Thumbs up on M'sian e-commerce tax legislation

Kuala Lumpur seems to be maintaining its status quo on the issue of e-commerce tax legislation implementation|says Martin McClintock|a US tax expert and the global managing tax partner|e-Business Services|for Deloitte & Touche.

Kuala Lumpur seems to be maintaining its status quo on the issue of e-commerce tax legislation implementation, says US tax expert.

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.

More on E-commerce initiatives:
Philippines' e-commerce law to facilitate transmission of govt docs
Japan's Telecom industry agrees on e-commerce security protocols
Estrada signs E-Commerce Act
Indonesia to have e-commerce law this year
Philippines' e-commerce bill to help modernize the army


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