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As a first attempt to tax electronic commerce, many countries applied the existing tax laws to Internet. However, applying these laws to border-spanning electronic commerce proved very inefficient and inappropriate. While some authorities claim not taxing the Internet is the best solution for encouraging the growth of electronic commerce, we believe that use and sales taxes in general are an important part of a government's revenues and that their ban over the Internet is not feasible. Given the magnitude of potential revenues to be obtained from sales over the Internet, we need to consider when and how governments should tax electronic commerce. We focus on some proposals which try to answer this question and argue that a taxation scheme based on the location of the consumer is the best starting point for a global solution.
Date of Conference: 3-6 Jan. 2001