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Information Sections Latest News
Special Reports

Special Reports
by First Atlantic Commerce, Bermuda



A thorough reference file of up-to-date information compiled by our expert editors and arranged in easily accessible sections. The fact file covers taxation and regulation of offshore e-commerce, the facilities and services needed, and reviews the business sectors and functions which can make use of offshore e-commerce
- Taxation of Offshore E-commerce
- Regulation of Offshore E-commerce
- Offshore E-commerce Facilities
- Offshore Professional and Financial Services
- Offshore E-commerce Applications


The jurisdictions section of has in-depth analyses of e-commerce in three leading jurisdictions - Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man - and has links to summaries of e-commerce development in 25 other offshore jurisdictions
- Jurisdictions Menu


The glossary explains the meaning of many abbreviations and technical terms met with in offshore e-commerce
- Full Glossary


No-one likes to pay too much tax, and the overall burden of tax in the world's larger business jurisdictions is heavy not just in itself, but also imposes substantial and worsening administrative burdens on a business. Regulation in general just gets more and more complex, in addition.
Prior to the Internet, there was little that most types of business could do to rduce tax and regulation, although individual owners were often able to go 'offshore' with the proceeds of their work, and increasingly did so as tax levels rose. Individual tax levels have fallen back to some extent, and in some countries, but the taxman has become more efficient, and the classical equation of working onshore and enjoying offshore becomes ever harder to sustain.

The Internet has changed the equation, and this site attempts to explain why and how almost all businesses can substantially reduce their tax bills and preserve wealth by taking advantage of offshore e-commerce. This section in particular offers practical help in choosing a jurisdiction and in setting up an offshore e-commerce operation.


Describes how to go about setting up an entry-level e-commerce retailing operation, in case you want to do it yourself.


Describes the criteria that should be applied to choosing an offshore jurisdiction.


Describes the criteria that should be taken into consideration when starting an offshore e-commerce operation.


There are so many variable factors in the situation of each company, including business sector, ownership structure, country of origin, size, capital structure and level of profitability, to name just some, that it is hardly possible to illustrate the principles of offshore e-commerce in any general way. Still, case studies can show typical sequences of steps needing to be taken when going offshore, even if the detail will be different in each case.

The six case studies in this section cover six of the more likely business situations in which offshore has a lot to offer; but the truth is that the Internet has made it possible for almost every business in a high-tax country to get advantage offshore.

For direct assistance with establishing an offshore e-commerce operation, see our E-commerce Business Guide.

- Electronic Products Business to Business Case Study
- Electronic Products Consumer Case Study
- Physical Products Business to Business Case Study
- Physical Products Consumer case Study
- Offshore Banking and Financial Services Case Study
- Offshore Corporate Functions Case Study


Special Features on E-Commerce in Guernsey & Ireland, Gibraltar & Dubai, and Mauritius and Netherlands Antilles are available in the Reports Library along with other previous Special Features.


New Measures Announced To Support Chinese Exporters, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Monday, May 16, 2016
In a May 9 guidance document, the State Council announced further measures to increase Chinese exports, including optimizing export tax refund policies. [ FULL STORY ]
No Tax Change For Chinese Taxpayers Abroad: MoF, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Wednesday, April 13, 2016
China's Ministry of Finance has confirmed that the new tax framework covering goods purchased from overseas retailers online is not applicable to the overseas purchases of Chinese tourists. [ FULL STORY ]
China's e-Commerce Tax Changes Come Into Effect, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Tuesday, April 12, 2016
China's new rules that increase the taxes on goods imported online, which were jointly announced by the Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs, and the State Administration of Taxation on March 24, went into effect on April 8, 2016. [ FULL STORY ]
EU Publishes New VAT Action Plan, by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Monday, April 11, 2016
The European Commission has released an Action Plan on VAT, setting out plans for the next two years to modernize European Union value-added tax rules. [ FULL STORY ]
US Retail Groups Press For Online Sales Tax Legislation, by Mike Godfrey,, Washington Friday, March 18, 2016
On March 15, more than 20 business associations in the United States sent a letter to Robert Goodlatte (R – Virginia), the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, urging that he should markup legislation to give states the option of levying sales taxes on internet transactions. [ FULL STORY ]
Chile, China Continue Talks On Deepening FTA, by Mike Godfrey,, Washington Monday, March 14, 2016
Officials from Chile and China met on March 10, 2016, to discuss deepening the free trade agreement between the two countries, according to a statement from Chile's Directorate General of International Relations. [ FULL STORY ]
Australia Planning Further Corporate Tax Avoidance Action, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Friday, February 26, 2016
Before a recent Senate Estimates committee, Australia's Tax Commissioner, Chris Jordan, issued a warning to multinationals and large businesses that the Australian Tax Office is to increase its efforts against international tax avoidance in the period to 2019. [ FULL STORY ]
Dutch EU Presidency To Prioritize BEPS Action, by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus Thursday, January 14, 2016
The Netherlands will prioritize action against corporate tax avoidance during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, from now until the end of June. [ FULL STORY ]
Indian IT Body Seeks Tax Breaks For Start-Ups, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Friday, January 8, 2016
The National Association of Software and Services Companies has urged the Indian Finance Minister to exempt start-ups from direct and indirect taxes, including the minimum alternate tax. [ FULL STORY ]
Italy Extends Reduced VAT Rate To All Digital Publications, by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Friday, January 8, 2016
A provision within the 2016 Stability (Budget) Law, which took effect on January 1, extends a reduction in Italy's headline 22 percent value added tax rate to four percent for all digital publications, and not just for e-books. [ FULL STORY ]
China Sets Guidelines On FTA Expansion, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Monday, December 21, 2015
On December 17, China's State Council provided guidelines to more quickly establish a global network of high-standard free trade agreements. [ FULL STORY ]
Yahoo Calls Off Alibaba Spin-Off, by Mike Godfrey,, Washington Friday, December 11, 2015
US search engine company Yahoo! Inc. has announced that it has decided to stop work on its plan to spin-off its remaining shareholding in Alibaba Group, the Chinese online marketplace, following concerns about the market's perception of tax risk surrounding the transaction. [ FULL STORY ]
Singapore, Turkey Sign Free Trade Deal, by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus Thursday, November 19, 2015
The finance ministers of Singapore and Turkey have signed a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement that will remove the majority of taxes on trade between the two countries over the coming years. [ FULL STORY ]
New Zealand To Levy GST On Online Retailers, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Tuesday, November 17, 2015
The New Zealand Government on November 16, 2015, introduced a bill containing a proposal to levy the goods and services tax on online purchases. [ FULL STORY ]
Countries Agree Common VAT Rules For Digital Services, by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Monday, November 9, 2015
Representatives from more than 100 countries and jurisdictions have endorsed new OECD International VAT/GST Guidelines, which are intended to establish international standards for the "coherent and efficient" application of value-added tax/goods and services tax to the international trade in services. [ FULL STORY ]
EU May Drop Plan For Uniform VAT Return, by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The European Commission has indicated that it may drop a plan announced in 2013 to introduce a standard VAT return across all EU member states. [ FULL STORY ]
South Korea Mulls Google Tax From 2016, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Tuesday, October 20, 2015
South Korea is considering a "Google Tax" on untaxed profits "earned in" South Korea by large digital firms. [ FULL STORY ]
Estonia Consults With Uber On Tax Framework, by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Friday, October 9, 2015
The Estonian Tax and Customs Board is collaborating with global technology company Uber on how to tax its on-demand 'ride-sharing' service. [ FULL STORY ]
Singapore, Turkey Agree Free Trade Deal, by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Thursday, October 8, 2015
Turkey and Singapore have successfully concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement. [ FULL STORY ]
Obama Signs Temporary US Internet Tax Moratorium, by Mike Godfrey,, Washington Monday, October 5, 2015
On September 30, President Barack Obama signed into law the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2016" that, while providing funding for the US Federal Government until December 11, 2015, also extends the Internet Tax Freedom Act until the same date. [ FULL STORY ]
EU Launches Debate On Digital VAT Reform, by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Monday, September 28, 2015
The European Commission has launched a public consultation to identify ways to simplify VAT payments on cross-border e-commerce transactions in the EU. [ FULL STORY ]
US Bills On State Internet, Sales Taxes Sought Together, by Mike Godfrey,, Washington Friday, September 18, 2015
The National Conference of State Legislatures wrote to Republican and Democrat leaders in the US Congress on September 16, urging them to delay legislation to extend, or make permanent, the Internet Tax Freedom Act. [ FULL STORY ]
Italian 'Digital Tax' From 2017: Renzi, by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Wednesday, September 16, 2015
During an Italian television interview on September 15, Italian Premier Matteo Renzi has confirmed his tax-cutting intentions, but also indicated that his Government intends to impose a "digital tax" from 2017. [ FULL STORY ]
IRS 'Studying Issues' Over Yahoo-Alibaba Spin-Off, by Mike Godfrey,, Washington Wednesday, September 16, 2015
The US Internal Revenue Service has confirmed that it is studying issues with regard to spin-offs, such as search engine company Yahoo's plans for its remaining holdings in Alibaba Group. [ FULL STORY ]
Brazil May Tax Online Audio, Visual Content, by Mike Godfrey,, Washington Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Brazil's House of Representatives on September 10, 2015, approved a proposal to extend the scope of the municipal service tax to include online providers of audio and visual content. [ FULL STORY ]
DLA Piper Releases New Digital VAT Guide, by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Thursday, September 3, 2015
DLA Piper has launched the second edition of its "Global VAT Guide: Cross border supplies of intangible services, rights, and digital content." [ FULL STORY ]
Australian Treasurers Agree On GST Reform, by Robert Lee,, London Friday, August 21, 2015
Australia's federal, state, and territory treasurers have agreed to broaden the goods and services tax (GST) to cover overseas online transactions under AUD1,000 (USD732) but they failed to reach a consensus on removing the GST from feminine hygiene products. [ FULL STORY ]
China To Improve Export Tax Refunds, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Wednesday, August 19, 2015
As part of China's efforts to boost exports, the State Administration of Taxation has issued a notice proposing ways to improve the efficiency of its export tax rebate payments system. [ FULL STORY ]
NZ Seeks Feedback On Online GST Proposals, by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Tuesday, August 18, 2015
New Zealand's Revenue Minister, Todd McClay, has released a discussion document on the collection of goods and services tax on online purchases. [ FULL STORY ]
Labor Treasurers Call For End To Oz 'Tampon Tax', by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong Friday, August 14, 2015
Labor party treasurers from Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and the Australia Capital Territory have confirmed that they will seek to have the goods and services tax removed from sanitary products when they next meet with federal Treasurer Joe Hockey. [ FULL STORY ]
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