LIRNEasia together with the South Centre hosted an expert forum on Policy Options for Digital Taxation in South and Southeast Asia on 19 September 2023. The event was a closed-door event, attended by over 110 tax officials, with participants registered from Global South 40 countries. The event, based on research conducted jointly by LIRNEasia and the South Centre, looked to provide a forum for the organizers and participants to share their experiences and weigh relative merits of different policy options for providing new taxing rights to capture revenues of large technology multinationals in local tax nets. The policy options included (i) domestic measures such as digital services taxes and withholding taxes (ii) OECD/G20’s Amount A Multilateral Convention and (iii) Article 12B of the UN Model Tax Convention.LA SC Digital Tax Forum_Panel 2_Implementation considerations.
- Chetan Rao – Commissioner of Income Tax (OSD), Foreign Tax & Tax Research division of Central Board of Direct Taxes, Department of Revenue, India
- Mohammad Mifly – Retired Deputy Commissioner General, Tax Policy, Legislation, Rulings and International Affairs, Inland Revenue Department, Sri Lanka
- Esther A.P. Koisin – Director of the Department of International Taxation, Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia
- Mekar Utama – Director of International Taxation, Directorate General of Taxes, Indonesia
- Dirgha Raj Mainali – Director General, Inland Revenue Department, Nepal
Presentations were also made by LIRNEasia and the South Centre. LIRNEasia Senior Research Manager, Gayani Hurulle set the context with a presentation on the digital economy and digital taxation in the South and Southeast Asian region. South Centre Tax Initiative (SCTI) Research Consultants for Tax, Kuldeep Sharma and Prisca Musibi presented the policy options for digital taxation and their implications for Asian countries of the global south. South Centre Senior Programme Officer, and head of STCI, Abdul Muheet Chowdhary together with Kuldeep and Prisca in a second presentation, discussed the implementation considerations of the different models for these countries. A rich discussion ensued. Some key topics of discussion included revenue potential of different policy options, the rationale for stances taken by different countries, details of systems put in place, and costs of negotiation and compliance considering varied country contexts.
The research presented and the event were carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada. The event agenda, presentations and speaker bios can be found below.
- Digital economy & taxation in South and Southeast Asia – Gayani Hurulle (LIRNEasia)
- Policy Options and Revenue Estimates – Kuldeep Sharma and Prisca Musibi (South Centre)
- Implementation Considerations – Abdul Muheet Chowdhary, Kuldeep Sharma and Prisca Musibi (South Centre)