Op EdsOP. ED.

Introduction

Passing years and seasons have proved the worth of cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, with more than 18 million of it being circulated today. It has progressed quicker than any financial ecosystem in history, from being a buzz phrase used among techies it has managed to attract general attention too. The majority of the contemporary market capitalisation has been driven by investors anticipating the prospects of blockchain technology.

Since the inception of cryptocurrency, from the leading experts to outsiders, all have witnessed its pricing figure that oscillates every few minutes. There would not be a crypto investor who has not tried to get to the root of this problem. Investors have been trying their luck hard to crack the code and decipher why cryptocurrency fluctuates and use that strategy to generate profitable bets in the crypto market. Its nascent stage is the highest contributing factor changing its value but it is not the only one. The presumption goes that such a volatile behaviour of cryptocurrency is likely to be in motion until a sufficient amount of pricing stability and acceptability is attained in the market.

When it comes to the administration and legality of crypto currencies, government perspectives vary throughout the world. Regulations are developing at an unprecedented rate in many parts of the world. Globally, various approaches have come into play such as setting up a body to monitor the Initial Coin Offerings, constituting cyber units to track unregistered securities. Such steps mark an attempt to protect the technology providers, financial institutions, and investors.

European Union (EU) Governments have been unified in their cautious optimism towards blockchain technology, willing to support the new field while avoiding wrongdoing and alerting potential investors of associated risks. In terms of cryptocurrency regulations, Asia has adopted a varied approach, with some nations outright outlawing trade such as China while others showed acceptance and encouragement.

In the Asian sub-continent Japan has the most proactive regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies. Though in past the country faced waves of scams; yet has learned its lessons well which is visible in the fiscal earnings released by Monex Group in April 2021. In comparison to prior years, coin-check revenues rose by more than fivefold to ¥20.8 billion. About 210,000 of the 260,000 subscribers it attracted were concentrated in the second part of the fiscal year, signifying that several people had jumped upon the new crypto bandwagon.

Hong Kong too has been relatively supportive of cryptocurrency. According to the recent government proposals, in Hong Kong, cryptocurrency exchanges will be required to get a licence from the city’s market authority and will only be permitted to provide facilities to professional investors.

Undoubtedly, the spectacular rise of cryptocurrencies in the past few years has piqued the interest of the investing public and financial institutions. Eventually, in most countries, the debate is no more about if a cryptocurrency will survive, rather about measures that will advance, thereby affect the institutions as it attains market maturity with time.

It is noteworthy to observe that with India’s rapid technological progress and extraordinary breakthroughs, particularly due to COVID-19 pandemic, the fintech sector has been on a steady upward trajectory. Nearly 7 million Indians have already invested roughly one thousand million dollars in cryptocurrency the Government is facing a complex challenge to allow the fintech sector to thrive in India while ensuring that it is done safely. However, in India, the story seems to be half-cooked. Though off lately the story has begun to cook more than it was earlier.

Position of cryptocurrency in India

Invariably, the traditional investors hold a conservative view propounding that the Government of India, will sooner or later introduce a Bill concerning cryptocurrency, and such a Bill will put a wet blanket on crypto and thereby banning it. This school of thought believes that Government can never be in a position to legalise cryptocurrency for it will lead to devaluation of Indian rupee. The Finance Minister in 2018 strengthened this lobby when it stated that:

The Government does not consider cryptocurrencies “as legal tender or coin” and will take all measures to eliminate the use of those crypto assets in financing “illegitimate activities” or a part of the payment system. The Government will explore the use of blockchain technology proactively for assuring in digital economy.1

This statement was succeeded by a circular from Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The notification was pertaining to the Prohibition on dealing with Virtual Currency (VCs). While cautioning the user availing virtual currency services it decided to restrict its entities from dealing in VCs or providing services to assist anyone in dealing with or settling VCs. Maintaining accounts, trading, settling, registering, lending against virtual tokens, clearing, taking them as collateral, creating accounts with exchanges that deal with them, and transferring/receiving money in accounts connected to the purchase/sale of VCs are all elements of such services. Regulating entities that provided such services were also asked to exit the relationship by July 2020. RBI time and again has reflected upon the displeasing nature of cryptocurrency and its dissatisfaction in matters of legalising the same.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court in Internet and Mobile Assn. of India v. RBI2 revoked this order in March 2020. The Court observed that, although Reserve Bank has the power and right to issue such circulars but the notification beforehand lacked the proof of the damage or adversity faced by regulating entities directly or indirectly while operating cryptocurrency.

For both Indian users and crypto firms who wish to serve them, the Supreme Court’s judgment is a huge step in the right direction. The move will not only increase the everyday usage of cryptocurrencies in India, but it will also draw fresh expertise and creativity to the nation’s blockchain endeavours.

Experts believe that as a natural development India will progress to become one of the leading countries for cryptocurrency and digital asset adoption in the near future and it will advance in the direction of a cashless economy if the Government does not take a step backward from cryptocurrency.

After the Supreme Court’s judgment, RBI further cleared the air surrounding its earlier circular by issuing a circular on Customer Due Diligence for Transactions in Virtual Currencies (VC).3 By reference to RBI Circular DBR.No.BP.BC.104/08.13.102/2017-18 dated 6-4-2018, Reserve Bank took notice of the fact that various banks/regulated companies have warned their clients against trading in virtual currencies. It further pointed out that all such notifications were not in congruence as the earlier circular that was issued by RBI back in 2018 was no more valid as it was set aside by the Supreme Court in March 2020.  However, banks and entities, on the other hand, were directed to proceed with proper conduction of due diligence as per guiding norms for anti-money laundering (AML), know your customer (KYC), combating of financing of terrorism (CFT), and regulated entities’ obligations together under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)4, in addition to ensuring compliance with relevant provisions under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA)5 for overseas remittances.

Cryptocurrencies are not illegal in India but it is important to note that India currently lacks a regulatory architecture to manage cryptocurrencies. In November 2017, the Government formed an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to analyse currencies.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs — General Notification dated 24-3-2021, remains the only official word conveyed from the end of Government of India (GoI). The notification made it compulsory for companies to disclose their crypto trading/investment during the financial year. The notification proclaimed “Details of Cryptocurrency or Virtual Currency where the company has traded or invested in cryptocurrency or virtual currency during the financial year, the following shall be disclosed—

(a) Profit or loss on transactions involving cryptocurrency or virtual currency.

(b) Amount of currency held as at the reporting date.

(c) Deposits or advances from any person for the purpose of trading or investing in cryptocurrency/virtual currency.”6

In the eye of some, the move has been seen as a ray of hope which foreshadows taxation rules. Investors, economic, and political thinkers are also channelising their energy to understand if the grappling global developments of crypto will incite the Indian Government to soon come with a more unblurred stance on blockchain technology.

Recently, Central American country — El Salvador positioned itself as a first one to accept bitcoin as a legal tender. Legalising bitcoin though is only a chapter in the story of Salvadoran book yet many propound that it is less about the currency game rather more so about motivating people to use crypto. This will allow them to grasp the air of innovation and step their foot forward in the ground of opportunities and thereby tapping the technology sector of the country. Global debates as to whether or not this move is going to be attractive for the investors are going to depend on the leadership’s ability to utilise their irrefutable political capital to bring a large consolidated fiscal deficit into control.

After El Salvador’s bold step, there have been numerous discussions and deliberations if this step is going wake the Indian Government and think rapidly of crypto prospects. Recently many reports hold apprehensions about Indian Government’s inclination to classify bitcoin as an asset class in the future. Those who might believe that crypto deserves to have a transactional value might not be too satisfied nevertheless ones who think it has nothing but a stored asset value might appreciate the decision if implemented. An asset class is nothing but a mere collection of financial products with comparable financial attributes in the market. Just like one holds an asset such as real estate or precious metals, people might be able to hold money in crypto as an asset. It is no secret that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins have outperformed all the conventional assets.

If India classifies cryptocurrency as asset class then the step can set a departure from its previous harsh posture against cryptocurrencies. The investors have always been on the lookout for such resolves on the cards from the end of the Government. The global developments in the cryptocurrency have the calibre to escalate the Government’s view to recognise the potential that exists in blockchain technology as a decentralised system.

Though the idea of India accepting cryptocurrency as a legal tender seems to be minute considering it has the propensity in devaluation of the Indian rupee. In an intercontinental view as well, accepting bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as a legal tender is a concept more suitable to those countries that does not have a currency of their own. In upcoming days embracing cryptocurrency if not as a legal tender but a presumptive asset class seems to be more pragmatic. The step no matter how trivial in nature will certainly get the ball rolling and stimulate the market.

Explicitly, there exist numerous poles opposite theories in the market. As the story of crypto in India remains half-cooked none stands the test of time.

The way forward

We should not compare crypto to a fiat currency because it is a contemporary asset class. Cryptocurrency is simply one of many conceivable applications. Its potential must not be undermined by the Indian Government.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards say unequivocally that cryptocurrency poses no harm to the global economy and can be adequately controlled. It is also interesting to note that FATF has presented a Crypto Standard Regulatory Report in G20 countries to which India a member. Crypto and fiat can both be synchronised in one ecosystem and crypto can even assist banks in resolving current issues for millions of unbanked individuals.

The market anticipates further guidelines from Indian authorities in the future and an expansion in enforcement. While it is unclear whether a new regulatory framework will emerge in India, ICO issuers, trading platforms, and other businesses that deal with cryptocurrencies should start improving their anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, cybersecurity, and reporting initiatives at the earliest to regulate the market. Though the self-regulation will be a precaution but not a permanent cure, the Government needs to step in at the earliest to combat the wrongdoings.


Managing Associate, L&L Partners, New Delhi. Author can be reached at chatterjeeaor@swarnendu.co.

†† BA LLB (Hons.) 3rd year student,  Amity Law School, New Delhi. Author can be reached at   yashikabhardwaj06@gmail.com.

1 The Economic Times, “Are Your Crypto Investments Legal? Here is Everything You Need to Know”, available at <https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/forex/forex-news/are-your-crypto-investments-legal-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/articleshow/82259869.cms> (last visited on 8-6-2021, 10.40 a.m.).

2 (2020) 10 SCC 274.

3 Reserve Bank of India, Customer Due Diligence for Transactions in Virtual Currencies (VC), DOR. AML.REC 18/14.01.001/2021-22, (Issued on 31-5-2021).

4 Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002. <http://www.scconline.com/DocumentLink/RE7jhkh0>.

5 Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.  <http://www.scconline.com/DocumentLink/pIrl0KB8>.

6 Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, S. 3, sub-s. (i) (Issued on 24-3-2021).

Op EdsOP. ED.

Introduction

The use of the internet has led to the transformation of the physical world into a digital one. Various concerns arise in the digital economy ranging from the issue of big data to taxing of the economy. At present, the international, as well as the Indian tax regime in India, seems unequipped to deal with various taxing issues arising out of the digital economy. Tax plays a crucial role in the development of an economy especially when the case is of a developing one like India. In the recently concluded G20 Summit 2019, the issue of taxing the digital economy comprising of various tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. found a top place in its agenda.

The imposition of tax on these global tech companies has taken a prominent place at the international level, owing to the complexity involved in the process as digital business is conducted using intangibles like algorithms, internet domains, user data, etc. However, the revenue generated based on these algorithms is starkly high in various local jurisdictions like India, France, Italy, Hungary, etc. prompting these countries to take advance measures to tap the revenues generated under the local tax laws. In the Financial Year 2018, Facebook’s worldwide total revenue reached $55.838 billion.[1] In India alone, Facebook collected total revenue of Rs 521 crores. As per the reports, Google’s total revenue in India crossed Rs 10,000 crores last year.[2] However, Google and Facebook paid a total tax of only 200 crores to the Government of India.[3]

In light of this disparity in the amount of revenue generated and collection of tax by the Government, the taxing regime needs to be reassessed to accommodate taxation of the digital economy in India. The article focusses on the difficulties that would arise in the adoption of digital tax along with # international perspective and the way forward.

What is Digital Tax

International tax regime primarily focusses on dealing with taxation of physical business activities. The digital enterprises like Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. operate their business on virtual space making it difficult to bring them under the local tax radar, which is only limited to physical business activities. To cater to this problem, the concept of digital tax has emerged to maximise on revenue-based taxes vis-à-vis digital business in local jurisdictions.

It is sometimes referred to as Google tax or digital service tax (DST) imposed by the source country on the revenue generated by global tech companies in such countries. Digital tax has not been defined in any domestic law or an international treaty. It is an informal name given to a tax collected on income generated through digital services.

India’s Approach Towards Digital Tax

Reports have suggested that internet usage in India has surpassed half a billion users and is expected to reach 627 million by the end of 2019.[4] Due to the expansive proliferation of internet in the urban and rural space, digital economy is poised to undergo explosive growth and is expected to touch the $266 billion mark in 2020, accounting for nearly 7% of our GDP.[5] As digital businesses are distinct from traditional business, India has introduced the concept of equalisation levy (EL) through the Finance Act, 2016.[6] The levy was charged at the rate of 6% on payments made to beneficial foreign owners for providing digital services in India. But the levy is only limited to advertisement services. Thereafter, the concept of significant economic presence (SEP) was introduced through the Finance Act, 2018 with the object to widen the scope of business connection in India, which is discussed further in the latter part of this article. At present, the SEP provision remains ineffective due to India being a signatory to various double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) with other countries.

Issues Related to Taxation of Digital Economy

(1) Characterisation of Income Generated through Digital Economy

Section 9 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, which is applicable to non-residents, has categorised income into three classes as business income, royalty and fee for technical services. The issue of income characterisation becomes relevant for the determination of tax as the tax consequences are different based on the head under which the income is classified. The Act provides for different rates for different categories of income, for example, income characterised as royalty or fee for the technical services and the income characterised as business income are charged at 10% and 40% respectively. But, to characterise the income as a business income, establishment of permanent establishment (PE) is a prerequisite, which is a difficult task in case of a digital economy.[7]

The problem, which exists in the case of a digital economy is regarding the characterisation of income generated by its business model. One such concern that arises in such a model is whether to characterise the profits earned on the digital marketplace as business income or fees for technical services.

(2) The Problem of Permanent Establishment

For a non-resident entity’s business income to be taxed in India, it is required that the entity maintains a PE or a business connection in India. In case of digital economy, establishing a PE becomes problematic owing to the business model of such an economy, which places reliance on intangibles like patents, algorithms, etc. and can conduct business by residing in a foreign jurisdiction, as a place of their central functions. For this reason, it becomes immensely complicated to tax these entities as they conduct business in India and generate revenue without having any physical presence in the territory.

(3) The Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) Treaties

The taxation of digital economy would lead to instances of double taxation of various tech enterprises being taxed in multiple jurisdictions. By widening the aspect of “business connection” by introducing the concept of SEP, undue hardship of double taxation will be caused for the tech company as its PE will be situated in one country and SEP in multiple countries, rendering it liable for double taxation. This would defeat the objective of the double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) treaties signed between India and other countries in which the global tech companies are based.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Propositions and the Initiatives

The proposals discussed under the public consultation document issued by the inclusive framework on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) working through its task force on the digital economy (TFDE) pursuant to its release of the Interim Report in 2018,[8] form part of a long-term solution to the broader tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy. The key proposals are the “user participation” proposal and the “significant economic presence” proposal.

(1) The “User Participation” Proposal

It is premised on the concept that soliciting the sustained engagement and active participation of users is a critical component of value creation for certain highly digitalised businesses. Various platforms like social media spaces, search engines and online marketplaces predominantly work on the user participation model to create value based on which huge revenues are generated. Under the current international tax framework, which focuses primarily on the physical activities of business itself (permanent establishment) in determining where profits should be allocated. Profits derived from value created by user participation or user data continues to be outside the scope of taxation as it fails to establish a physical business connection with the value generated through user-oriented data.

The proposal aims at taxing the value generated by user participation by modifying the traditional profit allocation rules and recommends that profits allocated to a user jurisdiction, in respect of the activities/participation of users, be calculated through a non-routine or residual profit split approach.[9] To streamline its implementation, the proposal could rely on formulas that would approximate the value of user data, and the users of each country, to a business. This would also help in avoiding disputes between countries based on their subjective view of value generated by user participation.

(2) The “Significant Economic Presence” Proposal

This proposal is motivated by the view that the digitalisation of the economy and other technological advances have enabled business enterprises to be heavily involved in the economic life of jurisdiction without a significant physical presence.

Under this proposal, a taxable presence in a jurisdiction would arise when a non-resident enterprise has a significant economic presence on the basis of the following factors, which evidence a purposeful and sustained interaction with the local jurisdiction via digital technology and other automated means: firstly, revenue-based factor, which would include the threshold level of revenue. Secondly, digital factors that would include domain name, local digital platform, etc. And, thirdly, user-based factors such as number of active users and volume of digital content collected through digital platform.[10] Revenue generated on a sustained basis is the basic factor, but such revenue would not be sufficient in isolation to establish nexus. Only when combined with other factors would revenue potentially be used to establish nexus in the form of a significant economic presence in the country concerned.

 (a) India’s “Significant Economic Presence” Approach

India has been a frontrunner in introducing the concept of SEP into its domestic law through the Finance Act, 2018, which has enlarged the scope of “business connection” to enable taxation of non-residents having a SEP in India. However, it remains ineffective till the time the treaty rules are amended in accordance with the international framework, which is to see the light of the day in 2020.

(3) Localisation of Data and Tax Ramifications

It is widely considered that when a website or data or software is hosted on a local server, it constitutes equipment having a physical location and the same can be treated to be a fixed place of business of the enterprise and can constitute PE given certain conditions stand satisfied.[11] Therefore, if the non-resident entities localise their servers, they very well can be brought under the taxation regime. In India, various measures have been undertaken to ensure data localisation for e-commerce as well as entities holding large chunks of personal data.

The draft national policy on e-commerce[12] and the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee proposed Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018[13] has mandated for data localisation by foreign entities conducting digital business in India. This will ensure the creation of a local host server, which will be treated as PE and thus, bringing the entities under the present taxation regime.

Unilateral Measures Adopted by Foreign Jurisdictions

Currently, there is no international consensus for taxation of digital economy. OECD is still working to form international consensus over this issue. But there are some countries which have gone ahead and introduced the laws to address the issue of digital tax. These are: France, Italy and Malaysia.

France

Recently, France approved 3% DST (or digital tax) on the revenues generated by the global tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA tax) in its territory. The tax would apply to digital companies generating worldwide revenues on their digital services of at least 750 million euros ($845 million), with 25 million euros ($28 million) from France only.[14] The Act called the Digital Service Tax Act will be applied retrospectively from 1-1-2019.[15]

Italy

Italy is one of the first countries in Europe which has taken measures to tackle the issue of digital tax. Italian Government has introduced 3% DST through the 2019 Italian budget. The DST would apply to the taxable entity if it comes under two conditions, firstly, the tech companies generating revenues from the digital services that underpin user participation, which includes online advertising space or digital intermediary activity or sale of data generated from user-provided information and secondly the taxable entities generates total worldwide revenues on their digital service not less than 750,000,000 euros, with not less than 5,500,000 euros from Italy only.[16]

Malaysia

Malaysian Government approved the Service Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which provides for the taxation of digital services. Through this Bill the Malaysian Government inserted Part IX-A in the Service Tax Act, 2018, the part mainly deals with the imposition of tax on giant tech companies registered overseas and providing digital services to the Malaysian consumer[17]. This law will be effective from 1-1-2020 after that Malaysian Government will be imposing service tax (referred as “digital tax”) at the rate of 6% on digital services that are provided by the foreign services provider (FSP) by consumers in Malaysia under a business to consumer (B2C) regime.

Way Forward

India has been a frontrunner in laying down a framework for establishing a digital taxation regime by introducing changes in the existing nexus rule in order to enlarge the scope of “business connection” by making it not just being limited to the concept of PE for the purpose of taxing non-residents in India. As mentioned above, out of the various measures recommended by the OECD in its public consultation document, India has already endeavoured to tax foreign digital entities by adopting the significant economic presence methodology, although inoperative. Apart from this, it has also embraced the concept of localisation of digital data to bring the corresponding revenues under the taxation regime by sticking to the PE principle.

However, the road to taxing of digital content through implementation of these plans does not run straight and has rather challenging turns and various hurdles, which can be overcome through the following approach:

(1) Avoidance of Double Taxation: Entering into negotiations with various countries whose entities are highly involved in digital data creation and transactions in India to amend the treaty provisions to enable the efficient implementation of the digital tax framework in India.

(2) Redefining the Scope of PE and Profit Attribution: It becomes imperative to amend the definition of PE along with the rules of attribution occurring under Articles 5 and 7 of most tax treaties to ensure a proper legal framework for taxing the digital economy.

(3) Doing Away of the Equalisation Levy: With the introduction of the digital tax regime, the concept of equalisation levy has to be bid adieu to avoid multiplicity of taxes.

(4) Clarity on Value in “User Participation” Proposal: It is of essence that in case the said model is adopted, avoiding subjectivity and conflicts between jurisdictions as to the determination of “value” created by user participation becomes important. This can be achieved through streamlining the implementation by adoption of standard formulas, which would approximately assess the value created by users, and associate the users of each country, to a business.

Conclusion

Given the revenue figures generated by various digital companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc. in different user jurisdictions without being subject to local tax has stirred waves of change in the international tax regime regarding the digital economy. Various key developments have taken place around the globe regarding taxing the said economy. In light of the same, the OECD concluded in its latest interim report titled, “Interim Report on Tax Challenges Arising from Digitalisation” that the 110 participating diverse economies were of the common opinion that unilateral approaches towards taxing the digital economy will have an adverse impact on growth and result in double taxation. Therefore, an international framework becomes the need of the hour to resolve the issue of taxing the digital economy.

As regards India’s endeavours on taxing the digital economy by introducing various concepts like SEP and data localisation — such efforts will bore the fruit of successive implementation once an international consensus on the said issue becomes a reality. The final report of the OECD is due for 2020 — holding the answers to many perplexing questions.


 †  5th Year, BA-LLB (Hons.), The National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi.

[1]  Martina Frascona, Facebook’s Revenue Exceeded $55 Billion in 2018, Newsfeed.org (2-2-2019). available at <https://newsfeed.org/facebooks-revenue-exceeded-55-billion-in-2018/>, last accessed 8-8-2019.

[2] Priyanka Pani, Facebook India’s Revenue Rises 52% in FY 18, The Hindu Business Line (24-12-2018) available at <https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/info-tech/facebook-indias-revenue-rise-52-in-fy18/article25820990.ece>, last accessed 8-8-2019.

[3]  Sai Manish, Google, Facebook Made Rs 10,000 Crore; Paid Rs 200 Crore as Tax in India, Business Standard (9-7-2019)  <https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/google-facebook-made-rs-10-000-crore-paid-rs-200-crore-as-tax-in-india-119062700393_1.html>, last accessed  8-8-2019.

[4]  Press Trust of India, Internet Users in India to Reach 627 Million in 2019: Report, The Economic Times, (6-3-2019) available at <https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/internet-users-in-india-to-reach-627-million-in-2019 report/articleshow/68288868.cms> last accessed 8-8-2019.

[5]  Lohit Bhatia, Rise of the Internet Economy in India — Trends Shaping Digital India, Entrepreneur India (15-3-2019) available at <https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/330226> last accessed  8-8-2019.

[6] Equalisation Levy Rules, 2016, Notification No. 38/2016, available at <http://relyonsoft.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/notification382016.pdf> last accessed 8-8-2019.

[7]  Rav P. Singh and Vinti Agarwal, Taxation of Digital Economy in India — The Way Forward, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, (Report March 2019).

[8] OECD, Interim Report on Tax Challenges Arising from Digitalisation, (May 2018), available at <https://static.rasset.ie/documents/news/2018/03/oecd-interim-report.pdf> last accessed 8-8-2019.

[9]  OECD, Public Consultation Document on Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digitalisation of the Economy, (March 2019), available at <https://www.oecd.org/tax/beps/public-consultation-document-addressing-the-tax-challenges-of-the-digitalisation-of-the-economy.pdf> last accessed 8-8-2019.

[10] OECD, Addressing Tax Challenges in Digital Economy, OECD Action Plan 1: 2015, (2015) 17 available at <https://www.oecd.org/ctp/addressing-the-tax-challenges-of-the-digital-economy-action-1-2015-final-report-9789264241046-en.htm> last accessed  8-8-2019.

[11]  OECD, Are the Current Treaty Rules for Taxing Business Profits Appropriate for E-Commerce, Final Report, available at <http://www.oecd.org/ctp/treaties/35869032.pdf> last accessed 8-8-2019.

[12]  Reuters, Government Looks to Compel E-Commerce Companies to Store Data Locally, (India Today, 30-7-2018) available at <https://www.indiatoday.in/business/story/government-looks-to-compel-e-commerce-and social-media-companies-to-store-datalocally-1300246-2018-07-30> last accessed  8-8-2019.

[13]  Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, S. 40.

[14]  Elizabeth Schulze, France Approves Digital Tax on American Tech Giants, Defying US Trade Threat, CNBC, (11-7-2019) available at <https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/11/france-passes-digital-tax-on-us-tech-firms-despite-trade-threat.html> last accessed 8-8-2019.

[15]  BBC Online, France Passes Tax on Tech Giants Despite US Threats, British Broadcasting Corporation, (11-7-2019) available at <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48947922> last accessed 8-8-2019.

[16] PWC, Italy’s 2019 Budget Law Introduces a Digital Service Tax, PWC, available at <https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/tax/newsletters/tax-policy-bulletin/assets/pwc-italy-2019-budget-law-introduces-a-digital-service-tax.pdf.> last accessed 8-8-2019.

[17]  Amendment in Committee Service Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2019, DR 6/2019.