UK’s Customs and Revenue Tackle E-Commerce Issues

Officials from H.M. Customs & Excise and
the Inland Revenue met business
organisations at the newly-formed Electronic Commerce Consultation

The framework agreed at the meeting Tuesday included a plan to “move the discussion
with government pledging that it would cooperate with business in
tax policy as it relates to e-commerce.

The scope of the Electronic Commerce Consultation Forum includes recognition
that e-commerce is a global phenomenon that requires special consideration
tax bodies. Present at the meeting were UK business participants in the
Technical Advisory Groups set up by the Organisation for Economic
and Development (OECD).

Last year, at the OECD’s Ministerial conference in Ottawa on
e-commerce, the UK tax and excise authories presented
a policy paper that outlined the principles they were following
in setting taxation and customs duty for e-commerce. They included
“neutrality, certainty, effectiveness and efficiency.”

The main group of the new forum expects to meet around three times per year,
with sub-groups meeting on an ad hoc basis to discuss specific detailed
tax, compliance and service delivery issues.

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