Texas made some decisions about ecommerce and taxes that may cause some issues for the way new ICT is rolled out worldwide. I am torn on the decision itself, but want to call out the discussion as one in which governments need to engage.
This has been a hot topic for years. When the Internet was nascent it was in need of positive tax treatments to encourage its development. They received much of that and the world has benefited greatly. While it has absolutely become a huge additive to our global economy, the need for subsidization may indeed have gone away.
However, the cloud is now nascent and we cannot ignore the potential application of decisions like those in Texas could adversely affect the tax treatment of cloud providers across the world. Much more than the Internet, the cloud is a platform upon which a multitude of innovations could ride. Much future growth could come from the viable competition of multiple platforms riding on the cloud. And tax treatments of such services are an important component to how well these new ideas will be able to come to fruition in a challenging economic environment.
So, the question is, should Governments create an ongoing exemption for the cloud or hammer out the details about where revenue is realized so that companies can rely on something when making deployment decisions?