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Journal of Economic Integration 2003 June;18(2) :243-265.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.11130/jei.2003.18.2.243
International Trade in Cyberspace: How to Tax Digital Goods
Jürgen Stehn 
Kiel Institute for World Economics
Copyright ©2003 Journal of Economic Integration
ABSTRACT
The paper discusses various possible approaches to turnover taxation in cyberspace. It shows that the main challenge of the new economy is to effectively cope with B2C international trade in digital online goods and services. However, most approaches to turnover taxation discussed in the literature give rise to several surveillance, efficiency, incentive, and identification problems. As a consequence, there seem to be only two appropriate approaches to deal with the special characteristics of international trade in cyberspace, the country-of-origin principle combined with a taxation of digital goods and services at the physical location of producers, and the community principle in combination with a withholding tax (WITHVAT).
Keywords: International trade | Turnover taxation | Electronic commerce | Sectoral efficiency
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