Disruptive technology has had a profound impact across many industries and spawned many innovative business models such as the sharing economy, cloud computing and blockchain distributed ledgers. These developments have in turn influenced taxation, especially in cross-border transactions. This has particular significance to Singapore as a regional business hub and as a country where the push towards digitalisation is a national priority.
As the principles and rules in this area are rapidly evolving, this course aims at providing an introductory overview of the main concepts and considerations in international taxation in the rapidly evolving area of digital economy, from a practical and international perspective. There will also be case studies based on real life business models and an overview of the sources of relevant Singapore rules.
The concepts and issues in Digital Economy taxation:
- Pre-BEPS – Implications of E-commerce, remote servers
- The OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project (BEPS)
- Latest developments from EU, OECD, the US and the Asia region such as
- Permanent Establishment rule changes
- Digital levy, Gross Taxation
Brief overview of the relevant rules with respect to digital economy taxation in Singapore such as:
- E-Guide on Rights-Based Approach for Characterising Software Payments and Payments for the Use of or the Right to Use Information and Digitised Goods
- Rights-based approach for characterising specified payments
- Examples of payments for copyright rights & copyrighted articles
- Tax Guide on E-Commerce covering three common business models
- Business operations in Singapore, deriving income from website hosted in Singapore
- Business operations in Singapore, deriving income from website hosted outside Singapore
- Business operations outside Singapore, deriving income from website hosted in Singapore
- GST Guide for E-Commerce
- Physical goods supplied over the Internet
- Services / Digitised Goods
- Purchases from an overseas supplier
- Individual taxation implications of
- Ride Hailing and social media influencers
- Ethical implications of taxing the digital economy
- Data privacy issues of using online user generated data to identify individuals, track transactions, responsible use of Artificial Intelligence in profiling
- Digital Divide in relation ability to access, tax and use technology to comply with digital taxation demands
Case studies will be used to illustrate the principles covered above. These case studies are based upon real life business models such as sharing economy/riding hailing, e-commerce, Cloud computing, online streaming of digital services and so on.
Mr Sam SimSenior Advisor, Vienna University Global Tax Policy Center
Research Fellow, SMU Center for Artificial Intelligence & Data Governance
Sam was Regional Vice-President (Europe, Middle-East, Africa, Asia and Latin America), Tax Executive Institute and Chair of its Capital Markets Tax Committee Transfer Pricing sub-committee. He led global teams as Deputy Global Head of Transfer Pricing at a leading European MNE and Transfer Pricing Geo Leader for EMEA and Asia-Pacific in the largest US global Technology MNE. In addition, Sam also authored Singapore's first Transfer Pricing Master Guide.