Blueprints for a New PE Nexus to Tax Business Income in the Era of the Digital Economy

Peter Hongler, Pasquale Pistone

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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This paper outlines the core issues of the introduction of a new PE nexus based on digital presence. It puts forward its essential features and rethinks the foundations of the concept of sourcing for income tax purposes in the global economy. Our proposal of a new PE nexus based on digital presence is also supported by a theoretical reconstruction in the light of a new dimension for the benefit theory. Our work directly relates to Action 1 of the OECD/G20 BEPS Project. However, the development of a new PE nexus is in fact not an instrument to counter BEPS, but reflects a structural revision of the criteria for allocating taxing rights on cross-border business income in the era of the digital economy. This paper should be understood as a discussion paper and first proposal to shed further light on (i) whether there is a theoretical justification for a new PE nexus based on digital presence, (ii) how a new PE nexus based on digital presence could be defined and (iii) whether and how potential implementation issues could be resolved. By publishing the present blueprints for a new PE nexus, the authors wish to provoke a more concrete discussion on this particularly important matter. (authors' abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

Publication series

NameWU International Taxation Research Paper Series

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 505004 Financial law
  • 505003 European law

WU Working Paper Series

  • WU International Taxation Research Paper Series

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