Skip to main content

Money for Nothin’: Digitalization and Fluid Tax Bases

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
The European Union and the Technology Shift
  • 431 Accesses

Abstract

This chapter analyses in what way digitalisation changes the conditions for taxation. In the 2020s, firms create value less using machines and more using intangibles, such as copyrights, R&D and soft knowledge. The chapter shows that tax bases will be more mobile and thus it will be more difficult to raise tax revenues. Though some governments have started to tax digital companies in new ways, this has spurred international conflict and tension: both the EU and the OECD are trying to reach broad international agreements; absent an agreement, the existing international system for corporate taxation may erode. Furthermore, as labour becomes more mobile and thus more elusive to tax, the funding of the welfare states is threatened. To ensure that the EU and its member states get money for somethin’, this chapter concludes that a new comprehensive tax reform is urgent.

The authors are grateful for comments from Krister Andersson, Jacob Lundberg, Mikael Stenkula, and Daniel Waldenström. The usual disclaimer applies. Financial support from Forte and Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius stiftelse is gratefully acknowledged.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mårten Blix .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Blix, M., Bustos, E. (2021). Money for Nothin’: Digitalization and Fluid Tax Bases. In: Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, A., Leijon, K., Michalski, A., Oxelheim, L. (eds) The European Union and the Technology Shift. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-63672-2_8

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics