International Journal of Business and Risk Management
ISSN (Print): ISSN Pending ISSN (Online): ISSN Pending Website: Editor-in-chief: Abdelkader Derbali
Open Access
Journal Browser
International Journal of Business and Risk Management. 2021, 4(1), 9-18
DOI: 10.12691/ijbrm-4-1-2
Open AccessLiterature Review

E-commerce Taxation Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Emmanuel Acheampong1,

1Department of Economics, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India

Pub. Date: June 23, 2021

Cite this paper:
Emmanuel Acheampong. E-commerce Taxation Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond. International Journal of Business and Risk Management. 2021; 4(1):9-18. doi: 10.12691/ijbrm-4-1-2


The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted e-commerce operations around the world because e-commerce has proven to be one of the most efficient and effective ways of enhancing business transactions between buyers and sellers amid the pandemic. The convenience stemming from e-commerce through limiting human interaction during the pandemic is the reason for the surge in people turning to the internet to transact business, as this tends to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. It is generally expected that the increase in e-commerce activities should have a positive relationship with tax revenues accruing to various countries but this is not the case. In the face of Covid-19, e-commerce operations have increased appreciably but governments worldwide are still losing a lot of money to e-commerce operations in terms of generated tax revenue. This is due to the anachronistic tax regime used for e-commerce taxation. This has compelled policymakers to question existing tax regulations, leaving them with no choice but to devise new methods of taxing e-commerce operations. As a result, this paper offers rarefied literature on critical e-commerce and Covid-19 issues, delves into e-commerce taxation and advocates for formulary income apportionment, tax compliance software development, and cross-border electronic invoicing as appropriate measures to improve e-commerce taxation in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

e-commerce taxation tax revenue Covid-19

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  OECD, “Tackling Coronavirus (COVID-19): Contributing to a Global Effort”, OECD Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19), 2020. [Online]. Available:
[2]  Bhatti, A., Akram, H., Basit H.M., Khan, A.U., Mahwish. S., Naqvi, R., and Bilal, M, “E-commerce trends during Covid-19 pandemic,” International Journal of Future Generation Communication and Networking, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 1449-1452. June 2020.
[3]  UNCTAD and Netcomm Suisse Observatory, “Covid-19 and E- commerce Findings from a survey of Online Consumers in 9 Countries,” October. 2020.
[4]  WTO, Role of e-commerce during the Covid-19 pandemic, WTO Publications. May. 2020. [Online] Available: [Accessed May 2, 2021].
[5]  Jones, K., “COVID-19 The Pandemic Economy: What are Shoppers Buying Online During COVID-19?” 2020. [Online] Available: [Accessed April 24, 2021].
[6]  Nadeem, S., & Saxena, A. K, “The Challenges of Taxing E-Commerce,” International Journal of Management Studies, 56. 2018.
[7]  Global Business Coalition, UNCTAD: New policy brief launched ahead of global e-Commerce Week. 2019.
[8]  Valdeci, F.S., Sabino, L.R., Morias, G.M., and Goncalves, C.A, “E-commerce: A Short History Follow-up on Possible Trends,” International Journal of Bussiness Administration, 8(7): 130. Oct 2017.
[9]  Galinari, R., Cervieri Júnior, O., Júnior, T., Rodrigues, J., Rawet, E. L., & others. “Comércio eletrônico, tecnologias móveis e mídias sociais no Brasil.” BNDES Setorial, Rio de Janeiro, (41). 2015. [Online]. Available: [Accessed April 27, 2021].
[10]  Albertin, A., “LComércio eletrônico: da evolução para as novas oportunidades,” GVexecutivo, 11(2), 66-70. 2012. [Online] Available: [Accessed April 14, 2021].
[11]  Tian, Y., & Stewart, C., “History of e-commerce. In Electronic Commerce: concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications,” IGI Global (pp. 1-8). 2008.
[12]  Kutz, M, “Introduction to E-Commerce: Combining Business and Information Technology”. Bookboon, Denmark, 2016.
[13]  Mirescu, V. S., “The premises and the evolution of electronic commerce,” Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, 1(1), 45-56. 2010.
[14]  United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Information economy report 2017: Digitalization, Trade and Development, Geneva: Oct. 2017. [Online]. Available: [Accessed May 1, 2021].
[15]  Mwencha, P. M., “Taxation of electronic commerce–a commentary,” Financing for Development, 1(1). 2019.
[16]  e-Marketer, “Global E-commerce Update 2021” Insider Intelligence, Jan. 2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed April 7, 2021].
[17]  Susmitha, K. “Impact of Covid-19 on E-commerce,” Journal of Interdisciplinary Cycle Research., 12(9), September 2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed April. 2, 2021].
[18]  OECD, "OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2000 Issue 1," OECD Publishing, Paris, August 2000. [Online]. Available: [Accessed May 3, 2021].
[19]  Naess-Schmidt, S.H., Mekonnen, D. and Arias, N.M, “Simplifying and Modernizing VAT in the Digital Single Market”. European Parliament, Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy Sep. 2012. [Online]. Available: [Accessed April 20, 2021].
[20]  OECD, Unpacking E-commerce: Business Models, Trends, and Policies, OECD Publishing, Paris (2019). [Online]. [Accessed April 2, 2021].
[21]  Ungerer, C., Portugal, A., Molinuevo, M. and Rovo, N, “Trade and Covid-19 Guidance Notes: Recommendations to leverage e-commerce during the covid-19 crisis,” World Bank Group, Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions Global Practice Group. May. 2020.
[22]  Azam, R., “E-Commerce Taxation and Cyberspace Law: The Integrative Adaptation Model,” Virginia Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 12, No. 5, summer 2007. [Online]. Available: [Accessed April 9, 2021].
[23]  OECD, “SMEs and electronic commerce,” Ministerial Conference on Electronic Commerce, Ottawa, Canada, 7-9 October 1998.
[24]  Cockfield, Arthur J., “The Rise of the OECD as Informal 'World Tax Organization' through National Responses to E-commerce Tax Challenges”. Yale Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 8, p. 136, Spring. 2006. [Online]. Available: [Accessed April 2, 2021].
[25]  OECD, “Taxation and Electronic Commerce: Implementing the Ottawa Taxation Framework Conditions,” OECD Publishing, Paris, May 2001. [Online]. Available: [Accessed May 2, 2021].
[26]  Basu, S., “International Direct Taxation and E-Commerce: A Catalyst for Reform,” NUJS L. Rev., 10, 19. 2017.
[27]  Branda C., Megan O. and Craciunescu M. “Study on the Impact of E-Commerce on Tax and Accounting Activities,” World Applied Sciences Journal, 24 (4): 534-539. 2013.
[28]  Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations (CRITO), “E-Business driving innovations: Synthesis of a global survey of e-commerce,” European Commission, March. 2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed April 12, 2021].
[29]  Tigre, P. B., & Dedrick, J, “E-commerce in Brazil: Local Adaptation of a Global Technology,” Electronic Markets, 14(1), 36-47. 2004.
[30]  PWC, “SME Electronic Commerce Study (final report),” Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. September 1999.
[31]  Scupola, A., “The Adoption of Internet Commerce by SMEs in the South of Italy: An Environmental, Technological and Organizational Perspective,” Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 6(1), 52-71. 2003.
[32]  Kommerskollegium, “E-commerce – New Opportunities, New Barriers: The survey of e-commerce barriers in countries outside the EU,” The National Board of Trade .2012.
[33]  Çimat, A., & Demirmenci M. A., “Iletisim Sektörü Üzerindeki Mali Yükümlülükler,” Mali Çözüm Dergisi, 62, 153-175. Internet Live Stats, 2015. 2003.
[34]  Kirti, & Agrawal N., Impact of E-commerce on Taxation, International Journal of Information and Computation Technology, 2014, pp. 99-106.
[35]  Jinyan Li, “Global Profit Split: An Evolutionary Approach to International Income Allocation,” Canadian tax Journal vol. 50, 2002.
[36]  Weiner, J, Formulary apportionment and the future of company taxation in the European Union: company taxation and the internal market, CESifo Forum, ISSN 2190-717X, ifo Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung an der Universität München, München, 2002, Vol. 03, Iss. 1, pp. 10-20.
[37]  Basu, S., “Implementing e-commerce tax policy,” British Tax Review, 46-49. Feb. 2004.
[38]  PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Study on the Feasibility of Alternative Methods for Improving and Simplifying the Collection of VAT through the Means of Modern Technologies and/or Financial Intermediaries.” Publication Office of the European Union. September. 2010.
[39]  Lee, H. C. “Can electronic tax invoicing improve tax compliance? A case study of the Republic of Korea's electronic tax invoicing for value-added tax,” World Bank Group, Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions Global Practice Group. March. 2016.
[40]  Yapar, B. K., Bayrakdar, S., and Yapar, M, “The role of taxation problems on the development of e-commerce,” Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 195, 642-648. 2015.