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
Forum.


The framework agreed at the meeting Tuesday included a plan to “move the discussion
forward,”
with government pledging that it would cooperate with business in
formulating
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
by
tax bodies. Present at the meeting were UK business participants in the
Technical Advisory Groups set up by the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation
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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