Cyberconsumption Taxes and Electronic Collection Systems: A Canonical Consumer-Delivered Sales Tax

Jae Kyu Lee and Yeoul Hwangbo
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 4, Number 2, Winter 1999-2000, pp. 61.

Abstract: This study analyzes existing consumption tax systems and proposes a new cyberconsumption tax policy called the Consumer-Delivered Sales Tax (CDS tax) for use in the electronic commerce environment. The CDS tax has the characteristics of a sales tax, but is remitted directly by the consumer without the intervention of the supplier. Seven criteria are laid out for use in designing an acceptable cybertax system: The system should be equitable and simple, ensure user confidence, prevent tax evasion and economic distortion, maintain a fair balance among countries, and not introduce a new form of taxation. All of these goals are satisfied by a version of the CDS tax termed the Canonical CDS tax. The taxation agency in the supplier’s country imposes the Canonical CDS tax on consumers in a manner that is consistent in both physical- and cyberspace. The merchant’s software issues a tax bill to the consumer’s personal computer (PC) together with the bill for the consumer’s purchase. The consumer pays the total amount, and the tax portion of the payment is transferred to the account of the consumer’s tax agency in a consumer-designated bank. The study shows that the Canonical CDS tax system can be implemented using ordinary electronic payment systems, such as electronic fund transfers, electronic credit cards, and electronic cash. It also demonstrates that the Canonical CDS tax system can coexist with traditional consumption tax systems, such as the sales tax and the value-added tax.

Key Words and Phrases: Cyberconsumption tax, cybertaxation, electronic commerce taxes, electronic payment systems, sales tax.