Comparing Tax Policy Responses for the Digitalising Economy: Fold or All-In

11 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2018

Date Written: March 01, 2018


This paper elaborates on the tax policy responses in the area of direct taxation that are currently on the table at both the OECD and EU levels. The digital economy cannot be seen in isolation from the rest of the economy; it is the overall economy that is becoming increasingly digitalised. As any ring-fencing of the digital parts of the economy would seem infeasible, the fact that all the tax reform initiatives contemplated seem to be pursuing that exact objective is rather anomalous. Such a move would seem to bring little to the table other than market distortions, inequities, arbitrary taxation, tax cascading, legal uncertainties, and red tape. When it comes to fixing the broken international tax framework, there seems to be no such thing as a readily available ‘quick fix’. So the real question on the table would seem to be whether we should instead consider breaking away from status quos in company taxation and proceeding to explore genuine and fundamental corporate tax reform.

Keywords: Company Taxation, Digital Economy, Base Erosion, Profit Shifting

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

de Wilde, Maarten Floris, Comparing Tax Policy Responses for the Digitalising Economy: Fold or All-In (March 01, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Maarten Floris De Wilde (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
+31(0)104081647 (Phone)
+31(0)104089179 (Fax)


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