Implications Of E-Commerce For Tax Legislation

As e-commerce develops ambiguities in the current tax code in which it may be exposed. It would not be regarded as too early to take premature steps for undertaking such a review at a time when detailed international legislation are going on to promulgate acceptable standards laws for imposition taxation in this regard. The Central Board of Revenue should take active part in promulgation of conducting research on this subject in hand and should propose any changes to tax law in the light of what emerges in development in e-business. In the meantime, Central board of Revenue will do two things:

o Make sure that e-commerce taxation requirements are fully considered when recommending amendments are made to existing laws, and

o Such changes should be made to national tax laws that are needed as unforeseen legal obstacles to the growth of e-commerce emerge to subject to tax revenue constraints.

If there is a difficulty in fitting any of our existing tax legislation to e-commerce transactions, then CBR should look at these emerging legal problems connect with its execution and administration. Uncertainty is bad for business. Taxpayers should not be left in doubt as to the applicability of a particular provision of tax laws. This is not to say that all of the existing tax legislation should be made applicable to e-commerce. However, the fact remains that e-commerce is just another way of doing business and it should normally be subject to the same tax requirements as any other method of doing business. The development of e-commerce may require some fine tuning of our tax laws in consistent in international legislative trends.

The writer is an advocate of High Court and practicing immigration and corporate laws in Pakistan since September 2001. He is a self employed and pioneer in research on electronic commerce taxation in Pakistan. His articles were published widely in the critical areas of cyber crimes, electronic commerce, e-taxation and various other topics. He wrote LL.M thesis on titled "Legislation of electronic commerce taxation in Pakistan" in which he provided comprehensive legal proposals for statutory reconstruction of tax laws for purpose of imposition of taxation on e-business in Pakistan. Currently he is conducting is research on topic 'Electronic commerce taxation: emerging legal issues of digital evidence'.Author can be contacted by

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