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Digital Service Tax not for European online retail


EMOTA, the European e-Commerce and Omni-channel trade association calls for governments to exclude the online retail of goods from the proposal for the introduction of a Digital Service Tax. The proposal will be discussed by Ministers meeting in Brussels on 6 November 2018.


“There are many good reasons why this proposal for a tax is not good for online retail in Europe” says EMOTA Secretary General Maurits Bruggink. “We oppose channel specific legislation; this tax applies only to online and not to other forms of distribution, which distorts markets and the development of a strong growing online retail sector in Europe. Moreover, the proposed tax is directly linked to sales turnover and leads to double taxation.  Consumers already pay VAT on products.


Bruggink adds: “There are different tax conditions within the EU and this makes it hard to avoid unfair competitive advantages within the single market. Also, the enforcement of the proposed commission-based tax in third countries is not practical and will create an unlevel playing field. Who is going to control this with third countries and how? Instead of gesture politics, which hurts European online retailers and consumers alike, we need an international consensus-based solution at OECD level.  Taxation rules should cover new digitalised business models, fit for a 21st Century tax system.




Maurits Bruggink

EMOTA Secretary General; +32 471 06 47 86




About EMOTA:The European Multi-Channel and Online Trade Association, EMOTA, is the voice of online and distance sellers in the EU. EMOTA represents online and distance sellers from around Europe, with member associations in 21 countries and both corporate and supplier members. EMOTA interacts with the European institutions to improve trading conditions and regulations.