Advocaten / Avocats / Lawyers

Digital Services Tax

Digital developments have shown that the current tax systems are out-of-date. Taxes are not always paid where a good or a service is consumed. Countries are struggling with taxing companies that operate in the digital environment since almost all tax systems are built on the idea of a company having a physical tax presence in the local tax jurisdiction. To remedy this issue, many countries are looking for new taxes, which will also increase their national revenues.

One such tax is the Digital Services Tax (DST). Since the European Commission announced this tax back in 2018, discussions about it have never stopped. Moreover, today there is not only a debate going on at a European level but also at a(n) (inter)national level; for example, within the OECD the DST has even been the cause of a trade war between France and the US. Many countries have already implemented a DST in their local jurisdiction, as a sui generis tax or one that is embedded in VAT/GST law. Several countries are currently on the verge of implementing a DST and others are seriously considering doing so.

At this stage, Belgium has not really chosen whether to implement a DST and is currently awaiting the outcome of the international and EU discussions. Despite this uncertain national situation, our law firm is monitoring all national and international developments in this area. In close cooperation with public and private tax policy teams, our multidisciplinary team, together with our WTS Global colleagues (who are present in more than 100 countries), is monitoring this new tax's development and is constantly on the lookout for any adverse effects for our clients and other businesses.

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