Canada Takes A Step Forward On Digital Economy Tax

; posted on
May 1st, 2018

The Canadian Standing Committee on International Trade recently published a policy report on E-commerce. The recommendations on taxing the online platform are getting considerable attention. But according to Brad Poulos, instructor at Ryerson University Toronto, the Liberal government is unlikely to introduce this unpopular tax due to the federal election on the horizon in 2019.

Recommendations by the Committee

The committee made 11 recommendations, amongst which three that concern the taxation of E-commerce:

  • The Government of Canada ensures the existence of a taxation system that is fair and equitable for all Canadians. The Government should work with other countries in ensuring that online sales, and the profits earned by firms making such sales, are taxed in the country where the products are consumed and where the economic activities that created the income will occur, which would be consistent with relevant recommendations made by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  • The Government of Canada contributes to the success of Canada’s firms, which operates in a rapidly evolving global economy, by adopting policies designed to ensure that the country’s entrepreneurs who engage in e-commerce can operate in an environment that has competitive taxes, minimal red tape, and policies and programs that facilitate trade.
  • The Government of Canada applies sales taxes on tangible and intangible products that are sold in Canada by domestic firms and by foreign sellers, including when such sales occur using an e-commerce platform.

Appeal from Canadian Domestic Industry

The Hotel Association of Canada also is also calling on the federal government to take real action to address tax avoidance in the digital space. Online rental platforms are not currently collecting or remitting GST/HST and paying corporate income taxes, which gives them an unfair advantage over other accommodation businesses, like hotels.

Sources: RCI, Hotel Association of Canada

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