KUALA LUMPUR, July 2000 (Asia Pulse) - Martin McClintock, a US tax expert and the global managing tax partner, e-Business Services, for Deloitte & Touche, felt that the Malaysian government could be observing what the United States and the European Union are doing and the developments on the issue before arriving at its own e-commerce tax law.
"Nobody wants to be the pioneer in passing e-commerce tax legislation and it may not come up in the near future," he said.
He said this at a press conference after delivering a talk on e-business seminar on Tax Implications of e-Business. The seminar was jointly organised by Deloitte Consulting and Kassim Chan Tax Services Sdn Bhd.
In his opinion, the Malaysian government's prudent wait-and-see approach to the uprising issue was not meant to scare foreign e-commerce businesses from flocking into the country or to scare the ones who are already committed in the local e-commerce industry.
He stressed that unlike `brick-and-mortar' businesses, 'click-and-mortar' businesses can come and go as Web sites are merely electronic displays and are extremely mobile.
Click-and-mortar businesses can switch from one server to another which can be a resident in any country of the world, he added.
So much money has been spent in setting up e-commerce infrastructure and incentives given, he said, adding that implementing the e-tax regime ahead of the others could hurt the industry.
The issue on implementing e-commerce tax is not much of a worry on local e-commerce companies as the traditional tax laws are comprehensive enough to cover them, be it on old or new technology.
However, it could cost Malaysia's competitive edge in attracting e-commerce businesses here, he said.
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