Relevance of the OECD International VAT/GST Guidelines for Non‑OECD Countries

(2017) 32(2) Australian Tax Forum 317-376

60 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2018

See all articles by Kathryn James

Kathryn James

Monash University - Faculty of Law

Thomas Ecker

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1, 2017


The OECD International VAT/GST guidelines (OECD Guidelines) are the most significant global attempt to coordinate place of taxation rules for cross‑border supplies of services and intangibles so that the final consumption of such supplies are effectively taxed on a destination basis. However, given that the guidelines are formally a product of the OECD, it is important to assess their relevance for non‑OECD countries which might have different constraints, challenges and needs to their OECD counterparts.

This article explores the relevance of the OECD Guidelines to non‑OECD countries by examining the rise of the VAT in non-OECD countries and highlighting some of the challenges and constraints that affect the realisation of tax and VAT reforms in these countries. It then examines the context and content of the OECD Guidelines with a view to these challenges and constraints. The article demonstrates that, although the guidelines are a significant step in the efforts to encourage global coordination on the taxation of cross-border supplies of services and intangibles, a number of technical, normative and administrative issues will require further review so that the guidelines are not merely relevant, but achievable for all countries with a VAT.

Keywords: Value Added Tax, Goods and Services Tax, OECD, International VAT/GST Guidelines, Digital Supplies

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K30, K34, K39

Suggested Citation

James, Kathryn and Ecker, Thomas, Relevance of the OECD International VAT/GST Guidelines for Non‑OECD Countries (April 1, 2017). (2017) 32(2) Australian Tax Forum 317-376. Available at SSRN:

Kathryn James (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800


Thomas Ecker

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020

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