Viya’s Visit to New Zealand: Can New Zealand Tax Alibaba’s Profits?
New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy (2020) volume 26, issue 4
20 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2021
Date Written: August 30, 2020
Multinationals operating online marketplaces have been making extensive use of influencers — individuals who engage with buyers and, sometimes, sellers, and through this engagement encourage sales of goods and services on online marketplaces. One of these influencers, Viya, visited New Zealand in August 2019 and, using her livestream channel on the Taobao marketplace, from a hotel room, facilitated multi-million-dollar sales of mass-produced goods made in New Zealand and Australia to customers in China. Taobao is one of the businesses of the multinational group Alibaba, whereas Viya is Alibaba’s top influencer. This case study of Viya’s visit to New Zealand seeks to establish whether or not New Zealand can tax Alibaba’s profits from the digital intermediation services of the Taobao marketplace, given Viya’s role in these services’ provision.
Keywords: influencers, income tax, Alibaba
JEL Classification: K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation