Taxing the Digital Economy: Domestic and Global Challenges

The digital economy is emerging as a global marketplace and e-commerce and digital technologies are increasingly facilitating businesses and their clients, as well as governments and their citizens, in transcending the barriers of geographical boundaries, time and distance. Nonetheless, further development of the technology sector in Pakistan faces several challenges, such as heavy taxation, lack of broader incentives and the need for a more holistic approach by the government. At the same time, e-commerce and the digital economy in general have given rise to complex taxation issues worldwide that may also impact Pakistan. This article deals with some challenges relating to taxation of the digital economy in Pakistan, and highlights recent international tax developments on taxation of the digital economy. The article also suggests areas that should be prioritized by the government in order to develop its digital infrastructure and fully realize the potential of the digital economy.