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Letter to BS: The road to a common tax code still has several hurdles

The 2020 deadline certainly seems unrealistic; but the work on achieving a consensus must continue

Business Standard 

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Apropos your editorial “Digital tax breakthrough” (June 11), however long and arduous the road to a common tax code may be, it is a goal well worth pursuing. Of course, there will be several hurdles but then, all good reforms face those. The biggest rogue — USA — is expectedly against the move. Not only does the giant stands, the they must disagree with anything that everyone else in the world thinks is good. We are already witness to his illogical opposition to efforts for containing climate change and now, he will find another reform to disagree with. Notwithstanding the US’ opposition, the UK and France and others must do their best to push it through.

To see that our trillion dollar m-cap companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and others are getting richer by avoiding taxes through means not entirely kosher is certainly not a comforting thought. These mega conglomerates already have the world -- minus China -- in their grips and they will continue to make the hold tighter as they become obscenely richer. This must stop. They must pay taxes where their revenue is generated and not merely where their notional regional headquarters are located.

The 2020 deadline certainly seems unrealistic; but the work on achieving a consensus must continue. Even if the common tax code comes into practice five years later, it would still be well worth the wait. I would go to the extent of suggesting that India, China, Russia and other nations over-protective about storage of data collected from their citizens within their national borders must relent on their stand for the specific objective of making the G20 communique a reality.

Krishan Kalra, Gurugram


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First Published: Tue, June 11 2019. 20:37 IST
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