The Taxation of the Digital Economy: France’s View

By Robert Robillard - 12 March 2015

This blogpost originally appeared on rbrt.ca.

France Stratégie, a government body of France, has just released Report #26 on the taxation of the digital economy. The report is available here (in French).

The report is accompanied by the comprehensive study on the same matter titled Taxation and the digital economy: A survey of theoretical models available here in English.

This latter document should be of particular interest for its 5 theoretical models of taxation of the digital economy. Pages 15-19 offers an English language summary from which we quote pp. 15-16:

“In this report, we have developed five original theoretical models to analyze the effects of taxation in the digital economy. The five models focus on specific aspects of the digital
economy and reflect the four important features described above.

The first model, inspired by platforms for social networking, deals with network externalities, coordination and competition in the presence of taxation.

The second model, focused on two-sided markets, considers a platform mediating between users and advertisers, and allows for a comparative study of taxation on either side of the market.

The third model centers on the amount of data collection and exploitation and studies how different taxes affect the level of data exploitation.

The last two models deal with the blurring of geographical frontiers and analyze how the emergence of electronic commerce affects fiscal competition between countries fixing sales taxes. One model centers around exchange platforms which cannot discriminate among consumers according to their geographical origin, like eBay. The other model considers substitution effects between electronic commerce and cross-border shopping.”

The complete study is available here in English.

Robert Robillard, Ph.D., CPA, CGA, Adm.A., MBA, M.Sc. Econ., M.A.P.
Senior Partner, RBRT Inc.
514-742-8086; robertrobillard “at” rbrt.ca
www.rbrt.ca

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