Consumption Taxes on Digital Products in the European Union

Nelson U. Alino, Gary P. Schneider

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Consumption taxes, such as sales taxes and value-added taxes (VAT) can present complex enforcement and collection issues when they are applied to international transactions. The European Union (EU) is a particularly interesting environment in which to examine consumption tax issues because each country has its own VAT rate and enforcement mechanism, but the multilateral economic structure of the EU exposes companies selling across intra-EU boundaries to extra-national regulations. This paper contrasts the EU position with that of U.S. states on similar consumption taxes and examines a specific tax fairness issue that has arisen for sellers of digital goods who have customers that are located in EU countries. The paper also outlines three strategies for minimizing VAT.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012


  • Economics
  • Business

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