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Rethinking EU VAT for P2P Distribution by Cristina Trenta

Rethinking EU VAT for P2P Distribution

By Cristina Trenta


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EUCOTAX Series on European Taxation Volume 45

Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks – decentralized group structures allowing anyone to easily download and share resources online – already play a critical role in the distribution of digital content. Most of the debate on P2P heretofore has focused on copyright issues. However, as the basis for legitimate business models a number of companies have already quietly embraced, P2P has a largely unknown and underestimated impact on taxation, with vast repercussions on the development of mature, profitable markets. This book analyses the current framing for digital and media supplies provided via P2P technologies through the lens of an interdisciplinary approach drawing on tax law, computer science, economics, copyright law, and business studies. VAT concepts such as those of economic activity and taxable person, taxable transactions, consideration, barter and taxable amount, and territoriality rules are discussed in connection with P2P, as is the evaluation of VAT liability for P2P operations in the presence of copyright infringement. Topics and issues considered include: ;

  • centralized and decentralized P2P networks;
  • free-riding problems;
  • identifying actors in P2P networks for VAT purposes;
  • P2P and place of supply; and
  • pros and cons of integrating P2P with taxation regimes and especially VAT systems.

The analysis draws on a vast range of sources, including EU legislation and case law, tax law literature and doctrine, international conventions and treaties, Council of Europe and OECD documents, ECHR case law, and official documents and cases from key jurisdictions worldwide, offering the first thoroughly grounded approach to overcoming the lack of understanding and awareness of ongoing changes currently separating the digital economy and traditional taxation systems, and a solid platform for discussion to the diverse communities of researchers and professionals interested in P2P.

Ms Trenta has been appointed as a member of the VAT Expert Group as from 1st October 2016.


Pages 360
Last Updated 09/24/2015
Update Frequency As Needed
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041161376
SKU 10059615-0001
Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations.

List of Figures.

List of Tables.

CHAPTER 1 Introduction.

CHAPTER 2 Peer-to-Peer and Network Models.

CHAPTER 3 Business Models for P2P Networks.

CHAPTER 4 Taxable Persons and Economic Activity.

CHAPTER 5 Identifying Actors in P2P Networks for VAT Purposes.

CHAPTER 6 Peers, Public Bodies, Independent Groups of Persons, and Competition.

CHAPTER 7 Taxable Transactions, P2P Networks, and Internet Search Engines.

CHAPTER 8 Consideration, Taxable Amounts, and P2P.

CHAPTER 9 Place of Supply.

CHAPTER 10 Copyright Infringement and VAT Liability of P2P Transactions.

CHAPTER 11 Conclusions.

CHAPTER 12 Coda: Towards a Tax Proposal.


EU Treaties, Charters, International Conventions.

International, Intergovernmental Organizations.

Court Cases.

National Official Documents and Court Cases.