Country perspectives on taxing the cloud 

KPMG member firms take a look at how tax authorities are approaching the challenge of cloud computing, by examining the provisions in place, the likely interpretations and potential taxes applied.
Taxing the cloud by country

Cloud computing is fast becoming an attractive and ubiquitous option for managing the IT needs of both businesses and consumers. Indeed, results from a recent KPMG survey (Clarity in the Cloud) show that 81 percent of businesses are either planning their initial cloud computing forays, are in early or advanced stages of experimentation or have full implementations. Yet, approximately 45 percent of the respondents are neither evaluating the tax implications of cloud nor do they know if these factors are being evaluated within their organization.

Given the lack of clarity over cloud tax treatment, users and providers of cloud computing services need to plan their operations and activities carefully to manage their exposure while gaining the desired benefits from this new technology.

Cloud computing services can be defined as the shared use of a group of services, applications, information and infrastructure, incorporating three distinct types of service:

  • software as a service
  • platform as a service
  • infrastructure as a service.

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