Shopping Without Borders
Chapter 4 delves into electronic commerce. Traditional taxation principles that were devised more than half a century ago were based on a physical world, with tangible goods, and defined places of business where employees went to work. In the virtual world, goods that were once tangible—books, for example—have become intangible, and cyberspace is where consumers and merchants meet. Tax laws and system administrators lose their bearings, and the public treasury loses out on billions of dollars. When a Canadian connects to a server located in India to buy goods made in China from a company based in Luxembourg, it is difficult for the Canada Revenue Agency to tax the income arising from the sale.
BRIGITTE ALEPIN is a chartered accountant and tax specialist with a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. She lectures on taxation and has appeared as an expert witness before parliamentary committees probing public finance. She has been a tax columnist for CA Magazine and the Journal de Montréal. She has written two previous books, one in 2010 which predicted the current fiscal crisis