Date of this Version

March 2000

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Postprint of:
Quirk, P., “UK Inland Revenue deliberations on e-commerce & the VAT", CCH Law and Technology, Issue 19, Mar 2000
Reproduced with the kind permission of CCH Australia Limited.
For more information see


[Extract] In November 1999 the Blair government released Electronic Commerce: The UK's Taxation Agenda (1) as part of a scheme to modernise government in the UK (2). As in other western countries, e-commerce is being integrated into an existing taxation system; what sets the UK apart from Australia in this context is its membership of the European Union and the already existing VAT system, both of which complicate the development of an effective tax on e-commerce.

Income produced by e-commerce in the UK is expected to reach $4.5 billion in 1999, rising to $47 billion by 2002.(3) There can be no doubt that such large revenues will be taxed; the question is how to go about it.



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