Volume 47 (2019) / Issue 2
Christina Dimitropoulou, 'The Digital Services Tax and Fundamental Freedoms: Appraisal Under the Doctrine of Measures Having Equivalent Effect to Quantitative Restrictions' (2019) 47 Intertax, Issue 2, pp. 201–218
This article focuses on the evaluation of the European proposal for a common system of a digital services tax (DST) on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital activities, specifically in light of its compatibility with the guaranteed free movement of goods and services. The compatibility test targets the whole set of taxable services falling under the scope of the DST proposal. The reason of the present examination stems from the current co-exercise of traditional and digital similar services in the digital single market and the impact that the DST could have on market competition. A high risk is found for the DST to run counter the aim of the digital single market itself. The analysis points out the possible restrictions on the guaranteed free movement of goods and services by the imposition of DST on the taxable services falling under its scope in the framework of the doctrine of measures having equivalent effect to quantitative restrictions (MEQR) and the relevant ECJ case law (including possible justifications for the identified restrictions and proportionality assessment). Pursuant to the above, the article proposes that digital intermediation services be excluded from the scope of the DST until a comprehensive solution is reached.
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