Gov't Mulls Taxation on Digital Goods Traded Online

Article excerpt

The levying of taxes on goods and services traded online is likely to emerge as a hot issue as the government weighs up the pros and cons of such a move.

According to government sources, digital goods such as music albums, architecture design and videos may be subject to domestic consumption tax if they are imported through the Net.

In addition, Internet sites designed for electronic commerce may be required to display their business license numbers to ensure online transparency and credibility.

The necessity of so-called digital taxation is being hotly discussed in other advanced countries witnessing a boom in online businesses.

Yet a consensus seems a long way off, since those involved differ on the timing and extent of the taxation, not to mention the validity of the taxation itself.

In a report submitted for the ongoing parliamentary inspection, government officials stressed that taxation should be applied to e-commerce transactions as soon as possible in a bid to ensure credibility and transparency.

In recent months, Net fever is consuming the nation with Internet startups propping up by the day, and a number of websites are managed by people who do not hold legitimate business licenses, government sources said.

At this point, taxation is a convenient tool to undermine fly-by-night Internet websites while strengthening governmental control over the flow of goods and services online. …