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India


Commonwealth FinMins urge progress on taxing digital commerce to tackle debt

New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) Commonwealth finance ministers have recognised the potential of technology to improve debt transparency while urging closer collaboration to resolve tax challenges arising from growing digital commerce.
Revenues from tax collection are important for maintaining debt at sustainable levels, yet can often be impaired by the digitalisation of trade in services, as this often results in countries being unable to determine when, how and where taxes on digital transactions should be collected.
According to a press release here, ministers have therefore agreed that the Commonwealth should bring its powerful collective voice to ongoing discussions at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), particularly on behalf of smaller states. International agreement on digital taxation could enable countries to benefit by taxing large tech giants, even if they do not operate within their jurisdictions.
These decisions were made by ministers gathered in Washington DC for the 2019 Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting under the theme ‘preventing debt crises: the role of creditors and debtors’.
Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “The Commonwealth has a distinctive contribution to make by bringing together nations with developed and developing economies to agree on collective approaches and action towards a fair and equitable global system for taxing multinational businesses in a swiftly digitalising economy
“We need a rule-based system that is inclusive, transparent and efficient so that all countries have a means of collecting revenue and are thereby able to avoid accumulating excessive debt. It goes hand in hand with accelerating the gains to be made by addressing climate change and making progress towards achieving the sustainable development goals.”
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