International tax jurisdiction of e-commerce

The emergence and development of e-commerce in Wuhan Yaxue Law School, Wuhan Science School of Law and Technology, the Inter-Tax Jurisdiction of Science and Technology and Legal E-commerce, poses many challenges to the existing social relations. Taxation, as the main source of government economic capacity, also faces this problem. It is estimated that the value of e-commerce transactions on the global Internet has reached 6 billion U.S. dollars a year ago, and it is currently rising geometrically, and is expected to reach 1 trillion U.S. dollars in 2003. The rapidity of e-commerce has led to the rapid development of global trade, but the virtual nature of cyberspace, the uncertainty and liquidity of transaction participants, especially the paperless operation of electronic transactions, make traditional international tax collection management laws System, such as the collection of customs duty income tax turnover tax, faces many difficulties and no longer plays its due role. Moreover, the degree of establishment of countries based on the two principles of territoriality and personality has increased. The development of electronic commerce has brought a new lesson to the international tax jurisdiction system. The impact on the traditional international tax jurisdiction base The traditional international tax jurisdiction base tax is levied freely and compulsorily by the state with its political power. This feature determines that no country can exercise its taxing power beyond its political power. Therefore, the territoriality principle and the personality principle have become the basis of international tax jurisdiction. At present, the international tax jurisdiction mainly includes two types: resident tax jurisdiction and source tax jurisdiction.

Resident tax jurisdiction is the taxing power exercised by the state against the residents of the country in accordance with the personal principle. The prerequisite is that there is a personal affiliation between the taxpayer and the taxing country. In the case of natural persons, the formation of this affiliation is mainly based on whether the individual has a residence or nationality in the taxing country; in the case of legal persons, it is mainly based on whether the legal person is incorporated in the taxing country or whether his residence is taxed Within the tax country. When implementing the resident tax jurisdiction, the country of residence may require its resident taxpayers to bear tax obligations for various income derived from within and outside the country.

The tax jurisdiction of the source of income is the taxing power exercised by the state on income derived from the territory of the country in accordance with the principle of territoriality. The prerequisite is that the income targeted for taxation originates from the territory of the taxing country. Judging from the specific practice of each country, the jurisdiction of the source of income is mainly exercised against non-residents. When exercising jurisdiction over the source of income, non-residents only bear tax liability to the government of the source country for the portion of the income they have obtained from the source country.

Judging from the current international tax law practice, most countries simultaneously exercise the above two tax jurisdictions and follow the principle of priority of jurisdiction over the source of income. That is to say, for the same income, the country of origin of the income has priority to exercise taxation power, and the country of income of the taxpayer can only exercise its tax jurisdiction after the country of income of the income has been taxed first. In terms of international tax jurisdiction, there are currently two international models for the reference of countries. It is a model agreement on avoidance of double taxation of income and capital formulated by the World Economic Cooperation and Development Organization in 1977, hereinafter referred to as 0. The model was drafted by tax experts in developed countries, focusing on the principle of taxation of residence; As proposed by the Social Council, the model agreement on the avoidance of double taxation between developed and developing countries jointly drafted by tax experts from developed and developing countries is hereinafter referred to as the United Nations Model. This model is more able to take into account the tax interests of both countries. Has been adopted by more and more countries.

Science and Law Quarterly 2000.4 The impact of the unbounded nature of cyberspace on the principle of jurisdiction of international tax jurisdiction. In the traditional geographical space environment, the jurisdiction area is a definite physical space with clear geographical boundaries. But on the Internet, traditional geopolitical or political borders no longer exist. Cyberspace is a global system and cannot be divided into many areas like physical space. Moreover, cyberspace is invisible, and it is not a sign of the appearance and geographic scope of cyberspace. For users on the Internet, they can only judge the purpose of their arrival from the last two abbreviations of the site, such as China deducting Japan, etc. Although the URL to enter and visit is clear, he is not necessarily clear about the path to the URL and the geographical area corresponding to the URL. For a specific online trading activity, the address of the other party is even more unknowable. The Internet is an online world that is not bounded by national borders. It is difficult for users to determine the specific location and exact range of online activities where the randomness of users online and the globality of cyberspace occur, and it is even more difficult to assign them to jurisdictions.

For a long time, governments of various countries have directly established their tax structures based on the geographic location of actual assets and face-to-face checks. In an e-commerce environment, the tax foundation of this territorial principle will be meaningless. In fact, a single transaction may cross several geographic boundaries in an instant, and a global e-commerce transaction may involve tens of thousands of tax jurisdictions. Not only is it very difficult to identify each jurisdiction, even if you know the jurisdiction involved in the exchange, tax it There are still many questions. First, since tax authorities in different jurisdictions try to tax the same transaction, multiple taxation may result due to lack of coordination in different jurisdictions. Second, some tax authorities may decide to impose special new taxes on global e-commerce. These will inevitably hinder the impact of the uncertainty of the identity of network users who have just started on the principle of the owner of international tax jurisdiction. It is very difficult to exercise international tax jurisdiction based on geopolitical factors. People may turn to the connection factor of nationality and exercise international tax jurisdiction by virtue of the principle of person. Facts have proved that there are many questions. First of all, foreigners do not have any difficulties in conducting business activities online in the country today. It is obviously wrong to judge the user's nationality based on the country where the user is located. Secondly, the Internet is an independent and free network open to anyone in any country. The global air calling is global, and it is difficult for any country to effectively monitor and track online activities. You can engage in e-commerce activities on any networked computer anywhere, even on high-speed transportation vehicles, portable laptop computers and root telephone lines such as mobile phones can enable users to negotiate contracts and perform contracts Wait for a series of business activities. The parties may travel through many countries in a business activity, so it is difficult to determine the country where the parties are located. Thirdly, the most basic requirement for website design on the Internet is to guarantee the connection between websites, and the connection is the life of the Internet. But if someone connects another person's website to their own website or connects their own website to another person's website, they can hide the location of the other party to a certain extent. identity of. The uncertainty of the identity of online traders makes the principle of personal jurisdiction with nationality as the connecting factor also loses the objective basis of existence.

The new questions faced by the exercise of international tax jurisdiction for e-commerce Power, the latter refers to the principle that each country does not exercise jurisdiction to collect taxes, depending on the basis of tax jurisdiction provided by the laws of that country. Developed countries require that residents ’tax jurisdiction be expanded and the scope of tax jurisdictions of other countries’ origins be restricted. Developing countries proceed from safeguarding their own economic interests and demand to expand the tax jurisdiction of their country of origin. But generally speaking, the principle of priority of jurisdiction of the source of income is recognized by all countries. After the emergence of e-commerce, the determination of the origin has been disputed. The US Treasury Department issued a selective tax policy document on global e-commerce in 1996. Its policy orientation is to strengthen the residents ’tax jurisdiction rather than the source ’s tax jurisdiction. The source ’s tax jurisdiction will not be abandoned. But it may be greatly weakened, which is bound to provoke dissatisfaction in developing countries and cause conflicts in tax jurisdiction.

On the other hand, the place where the service takes place is usually determined based on the origin standard, non-pure origin standard and service provision standard. The final standard is mainly aimed at training and teaching science and law quarterly 2000.4 Technology and legal education culture Entertainment and sports programs. If special items are provided through the Internet, how should the tax jurisdiction be determined? The development of e-commerce, the differences in jurisdiction bases of various countries, the tax jurisdiction measures between countries, and the competition for e-commerce revenues in various countries will become increasingly fierce. The intensification of power conflicts will affect the development of e-commerce.

Determining permanent establishments Permanent establishments are an important connecting factor for international tax jurisdiction. Both the Model 000 and the United Nations model stipulate that if a non-resident has a permanent establishment in the country and obtains income through business operations through the permanent establishment, then, The country can then determine that its income is derived from its own country, and can be taxed according to the tax jurisdiction of the source. In e-commerce, the basic concepts such as the traditional management center and the permanent establishment of the business center have become ambiguous and difficult to determine. Moreover, the emergence of enterprises allows enterprises to conduct transactions on the international market without establishing permanent establishments abroad. The concept of a permanent establishment, which is an important factor in determining the location of service provision, gradually loses its meaning as goods or services are provided online through 1! 161. In many countries, domestic businessmen pass and purchase foreign goods and services. Foreign sellers do not appear in the country. According to the traditional standards of permanent establishments, foreign sellers cannot be determined to be permanent establishments in the state, and therefore cannot levy taxes on sales and business activities of foreign sellers in the country.

The determination of the place of transaction asks about the globality and invisibility of the network, which makes the e-commerce activists unknowable and uncertain. The registration requirements as a verification of the user ’s identity are only the minimum requirements, and it ’s easy to arrange an untraceable outlet, which makes the connection between the 161 website and the actual location of supply performance or consumption activities quite subtle. Although the website can let you know who you are, such as 18, 1, 561, 6, 1, but he will never let you know the situation of any computer connected to the 1 161 website, or even the location of that machine. . Under such circumstances, it is difficult for the tax authorities to track the transaction, and the location and place of the transaction cannot be determined, which poses certain difficulties in the exercise of tax jurisdiction. Especially with regard to tariffs, it is not known whether this online transaction has crossed national borders. Even if the tax authority knows that it is a cross-border transaction, it may not be able to impose tariffs because it cannot determine the identity of the trader.

International tax avoidance and anti-tax avoidance: International tax avoidance refers to the act of transnational taxpayers seeking to minimize the tax burden through the international movement of people and assets without violating tax laws. The emergence of e-commerce has an impact on taxpayers' obedience to tax laws and provides favorable conditions for taxpayers to avoid taxation, which may bring opportunities for black economy. The black economic means of e-commerce is high-tech, and the result is hidden. On 1; the transaction is intangible. The transaction is connected to an anonymous payment system. There is no tangible contract. The process and results will not leave traces as an audit trail, making it difficult to determine the identity of the taxpayer or the details of the transaction. Without clear taxpayers or transaction numbers, it is difficult to ensure that commercial traders who seek to maximize profits comply with tax laws. Plus, 1: 1 provides a better external environment for international tax avoidance, especially for multinational companies, the application of 1 plus 61; 1 makes it more difficult to regulate and control the internal price transfer of multinational companies, the development of the network Promote the improvement and integration of the internal functions of multinational groups, manipulate transfer pricing, transfer profits, and engage in international tax planning more easily. The opportunities for tax avoidance and tax evasion in international tax havens are increasing day by day. The website was announced, and it was announced that tax protection could be provided to users. Therefore, the exploration of new jurisdiction models for tax avoidance and anti-avoidance under e-commerce conditions 1. Zero tariff plan In 1997, the United States issued a global e-commerce outline, which outlined that 1 should be declared a free zone, where online transactions, such as Computer software online services, etc., shall be exempted from taxation; the transactions of tangible commodities concluded online shall be handled as usual, and shall not be taxed separately.

In May 1998, the revised 6171 tax exemption bill was passed by the US Senate Business Committee, paving the way for the development of business liberalization in the US quarterly technology and legal quarterly 2000.4. In the same year, the United States Senate passed a bill prohibiting the federal and state governments from imposing new bit taxes on such visits and levying duplicate or additional taxes on e-commerce. In May 1998, the World Trade Organization held a 1 1; 1 village business meeting in Geneva. Under the strong advocacy of the United States, the original intention of the United States was to reach an agreement to exempt tariffs indefinitely for commodities passed through 1; An agreement to exempt 16 commercial tariffs during the year, the so-called zero-tariff agreement. The zero-tariff agreement is undoubtedly beneficial to the United States. Objectively speaking, most developing countries are building information infrastructure, and the exemption of online trade tariffs can lead to a certain degree of decline in the import prices of computer-related products, especially software products. Moreover, the software industry in some developing countries is on the rise, with increasing exports. In this sense, zero tariffs are also beneficial to developing countries. The zero-tariff plan declared 1 to 71 as a free zone, which actually requires countries not to exercise tax jurisdiction over e-commerce. This can undoubtedly promote the healthy development of e-commerce. However, with the substantial increase in e-commerce transaction volume and its continuous improvement, taxation by countries is inevitable. Therefore, the zero-tariff plan can only be a temporary transitional measure to a certain extent.

2. Whether the website can become the basis of jurisdiction Now many companies and enterprises have their own website, and many of their e-commerce activities are carried out through their own website. The web address exists in the network space, its position in the network space is similar to the position in the physical space, and its position is relatively stable and can be determined. The website has a close connection with its owner, and the information service website and the owner are relatively stable, and the website is generally subject to the jurisdiction of its 18, so some scholars believe that the website can be used as a connection factor To exercise tax jurisdiction. I do not agree with such a claim. First, the current application for the website is relatively simple. There may be multiple websites for the same individual, and the website may exist in different countries, which may easily lead to international tax avoidance. The right to allow others to use their own for taxation is obviously inappropriate. Once again, the connection aspect is the life of 1 plus 1, and the other aspect also provides a good means for the e-commerce activists to hide their identities. Although the website can let you know who is responsible for maintaining that outlet, it will never let you know anything about the computer connected to 61; the situation of the computer on the website will not even know where the machine is located. However, it is inappropriate to exercise tax jurisdiction over e-commerce through the website.

International Coordination Program Given that e-commerce is increasingly becoming an important part of international trade, some countries, regions and international organizations are actively looking for solutions to e-commerce tax issues. 10 The plan for tax reduction and exemption for e-commerce has been adopted, but if the tariff protection barrier of the effective means of zero tariffs persists, the developing countries will certainly not allow it to exist for a long time. However, if developing countries want to have their own policies and policies for e-commerce, their primary task is to solve the taxation of the services provided by other providers and the goods and services purchased and sold online, that is, how to determine the tax jurisdiction. Jurisdiction conflicts will increase. Strengthening the coordination of international tax jurisdiction has become necessary for the objective situation. Jeffrey Vince, Minister of Taxation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, proposed that the basic policy for e-commerce and 6161 taxation is to prevent tax evasion and protect the healthy development of industries. The division should adopt a cooperative and coordinated attitude, rather than adopt offensive measures. International coordination of tax jurisdictions can harmonize the tax collection and management of various countries on the basis of not damaging the development of e-commerce, reduce conflicts in tax jurisdictions, avoid double taxation, and prevent the occurrence of international tax avoidance through 61 plus 1.

In short, the development of electronic commerce has brought many new questions to the international tax jurisdiction. Considering that e-commerce is still in its infancy, and many factors are in a state of uncertainty, too high taxes will affect the vigorous development of business activities on the Internet. The author believes that there is no need for international taxation when the new jurisdiction base has not been determined. The principles are fundamentally revised, but an international consensus should be formed to strengthen international coordination to clarify the jurisdiction for taxation of e-commerce, and to prevent the domestic quarterly science and technology and legal journal 2000.4

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