Towards multilateral reform in digital service tax

Members of the following Giving Circles: St James’s Roundtable, William Pitt Group, Lionel Curtis Group, Director’s Circle, President’s Circle and Chairman’s Circle can register for this event by contacting our events team. 

A multilateral approach towards a Digital Service Tax (DST) could address how countries around the world can claim their fair share of revenue that tech giants generate. But divergent unilateral action could spark trade tensions, especially across the Atlantic, and undermine broader efforts for developing an effective regulatory framework for the digital space at a multilateral level.

With COVID-19 catalysing the digitization of the global economy, and cash-strapped governments looking to capitalize on such trends, calls for a multilateral agreement on digital services taxes have increased. Until recently, an agreement through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has remained elusive with the US and European states, among others, sparring over the issue. However, the Biden administration’s recent proposals for ambitious reform to the global tax system has raised hopes for a breakthrough. The proposals would limit the ability of multinationals to move profits overseas as well as introduce a worldwide minimum tax rate.

This panel discusses the key differences in US and European approaches to digital tax and the significance of Biden’s recent calls for global tax reform as well as how the issue has demonstrated the need to move towards more effective multilateral cooperation in the digital space as part of a rapidly evolving global economy.

  • What have been the key points of difference between the US and European approaches to DST?
  • How has the pandemic impacted developments concerning how digital services are taxed?
  • What is the significance of Biden’s recent calls for global tax reform on the issue?
  • Does Biden’s proposals increase the likelihood of an agreement being reached?  
  • And what could be the implications if a multilateral solution is not reached?

As with all Chatham House events, members’ questions drive the conversation. Register now to share, debate and develop ideas on this critical international issue. This event is for corporate members of Chatham House. Not a member? Find out more.