In essence affiliate marketing involves a Product/Service Seller paying a commission to other online entities, known as affiliates, for referring new business to the Seller’s website. Affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means affiliates only get paid when their promotional work actually results in a sale.


Affiliates can be any kind of site, but usually they tend to be bloggers or other content sites related to the merchant’s industry. Affiliates work to introduce their visitors to the Seller’s brand. They might write/blog a post about a new product or promotion on the Seller’s site, feature banner ads on their site that drive people to the Seller’s site, or offer visitors a special coupon code. If buyers come from that affiliate’s site and make a purchase, the affiliate gets paid.


Traditionally many affiliate programs were comprised of coupon and loyalty sites. As the industry has matured, content bloggers have come to play a more prominent role in many programs. Innovative programs are stretching the definition of an affiliate even more, partnering with schools, nonprofits, and individual professionals.


An Affiliate Marketing Business is but one example of an Online Business.


Online Businesses are difficult to tax.




Often an order is placed with one business, product is manufactured by a 2nd business and fulfillment (ie product delivery/dispatch) is provided by a 3rd business. This is completely different to a traditional point of sale (ie retail) business where typically the business is managed/controlled from and, the product is handed over/payment made in, a defined physical location. Clearly in the retail situation offer and acceptance are concluded (and consideration is tendered) in the one place leading to a taxable event in that locale.


Generally speaking as a matter of contract law when you have offer and acceptance (& assuming you have legal capacity to contract + intention to create legal relations + consideration) a contract is formed.


Under general tax law principles a taxable sale is made where the contract is concluded. It follows therefore if the seller concludes the contract (ie accepts the buyer’s offer) and is based in a zero tax country and the product or service is supplied digitally (ie on or via the Internet) no tax will be applicable (either in the buyer’s or the seller’s jurisdiction) to/re profit made on the sale .


An online businesses requires no physical presence: the Seller becomes entitled to a payment once certain events conclude electronically. The sale is effectively concluded in cyberpace. This affords the Seller an opportunity to determine as a matter of contract where the sale is concluded. Hence expertly drafted terms and conditions can provide that no contract is formed until the seller Company communicates acceptance of the buyer’s offer, meaning that the contract is concluded where the Seller Company/Business is domiciled and/or managed from.


More specifically, in the case of an Affiliate Marketing business an Agreement is entered into between the Seller and the Affiliate whereby the Affiliate becomes entitled to payment once certain events occur in Cyperspace. The source of the income is in effect the contract. Thus if the contract is effectively concluded, and the Affiliate Marketing Business is domiciled in, (and seen to be managed and controlled from) a nil tax jurisdiction (and provided the Company is structured/administered a certain way) it is possible to bank profits made from such ventures free from tax.


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How To Mine Bitcoins Using a Tax Free Offshore Company

Bitcoin mining is a process that anyone can participate in by running a computer program. Although Bitcoin can be mined using a traditional computer, some businesses have designed specialized Bitcoin mining hardware that can process transactions and build blocks much faster (and more efficiently) than regular computers. The process of validating transactions and committing them to the blockchain involves solving a series of specialized math problems.


Each Bitcoin miner is competing with all the other miners on the network to be the first miner to correctly assemble the outstanding transactions into a block by solving those specialized math problems. In exchange for validating the transactions and solving these problems, Bitcoin miners are rewarded for all of the transactions they process. They receive fees attached to all of the transactions that they successfully validate and include in a block. In addition to transaction fees, miners also receive an additional award for each block they mine.


This block reward is also the process by which new bitcoins are created, as specified by the Bitcoin protocol.  Currently, that reward is 12.5 new bitcoins (worth over $US51,000 at time of writing) for each block mined.


Because the reward for mining blocks is so high, the competition to win that reward is also high. At any moment, hundreds of thousands of supercomputers all around the world are competing to mine the next block and win that reward. In fact, the total power of all the computers mining Bitcoin is over 1000 times more powerful than the world’s top 500 supercomputers combined. And the competition doesn’t stop—the Bitcoin network has gotten stronger and stronger over the past several years, growing by as much as 10 percent per month.


The block reward if received by you personally would of course be classified as assessable income where you live (taxable income = assessable income less allowable deductions). If you want to minimize the tax that would otherwise be payable on those rewards what you can do is:


  1. Set up a tax free Offshore Company eg an International Business Company (“IBC”)
  2. Include a (tax haven based) Nominee Director and Nominee Shareholder as part of the Corporate structure so that the Company is seen to be managed and controlled from Offshore
  3. Have the IBC buy the Computer and operating software
  4. You lease the computer and the software
  5. All such lease payments would be received Offshore and banked tax free
  6. You could/would/should claim a tax deduction at home for those lease payments


Alternatively you could establish the IBC as a Bitcoin mining Company and have it employ/engage you as an authorized miner. You could be paid a percentage of fees generated or a fixed rate or a combination of the 2. The income you generate from this would of course be assessable income where you live, but the remainder of Bitcoin mining profits could be banked and or reinvested Offshore potentially tax free.


Domestic laws can effect the viability of such a structure. Hence you should seek local legal and financial advice before committing to incorporate an IBC for such purposes.



France & Germany Discuss Google Tax

Paris: France is working with Germany and other partners to plug loopholes that have allowed US tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon to minimise taxes and grab market share in Europe at the expense of the continent’s own companies.


France will propose the “simpler rules” for a “real taxation” of tech firms at a meeting of European Union officials due mid-September in Tallinn, Estonia, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview in his Paris office on Friday.


“Europe must learn to defend its economic interest much more firmly – China does it, the US does it,” Mr Le Maire said.


“You cannot take the benefit of doing business in France or in Europe without paying the taxes that other companies – French or European companies – are paying.”


The push reflects mounting frustration among some governments, regulators and, indeed, voters, at the way international firms sidestep taxes by shifting profits and costs to wherever they are taxed most advantageously – exploiting loopholes or special deals granted by friendly states.


Germany and France discussed tax issues at a joint Cabinet meeting last month and Germany can be expected to discuss specific proposals after its national election on September 24, Denis Kolberg, a finance ministry spokesman, told reporters in Berlin on Monday.


The European Commission last year ordered Apple to pay as much as €13 billion euros plus interest in back taxes, saying Dublin illegally slashed the iPhone maker’s obligations to woo the company to Ireland. Apple and the Irish government are fighting the decision.


The clampdown on tech firms is part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s muscular approach to ensuring a level playing field, after seeing first hand during his election campaign how French firms struggle to compete with countries where taxes and social security payments are lower.


To that effect, Mr Macron is renewing a broader call for the 19 euro-area states to better align their tax systems.


Mr Le Maire said that Mr Macron’s pledge to lower corporate taxes to 25 per cent by the end of his five-year term should be seen as an opening gambit in this process. He urged countries with lower tax rates to raise them.


France is making “a considerable effort,” Mr Le Maire said. “We’re asking other member states of the euro zone to make a similar effort in the other direction.”


Again, the country’s historic alliance with Germany is at the heart of Mr Le Maire’s plan to bring around other EU countries. He said once the euro area’s two biggest economies are aligned, that would be the basis for a wider convergence.


“The objective is a common corporate tax with Germany in 2018 which should be the basis for a harmonisation at the level of the 19 member states of the euro zone,” he said.


Germany’s corporate tax rate is currently between 30 percent and 33 per cent, according to Deloitte.


Mr Macron is also cutting taxes on financial wealth, dividends and capital gains, while simplifying labour rules as he tries to make the country more attractive for investors.