is seeking an effective way to tax multinational digital companies amid the absence of a global consensus. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)

While most countries around the world are still waiting for a global consensus on how to more effectively collect taxes from multinational digital companies, a recent discussion held by a local think-tank shed light on alternative measures that could be taken to collect digital taxes. One of the alternative ways to tax the world’s digital giants such as Facebook and Google is through the imposition of import duties for electronic transmissions. Electronic transmissions, defined by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as the online delivery of digital products such as books, video games, music and films could act as an alternative measure for governments to collect revenue from the growing digital economy. A 2019 UNCTAD study, which identified 49 products that could be purchased online in digital form, estimated that global transactions ...